Recent Reviews

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FC39341 FC39341 Saint-Mont, Les Vignes Retrouvées 2018

Bordeaux hogs the limelight in South West France. But if you come inland from the Gironde, there’s a patchwork of too-often overlooked vineyards producing, between them, some of France’s most distinctive, even eccentric, and hugely diverse wines, often made from local grape varieties that you just don’t find elsewhere. One example is the Saint-Mont appellation of Gascony, which used to be part of the engine room for the Armagnac industry, until sales of the Gascon brandy began to nosedive in the 1970s. These days the vines have been revived and repurposed, led by the local co-operative, Plaimont, which is behind some superb-value wines both red and white. Among my favourites from a recent tasting of a batch of Plaimont wines, Les Vignes Retrouvées is made from a trio of “rediscovered” white varieties – gros manseng, petit corbu and arufiac – that between them make a dry white of Lilt-like tropical-fruited fleshiness and grapefruit tanginess. - David Williams

( The Observer 15th Nov 2020 )

£8.95
GE13491A GE13491A Spätburgunder Estate, Aldinger 2018

German winemakers just get better and better at pinot noir, and here's a light, lithe, strawberry and raspberry-driven example that is a cleansing match for the Christmas roast. - David Williams

( The Observer 15th Nov 2020 )

£11.95
GR1691 GR1691 Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes, Thymiopoulos 2019

Wine of the week: A vibrant, scented red made by one of the greatest talents in Greece. - Olly Smith

( The Mail on Sunday 15th Nov 2020 )

£10.95
CE10861 CE10861 Altamana Grande Reserve Maule Malbec 2018

Chile makes malbec in a slightly different style from neighbouring Argentina. This one is bright and pure with supple redcurrant and red cherry fruit, a crunchy structure and nice weight. - Jamie Goode

( Sunday Express 15th Nov 2020 )

£11.50
FC38021 FC38021 Pinot Noir, Puy de Dôme, Cave Saint-Verny 2018

There’s something of Beaujolais, perhaps a hint of Burgundy, in the slinky Cave St Verny Pinot Noir,  a really characterful combination of juicy red berries with a sappy, thirst-quenching quality. - David Williams

( The Observer 15th Nov 2020 )

£9.50
GR1751 GR1751 Mitravelas ‘White on Grey' Moschofilero 2019

Great value for a lemony scented white with enticing and exotic flair. - Olly Smith

( The Mail on Sunday 15th Nov 2020 )

£7.95
SG1661 SG1661 The Society's Cava Reserva Brut NV

I’m a long-time fan of good-quality cava and this example from Bodegas Sumarroca is terrific value for money. Aged for more than two years in the bottle. - Will Lyons

( The Sunday Times 15th Nov 2020 )

£8.95
XC205 XC205 The Bellini Case

A new kind of prosecco experience with all the trimmings, The Wine Society have struck gold with their Bellini gift box, which includes a 25cl bottle of Van Nahmen Rhubarb Nectar and Van Nahmen White Peach Nectar. Tart and sweet Italian style – saluti! - Sam Wylie Harris

( The Press Association 15th Nov 2020 )

£22.50
UR531 UR531 Pisano Progreso Tannat Reserve 2019

The Progreso region is 25km north of Montevideo. Intense scents of  dark berries, black cherries, black olives and cinnamon lead to a structured ripe wine with well-tuned savoury vanilla oak. One for your Sunday beef or lamb roast. - Carol Brown

( Press & Journal 14th Nov 2020 )

£9.95
US9061 US9061 Once and Future Oakley Road Vineyard Zinfandel 2018

Boldly spiced, cherry-fruited 2018 made by the King of Zin, Joel Peterson. - Jane MacQuitty

( The Times 14th Nov 2020 )

£25.00
LO15521 LO15521 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur Lie, Clos les Montys 'Vigne de 1914', Domaine Huchet 2017

Forget Burgundy, buy this Muscadet instead, with quince and mineral fruit. - Jane MacQuitty

( The Times 14th Nov 2020 )

£13.50
RH57101 RH57101 Vacqueyras ‘Arabesque', Domaine de Montvac 2018

At this damp, grey time of year, reds from the southern Rhone bring Keats's "beaker full of the warm South" to mind. It's the grenache that does it - sumptuous and full. This one is a fruity incarnation, redolent of homemade raspberry jelly, with a lovely perfume too. - Victoria Moore

( The Daily Telegraph 14th Nov 2020 )

£14.95
FC38941 FC38941 Côtes d'Auvergne Rosé, Gamay-Pinot Noir, Saint-Verny 2019

Blending gamay with pinot noir creates a delicious dry fruity rosé with full flavour, charming minerality and plenty of bang for your buck. Super with food or just as a refreshing glass of wine at the end of the day. - Matt Nixson

( Daily Express 14th Nov 2020 )

£8.95
CE10991 CE10991 The Society's Chilean Carmenère Rapel Valley 2019

The warm Rapel Valley is ideal for ripening the variety which has become Chile's signature red grape. Carmenere is an old Bordeaux variety which, in the early days, was confused with merlot. This late ripening grape needs to spend longer on the vine than merlot to fully ripen it as, in the early days when picked too early, it would come across as stalky. These day's it's all about that ripeness, and this one has a lovely purity of fruit on the nose - think blackcyurrants, blackberries, liquorice and spice. Mid-weight and balanced, with ripe tannins and dark berry flavours, there is some subtle savoury oak too. Drink with steak or gourmet burgers. - Carol Brown

( Press & Journal 14th Nov 2020 )

£7.95
GR1751 GR1751 Mitravelas ‘White on Grey' Moschofilero 2019

A wonderfully aromatic Greek wine with jasmine and orange blossom whiffs, then a zesty, tangy character - a refreshing match for baked feta. - Susy Atkins

( The Daily Telegraph 14th Nov 2020 )

£7.95
MA241 MA241 Henriques and Henriques Sercial, 10 Years Old 50cl

Wine of the Week: It is excellent with smoked almonds and raw walnuts. Rather more unexpectedly, on the pre-dinner nibbles front, it was excellent with salt & vinegar crisps, Perello Gordal olives and those oh-so-very English, tiny pickled cockles and mussels. Sercial deals with vinegar like a McLaren MP4/4 takes corners at a Grand Prix. - Tamlyn Currin

( JancisRobinson.com 13th Nov 2020 )

£20.00
LO15881 LO15881 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur Lie, Château L'Oiselinière de la Ramée, Chéreau-Carré 2018

… gorgeously soft, creamy and characterful and comes in a dead pukka bottle. - Jonathan Ray

( The Field 13th Nov 2020 )

£8.50
AA2901 AA2901 The Society's Grüner Veltliner 2019

I always think of Austria's star grape grüner veltliner as a sommelier's wine. It may draw a blank look pm the shelves of the supermarket but those in the know will prize its versatile food matching qualities. The name of the grape literally means 'green grape from the village of Veltlin in the Tirol' and, although a fairly crisp dry white, there's also a waxy, almost aromatic, quality which it shares with other regional varieties such as silvaner. This particuloar wine is textbook: white pepper and pear on the nose, while the palate is fresh but tangy. It will stand up to all sorts of pairings including dishes with sour elements like pickles or fermented cabbage and mild spices. - Andy Cronshaw

( Manchester Evening News 13th Nov 2020 )

£8.50
CE10731 CE10731 Undurraga TH Las Gaviotas San Antonio Pinot Noir 2018

… bold, rich ... Liz Sagues

( Hampstead & Highgate Express 12th Nov 2020 )

£15.50
MA241 MA241 Henriques and Henriques Sercial, 10 Years Old 50cl

Whenever I taste good Madeira, I think, 'why don't I drink this more often?' I've never yet had a satisfactory answer. Sercial, made from the eponymous grape variety, is the driest style, although that doesn't have to mean the bone-dry austerity that the term sometimes seems to imply. Henriques & Henriques' amber-coloured ten-year-old (ten years meaning the average age of the wines in the blend) is off-dry/medium dry, but with the slightly smoky bonfire tanginess that comes from Madeira's unusual ageing process at warm temperatures. Before you get to that lingering, refreshing finish, you've run a delicious gamut of toasted almond, walnut, sultana, orange peel and sweet smoked paprika flavours. If Sercial's first duty is as an aperitif, it's also well worth trying with food. Give it a go with umami foods such as mushroom and miso broth, smoked oysters, tuna with soy sauce, or cheeses such as Grana Padano Riserva, Parmigiano Reggiano or clothbound cheddar. And don't forget to try Verdelho, Bual and Malmsey Madeiras too: Henriques & Henriques examples are a good place to start. - Joanna Simon

( joannasimon.com 12th Nov 2020 )

£20.00
IT29951 IT29951 Aglianico del Vulture, Le Ralle 2017

I was hugely impressed by this from Southern Italy that skilfully uses the weighty and concentrated (but relatively unfamiliar) aglianico grape – which produces red wine sometimes called the Barolo of the south. [This wine] has firm tannin, good acidity and real depth coupled with hints of tobacco and chocolate that attractively embellish its smooth, cherry, bramble and mulberry flavours. - Brian Elliott

( midweekwines.co.uk 12th Nov 2020 )

£8.95
CE11191 CE11191 Concha y Toro Corte Marcelo Limarí Pinot Noir 2019

“Tell me where to find sound but reasonably priced pinot noir”. One good answer is provided by this Chilean example made by the legendary Marcelo Papa (who did so much to popularise Concha Y Toro’s Casillero del Diablo range) from vineyards in the cooler but increasingly impressive northerly Limari Valley. Floral yet with (classic pinot) earthy depth, [this] has ripe, cherry and raspberry flavours, hints of chocolate and baking spice, good acidity and soft tannin. - Brian Elliott

( midweekwines.co.uk 12th Nov 2020 )

£9.50
CM23541 CM23541 Pauillac, Ulysse 2016

This wine has those classic claret aromas that beguile yet defy proper description – “woody, green and vegetal” all sound negative rather than positive – and even the more romantic “forest floor leaves in autumn” is less attractive than words frequently used for other wines like “smooth, vibrant and fruit forward”. From a (possibly, the) prime Left Bank commune in Bordeaux, 2016 Pauillac Ulysse brings us soft, rich and menthol influenced prune, mulberry and mocha flavours supported by good acidity, hints of cedar and baking spice, firm tannin and that graphite base that Bordeaux does so well.  With decanting it can be drunk now but everything about it suggests that even more glorious qualities lie ahead. - Brian Elliott

( midweekwines.co.uk 12th Nov 2020 )

£22.50
LO15521 LO15521 Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine sur Lie, Clos les Montys 'Vigne de 1914', Domaine Huchet 2017

Muscadet as a chablis alternative? Yes! [This], from vines planted in 1914, is complex, steely, delicious. - Liz Sagues

( Hampstead & Highgate Express 12th Nov 2020 )

£13.50
SG1661 SG1661 The Society's Cava Reserva Brut NV

Remember, too, cava’s remarkable value. [This] is citrussy yet rounded. - Liz Sagues

( Hampstead & Highgate Express 12th Nov 2020 )

£8.95
SG2201 SG2201 The Society's Prosecco

[This], from the skilled Adami family, is a cut above many – it comes, too, in a Bellini case with fruit nectars [product code XC205] - Liz Sagues

( Hampstead & Highgate Express 12th Nov 2020 )

£10.95
SP14411 SP14411 Navajas Crianza, Rioja 2015

… trademark Rioja oakiness and gently spicy, black fruits. - Bill Knott

( The Oldie 11th Nov 2020 )

£8.95
AU22331 AU22331 The Society's Australian Shiraz 2018

Perfect time of year for a smokey red like this, bold black fruit from a vintage bathed in warmth, pour yourself a glass of personal insulation. - Olly Smith

( ollysmith.com 10th Nov 2020 )

£7.50
IT29511 IT29511 Greco Basilicata Le Ralle, Alovini 2019

Another great example of the greco grape variety. Very detailed, with mandarin, orange peel and a nice soft texture. This is linear and fine - and a bit of a steal at this price. - Jamie Goode

( Sunday Express 8th Nov 2020 )

£9.95
PW8101 PW8101 The Society's Portuguese Red, Península de Setúbal 2019

Steal of the century. Easy, fragrant, juicy and joyful. Turn your roast into a rave. - Olly Smith

( The Mail on Sunday 8th Nov 2020 )

£5.95
SP15301 SP15301 The Society's Exhibition Ribera del Duero 2016

This is The Society’s first Exhibition bottling of a Ribera, working with the small Bohórquez property. It has a rich, velvety style and a trademark flick of acidity. - Will Lyons

( The Sunday Times 8th Nov 2020 )

£14.95
XC205 XC205 The Bellini Case

Anyone for Bellinis? You possibly aren't in the party spirit just now, what with everything that is, more pertinently, isn't going on, but some festive cheer will most likely be expected of you soon enough, whether you like it or not! Bellinis are a Prosecco-based cocktail, traditionally mixed with a peach puree, invented in Venice in the 1930s and so-called because the pink reminded the mixologist of the colour of a saint's toga in a painting by the 15th century artist Giovanni Bellini. You couldn't afford the painting. But for £22.50 you can buy a Bellini box ... which includes a delicious white peach nectar and a bottle of the crisp, elegant and satisfyingly savoury Society's Prosecco. This effervescent fizz greets you with floral aromas before a richly textured palate that teems with tangy berry and sharper citrus flavours - one to enjoy with canapes when entertaining guests, if they're allowed back into your homes again. For a modern twist on the classic cocktail your Bellini box also includes a sharp rhubarb nectar which is more tart and more to my taste, which worked out well at my home, as my wife couldn't get enough of the smoother peachy Bellinis. - Raymond Gleug

( Belfast Newsletter 7th Nov 2020 )

£22.50
XC205 XC205 The Bellini Case

… those lovely people at The Wine Society have only gone and put together a Bellini case which comes in a gift box - perfect for a Christmas gift. Originally, peach juice is added to make this refreshing cocktail, but this has two flavours to play with - Van Nahmen White Peach Nectar and Van Nahmen Rhubarb Nectar. Both display fresh and clean authentic flavours getting the balance right between tart fruit and delicate sweetness. Also included is a bottle of The Society's Prosecco, which is made by the Adami family in the Veneto region and is the perfect accompaniment. Just pour a splash of the nectar in a Champagne flute and top up with the Italian fizz and off you go! - Neil Cammies

( Western Mail 7th Nov 2020 )

£22.50
LE1061 LE1061 Château Ksara Réserve du Couvent 2017

Tracing its history back 150 years, Chateau Ksara is Lebanon’s oldest winery and a go-to for dense, dark sumptuous reds. Syrah, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon are deftly blended and the unique microclimate (high altitude and warm sunshine) contribute to the character of the wine. Broad, ripe and brooding, with blackberry and plums on the nose and luscious dark fruit flavours entwined with earthy, exotic spice, it’s a cracker with roast leg of lamb studded with rosemary, garlic and cloves. - Sam Wylie Harris

( The Press Association 7th Nov 2020 )

£10.95
CS10691 CS10691 Château L'Enclos, Pomerol 2015

Slightly lighter than most Pomerols, but delicious with it. It's nice and inviting on the nose with ripe plummy fruit and hints of oak on the palate. On a serious note, your always in safe Bordeaux hands with the Wine Society. - Gerard Richardson

( Watford Observer 6th Nov 2020 )

£30.00
SH441 SH441 Romate Maribel A Selection of Amontillado Medium Dry

It's wines such as this that makes joining the Wine Society very good idea. From one of the oldest producers in Jerez, this sherry is perfect for the festive season with a little sugar that gives the palate a rich and rounded feel and accentuates the hazelnut and caramel notes. The finish is still super dry with keen acidity. Awesome with a selection of nuts and cheeses. - Andy Cronshaw

( Manchester Evening News 6th Nov 2020 )

£9.50
SP15931 SP15931 Luna Beberide Mencía, Bierzo 2019

Scented and serious (think roses and cherries facing off in a respectful debate) this firm red from Bierzo is massively impressive for the money. Decant it, be impressed and if there’s cottage pie in the oven, you’re winning big. - Olly Smith

( ollysmith.com 6th Nov 2020 )

£9.50
GR1691 GR1691 Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes, Thymiopoulos 2019

Xinomavro is one of those grape varieties that ought to be wider known, but isn’t because it’s mostly confined to northern Greece. Crafted by the talented Apostolos Thymiopoulos, this example from Naoussa is way less toothsome than some examples, partly because it’s made with fruit from young vines. Peppery, spicy and scented, it’s like a cross between a gamay and a nebbiolo. with rose petal aromas, red cherry and raspberry fruit, tangy acidity, hints of liquorice and mint and a nip of underlying tannin. Ludicrously good value. - Tim Atkin

( timatkin.com 5th Nov 2020 )

£10.95
AA3061 AA3061 The Society's Blaufränkisch 2018

This new Austrian red at The Wine Society uses a grape that appears, under several different names, across Eastern Europe but, everywhere it goes, it seems to produce wine that is rich without being heavy. With good acidity but little tannin, this performs exactly that trick by offering us red wine with currant aromas, black cherry, plum, pepper and baking spice flavours but wraps them all in a medium bodied framework. - Brian Elliott

( midweekwines.co.uk 5th Nov 2020 )

£9.95
RH57521 RH57521 Brézème Rouge, Domaine de Bréseyme 2017

I'm getting in early with this because when I tried to recommend the 2016 it had sold out (Wine Society members clearly know a good new thing when they see it). If you tasted the 2016 you'll know that it was northern Rhône-style Syrah at its most bewitchingly pure, perfumed and peppery. The 2017 is equally delicious, but more opulent – more Cornas, perhaps, than Côte-Rôtie – although both are a comfortably moderate 12.5% abv. The 2017 opens with a wave of blackberry, raspberry and violet-scented fruit, follows with ripples of iodine, white pepper and the herbal spiciness of fresh bay leaves and sits on a bed of soft tannins. The nut-sweet oak is a just little more prominent than in the 2016, but the latter was nine months older when I tasted it. Both were aged for 15 months in 2–3-year-old barrels (and were whole-bunch vinified). To give this glorious wine its context, Brézème Côtes du Rhône is a tiny appellation (one day it's bound to be standalone Brézème) lying to the south of the northern Rhône. It's very much northern Rhône in spirit, with Syrah as the red grape variety and Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne for the even tinier production of white wines, but its soils – clay-limestone – are very different. Domaine de Bréseyme was bought by Nicolas Jaboulet in 2018 and has 3.5ha devoted to red Brézème and 0.5ha of white. Happily, there is more land available for planting.  The 2017 can be drunk any time over the next five or six years with lamb, peppery steak, game birds, the likes of saucisse de Morteau, diot de Savoie and Italian sausages, sweet root vegetables or wintry casseroles. I enjoyed it with Gressingham duck, spiced squash purée and puy lentilles. - Joanna Simon

( joannasimon.com 5th Nov 2020 )

£22.00
PN111 PN111 The Society's Exhibition Tawny Port, 10 Years Old

Made by Taylor Fladgate, this is smooth and silky. - David Clay

( Rotherham Advertiser 5th Nov 2020 )

£17.00
PT1871 PT1871 The Society's Exhibition Vintage Port 1985

Mature, ripe tannins and rich, sweet fruit. - David Clay

( Rotherham Advertiser 5th Nov 2020 )

£55.00
CH461 CH461 Champagne Boizel Brut Réserve NV

Platinum medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards 97/100: Liquorice aromatic notes with resonant plum and red apple. Deep, exuberant, mouth-filling, vigorous and long, this is an exuberant, vinous Champagne with plenty of richly-textured aromatic lift. Crowd-pleasing but connoisseur-pleasing too.

( Decanter 4th Nov 2020 )

£35.00
IT30191 IT30191 Cirò Rosso Gaglioppo, Santa Venere 2018

Primitivo from Puglia is probably the most familiar southern Italian red, but why not be more adventurous and go for a Calabrian Ciro? [This] is delightfully gamey, rustic in the best sense and made from the gaglioppo grape, which gives a scent of roses. - Harry Eyres

( Country Life 4th Nov 2020 )

£9.95
RH55041 RH55041 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Guigal 2018

Very rounded and generous for a Côtes-du-Rhône white, with bags of viognier character to the fore. Fresh, with real intensity and freshness. Guigal makes 200,000 bottles a year of this cuvée; considering the volume, and low price, the quality is impressive. - Matt Walls

( Decanter 4th Nov 2020 )

£10.95
RH56831 RH56831 Tavel Cuvée Prima Donna Rosé, Domaine Maby 2019

Tavel is a pink-only appellation, and this blend of grenache and cinsault is Maby's top cuvée, showing structure, concentration and complexity. It's dry but fruity, packed with watermelon, boiled cherry sweets, dried herbs and strawberry laces. One to enjoy with spicy Middle Eastern fare. - Tina Gellie

( Decanter 4th Nov 2020 )

£11.95
SG2171 SG2171 Pirie Tasmanian Traditional Method Sparkling Wine NV

A work of art by Andrew Pirie, blending 55% chardonnay and 45% pinot noir. Exuberant, harmonious with sophisticated complexity. Beautifully made. - Dirceu Vianna Junior MW

( Decanter 4th Nov 2020 )

£27.50
SG2941 SG2941 Black Chalk Classic 2016

This is the second vintage from Black Chalk. Jacob Leadley, formerly head winemaker at Hattingley Valley, has crafted an impressive blend of the three Champagne grape varieties, with the base wine aged in oak. Lovely precision and purity with some biscuity creaminess and a depth of mellow fruit - lemon citrus and a suggestion of red berries. Good acidity, not at all jarring. A benchmark for English sparkling. 8 g/l dosage. - Amy Wislocki

( Decanter 4th Nov 2020 )

£34.00
SH1381 SH1381 Don Zoilo Collection Dry Amontillado 12 Years Old, Williams & Humbert

This stunning dry Sherry will happily keep in the fridge for weeks after opening. Gorgeous amber in the glass. Give it a swirl and aromas of citrus and nuts will leap out. Tangy, with lip-smacking acidity and a lovely salinity. - Amy Wislocki

( Decanter 4th Nov 2020 )

£17.00
TU201 TU201 Öküzgözü Vinkara Winehouse 2018

An honest red at a great price. If you like the cherry-berry flavours of Chianti along with the smoky spicy liquorice tones of shiraz, then try the öküzgözü grape. Also try the öküzgözü-bogazkere blend and white narince from Vinkara, both under £10.  - Tina Gellie

( Decanter 4th Nov 2020 )

£9.95

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