Our seasonal selection from The Wine Society’s ever evolving range is an intriguing combination of adventurous new arrivals and all time classics.
The retailer’s not-for-profit membership model, on the one hand, and the talent of the buying team on the other, has been able to build and expand a broad wine range with consistent quality at highly competitive pricing. This translates into the diversity of the wines highlighted below and explains why The Wine Society has been a regular winner at Decanter’s Retailer Awards.
This summer seems to be all about extremes and bold statements. The Wine Society’s summer offering reflects this, in a refreshing and positive way.
On the sparkling front, buyer Matthew Horsley has put together a great selection of British bubbles, in which the Blanc de Noirs (a style with such amazing potential in the UK) show particularly well – Rathfinny’s 2018 being a perfect example.
But we were smitten by Tim Wildman’s Astrobunny Pèt-Nat, a fun and complex, extremely well crafted, ancestral method fizz. No unnecessary or misplaced funkiness: just an explosion of flavour and texture.
Bold and expressive are also words one could use to describe our favourite rosés. Darker shades of pink are again taking centre stage, as shown in the DWWA Platinum winner Classica Gran Reserva Rosado 2009 from Hacienda López De Haro (available 12 September) and Château Thieuley’s Clairet. This is the style ‘claret’ took its name from; the deeply coloured rosé from Bordeaux lost the spotlight to its red counterpart but it definitely deserves a comeback.
Had we anticipated the heatwave that hit the UK in mid-July we would have issued a warning to stock up on The Wine Society’s Fino, which recently won a Silver distinction at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards. At just £6.95 for a full bottle, it delivers all the saline freshness, briny deliciousness and apple peel crunch that makes a glass of Fino what it should be: a pure and simple pleasure. Perfect, as any Andalucian will tell you, as a restorative glass when the thermometer hits 40℃.
Tio Pepe’s 2022 bottling is another outstanding option which all fridge doors should make space for. Beyond Jerez, Domaine de Rancy’s Ambré was a surprise: 20 years in bottle and still retaining such pure fruit and acid drive. Simply delicious.
Looking to expand your wine horizons?
The Wine Society is a reliable source of classic styles and cellar staples, such as its very own Sicilian Organic White, Pogiotondo’s Cerro del Masso Chianti, or Astobiza’s Txakoli. But even among the classics there are surprises to be found: the intensity and poise of Domaine du Moulin d’Éole’s Moulin-à-Vent; the luscious maturity of Le Clos des Cazaux’s white Vacqueyras (available in magnum); the balance of the Aslina Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon.
And then of course there are the exciting discoveries, a field where Freddy Bulmer, buyer for Australia, excels. The Whistler Wines Shiver Down My Spine and Forage Supply Co. Caveman Carignan are two of his exciting new additions.
From Mendoza, Argentina, comes the vibrant, very well honed Bonarda from El Enemigo Wines, a project worth following. And Friedrick Becker’s Schweigener Spätburgunder shows all the potential of German Pinot, which arguably we should all be drinking more of.
Fine wine lovers should keep a close eye on the limited quantities of Château Grand Corbin Despagne 2015 buyer Tim Sykes has got hold of. The St-Émillion is drinking beautifully and is very well priced at £35.
The Wine Society: top wines to try
All wines tasted 11 July 2022. Prices do not reflect multi-buy offers.
Wines grouped by style and ordered by score, in descending order.