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Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from The Wine Society

The Wine Society can always be relied on to deliver wines that are out of the ordinary, as well as high quality – testament at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards with a serious list of high performers to try.

Outstanding Retailer and Online Retailer of the Year at the Decanter Retailer Awards 2021, The Wine Society can always be relied on to bring to light wines that are out of the ordinary and of excellent quality.

The skills of the retailer’s talented buying team who consistently sniff out unusual finds, allied to its not-for-profit membership model, sets it apart from other retailers, allowing The Wine Society to focus on quality and value simultaneously – as the impressive list of its award-winning wines below demonstrates. 

At the Decanter World Wine Awards this year, just 50 wines (0.27% of entries) were awarded Best in Show. These wines express the very best of their categories, and among them was The Wine Society’s 2009 oak-aged rosado from Hacienda López de Haro in Rioja.

Rosé’s popularity has soared, and wines such as this show what the category is capable of: complex, multi-layered and satisfying.


Scroll down to see our The Wine Society shopper’s guide


Château Romanin Grand Vin Rosé from Provence, another pink wine available from the award-winning retailer, was awarded a Gold medal and 95 points, with the competition’s expert judges rating its elegance, balance and freshness.

Earning a Value Gold was the impressive Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Wairau Valley. It radiates with the expressive varietal character you’d expect from this grape and, at £9.95, it offers exceptional value.

The retailer’s Silver medal line-up also includes a range of value wines with eight under £15 – from Fino Sherry to Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir to try.

Three fortified wines stand out on our shopper’s guide, all winning Gold medals. The Society’s Exhibition Crusted Port, made by Symington Family Estates, was awarded 95 points for its ripeness and generosity. From Madeira, Henriques & Henriques Single Harvest Verdelho impressed the judges with its balance, freshness, poise and subtle spice, while Blandy’s 20-Year-Old Malmsey was redolent of dried fruit and sumptuous caramel richness.

This year, ‘exceptional’ and ‘quality’ were once again bywords for this excellent retailer.

With a treasure trove of award-winning wines, head to The Wine Society in-store or online to find some of the competition’s best…

Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from The Wine Society

Best in Show

Hacienda López de Haro, Classica Rosado, Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2009
Best in Show, 97 points
£33
Rose wine has been the greatest category success story of the last decade in the wine world — driven by Provence. Provence, though, no longer has a monopoly on that success: rose drinkers everywhere are beginning to wake up to the fact that this category, too, has its highways and byways, all of which offer distinctive and authentic pleasures. An oak-aged rose from 2009? Why not? In place of fresh creaminess, you’ll find a mellow, forest-like warmth; in place of chiffon fruits, you’ll find concentration and structure, vinosity, secondary fruit resonances and even a faint tannic grip. This is emphatically a rose for food, and if you’re not receptive to the proposition of oaked rose then you’re better off looking elsewhere, but for those whose palates are open to this other world, this is a rewardingly layered, mouthfilling and satisfying aged wine. Alc 12.5%


Gold

Rare, Brut, Champagne, France 2008
Gold, 96 points
£160
Beautiful and complex classic Vintage nose. It’s all about the bread and pastries, honeysuckle and lemon. Crisp and super fresh palate with a pure vein of acidity running through it. Fine bubbles. Simply gorgeous wine, it has everything. Drinking beautifully now but should age well. Alc 12% 

Grove Mill, Sauvignon Blanc, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand 2021
Value Gold, 95 points
£9.95
Very attractive, clean lifted generous nose displaying scents of fresh cut grass, asparagus, gooseberry and peaches. Slightly sweet, with a vibrant harmonious acidity. Alc 13%

Château Romanin, Grand Vin Rosé, Les Baux-de-Provence, France 2021
Gold, 95 points
£18.50
Fresh and bright on the nose, with aromas of red berry fruit, honeysuckle and rose. Inviting. The palate is rich, rounded and creamy, with plenty of balancing freshness and acidity. Orange peel, dried flowers, a lick of grapefruit pith and a citrus fresh finish, add to this elegant, silky package. Alc 13.5%

Blandy’s, 20 Year Old Malmsey, Madeira, Portugal NV
Gold, 96 points
£60 | 50cl
Beguiling aromas of dried figs, roasted chestnuts and jalapeno combine with tangy caramel and rich fruit cake characters on the palate with rancio bursts, expressing extreme complexity. The wine is beautifully balanced with a rich and luxurious mouthfeel. Finishes beautifully and is jam-packed with interest throughout. Alc 20%

Henriques & Henriques, Single Harvest Verdelho, Madeira, Portugal 2007
Gold, 95 points
£40
Hints of chamomile and cucumber on the nose, with underlying caramel and sultana aromatics. Great elegance on the palate. Incredible balance on the palate with a beautiful freshness and extremely persistent spicy finish. A wonderfully complex wine at a lovely stage of its development. Remarkable! Alc 20%

Symington, The Society’s Exhibition Crusted Port Bottled 2013, Portugal NV
Gold, 95 points
£17
Elegant violet and rose notes on the nose transfer to the palate. Generous acidity supports the ripeness with plenty of unobtrusive tannins. Ripe fruit completes the middle with added interest and depth derived from engaging spice and chocolate characters. Long, lingering, chewy black cherry finish. Ticks in every box! Alc 20%


Silver

Louis Brochet, Héritage, Champagne, France NV
Silver, 91 points
£31
Complex nose with red fruit jam, raspberry, some toasty, smoked stone notes, wild herbs and red flowers. Alluring saline finish, well knit. Alc 12.4%

Künstler, Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling GG, Rheingau, Germany 2020
Silver, 92 points
£34
A lingering finish that sprawls across the palate with an array of green, floral, citrus and stone fruit characteristics. Very well integrated with good weight and depth. Alc 12.5%

Les Vins Aujoux, The Society’s Exhibition Moulin-à-Vent, Beaujolais, France 2020
Silver, 93 points
£11.50
Inviting and aromatic, with bramble and rich black fruit, while the palate is graced with sour cherry and blackcurrant. Alc 14.5%

Hacienda López de Haro, El Pacto de la Sonsierra, Rioja, Spain 2019
Silver, 91 points
£12.50
Varietally well-defined Tempranillo character with notes of red fruit and plums. The palate has bright acidity, well-managed oak and balsamic/herbal notes. Long, cranberry finish. Alc 14%

La Rioja Alta, The Society’s Exhibition Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2017
Silver, 91 points
£16
Classic oaky, toasty, vanilla and coconut nose. The palate brings polished tannins, strawberry fruit, some spice and lots of American oak. Alc 14.5%

Celler Can Blau, Blau, Montsant, Spain 2020
Silver, 90 points
£9.75
A toasty and oaky style, with notes of blackberry compote, plum, coffee beans and dried herbs. Incomplex perhaps but really good value. Alc 14%

Château Beaumont, The Society’s Exhibition Haut-Médoc, Bordeaux, France 2014
Silver, 90 points
£14.95
Complex scents of blackcurrant leaf, cassis, tobacco, cedar, smoke and dark chocolate. Savoury palate with velvety refined tannins. Fresh finish. Alc 13.5%

Domaines Baron Rothschild, The Society’s Exhibition Pauillac, Bordeaux, France 2017
Silver, 90 points
£22
Dried red fruit aromas with cedar notes and hints of leather and nutmeg. Firm yet well-resolved tannins, showing fresnhess. Alc 13.5%

Schug, The Society’s Exhibition Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California, USA 2019
Silver, 90 points
£14.95
Perfumed nose of black cherry, blackberry, hints of vanilla oak. Fresh, smooth palate with ripe tannins – a pretty Pinot. Alc 13.5%

Sanchez Romate, The Society’s Fino, Jerez, Spain NV
Silver, 90 points
£6.95
Lemon blossom and salty nut scents and flavours. Crying out for tapas. Very typical and still with great character. Amazing value. Bravo! Alc 15%

The Wine Society, Ulysse Cazabonne Sauternes, Bordeaux, France NV
Silver, 90 points
£18.50
Opulent honeyed nose of barley sugar, coconut, saffron, marzipan and apricot liqueur. Plenty of weight, sweetness and viscosity. Long. Alc 14.5%

Hidalgo-La Gitana, Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada, Jerez, Spain NV
Silver, 92 points
£12.50
Rather stylish with an apple peel and nutty nose. Rich complex notes of dried fruit and salted nuts. Long, floral finish. Alc 15%

UWC Samos, Anthemis, Samos, Aegean Islands, Greece 2015
Silver 90 points
£9.95 | 50cl
The nose shows aromas of raisins sprinkled with cocoa in a savory background. Very sweet, rich and intense. Nutty finish. Alc 15%


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