Monday, 28 February 2011

The Wine Society - Part 2

Hello All!

Ok, so we're continuing with the "Top Society Sellers" case from the Wine Society. You can find Part 1 here; which had some very good (both value and quality-wise) wines. Can they keep form? Let's have a butchers...

The two whites were:

The Society's Muscadet Sur Lie, 2009

Oddly for France, Muscadet is the name of the grape (as well as the region in this case). Muscadet comes from the Loire Valley and is also known as Melon de Bourgogne. Usually a refreshing, very dry white. The "Sur Lie"  means "drawn off the lees without racking" which is essentially drawing the wine off the sediment deposits without syphoning or filtering. 12%.

The Look: Medium, lemony yellow with gold highlights.
The Smell: Very muted, doesn't give much away. Slight grapey-ness and quite minerally.
The Taste: Very fresh acidity, very lively burst of grapefruit. A certain minerality and some spice. Honeyed on the finish with a sort of  lemon/lime hint ("Quite like Sprite" - D), although remaining dry and taut. Surprisingly good. Very good!
The Score: Again, great for the price.  7.5/10Recommended!
VFM: At £6.50 a bottle this is great value at VFM = 1.15.

The Society's Chilean Chardonnay, Limari, 2009

From the Limari Valley - touted as one of best new World sites  for Chardonnay. Sea breeze induced cool-climate and limestone soils with little rainfall, plenty of sun and virtually no frost, breeds some superb wines. Aged on its lees (see above) and about 10% is oak-matured. This is made by the mighty Concha-Y-Toro. 14%.

The Look: A light but deeply coloured medium gold with hints of green. 
The Smell: Fig? Perfumed and floral but with some smokiness.
The Taste: Great! Mouth-pleasing acidity. Lovely complex quality (fig, sweetness, spice, cinnamon) great fruit strength. Alcohol is apparent but not overpowering; just a nice warmth.
The Score: Everything you'd want and more from a wine of this price!   7.5/10Recommended!
VFM: At £5.95 a bottle this is superb value at VFM = 1.26.

And the Reds...

The Society's Chianti Rufina, 2008

From Tuscany in Italy ("The Bordeaux of Italy") this Rufina comes from North of the more common Chianti Classico sub-region. Rufinas are normally "elegant and complex". 12.5%.

The Look: A fairly dark, plummy-red/purple. Brick-red on the rim and not quite opaque.
The Smell: Smells like spicy cherries, cinnamon, oaky. Almost hot initially (on a BIG sniff) but did fade away - clean, not faulty.
The Taste: In all honesty - I was dreading this. We've had some acidic-horror-Chiantis at this price before...but...WHAT a surprise - it was bearable, I might even say "mild", and delicious. Still plenty of lively acidity but integrated with lots of cherry fruit and a savoury/herby edge. A long, warming finish. Superb with meatball spaghetti. Slightly "chewy" tannins and lots of them. Slight Bordeaux resemblance with the oaky cherry. Very nice. Opened-up nicley after an hour.
The Score: Very good. Open an hour before drinking or maybe more. 7.5/10 Recommended.
VFM: At £6.95 a bottle this is great value at VFM = 1.08. Bargain.

The Society's Corbieres, 2008

This Corbieres is Carnigan dominant but has some Grenache and Syrah thrown in the mix. From the Languedoc region of France (Corbieres is its own AOC within Languedoc-Rousillon) made by producer Pierre Bories. Corbieres are normally very spicy, dark-fruited wines.14%.

The Look: Dark, opaque purple with a violet rim.
The Smell: Smells plummy, slightly smoky and some definite blackberry and raspberry.
The Taste: Some blackberry fruit and some graphite-like minerality, some spice but mainly just heat! Too hot and too harsh. The alcohol is too apparent - tongue feels like I've had a whisky!
The Score: If you're going to do 14% alcohol then it needs to be less apparent and be balanced by other things. Not horrendous but not great - bit of a let-down. 6/10
VFM: At £6.50 a bottle this is great value at VFM = 1.15.

So part 2 pretty much followed on from the first; very good wines for the price. As simple as that. For everyday drinking, you can't really go wrong. Unless there are some horrors in the last four wines (which I doubt) - this could possibly be the best value for money mixed case we've seen. 
I guess we'll find out next week!

As always...

Speak to you soon.




  1. i've been in the wine society a couple of years now and their own wines are prob the best value ones in their range. i only really drink red so can only comment on them, but the chilean pinot, rioja and argentinian malbec are favs of mine

  2. Hi SR, thanks for your comment! Yeah the initial case I had in mind had the Malbec in it, but after the mix up, sadly it wasn't in the case that arrived. I will definitely be using them again, and look forward to trying the pinot and malbec. The Rioja will be reviewed next week.

    I've also got 6 of their "exhibition" wines that are a little more pricey, but hopefully worth it.