Monday, 7 March 2011

The Wine Society - Final Part

Hello All!

Welcome to the final part of the "Top Society Sellers" case from the Wine Society.  You can find Part 1 here; and Part 2 here; which had some great wines, both in terms of quality and value. Can the case finish on a high note?

The two reds were:

The Society's Rioja Crianza, 2007
Made by Bodegas Palacio in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. This has been aged for at least a year in big oak barrels (or Barricas) to deserve the "Crianza" term. Apologies for the horrendous photo - black labels seem to confuse a novice photographer! 13%.

The Look: A mix of strawberry-red highlights and plummy-purple lowlights. Signs of a little bottle age with some brick red and tawny brown tinges.
The Smell: Red berries, vanilla, a bit of cedar wood and leather. Smoky. Some sweet Oak; basically like a woody summer berry cheesecake!
The Taste: Plenty of fruit, lots of nice red berries. Firm, fresh acidity with some tannin evident but mainly smoothly integrated. Some spice. Lovely long finish of vibrant but sweetish fruit (like stewed strawberries).
The Score: Very good. Has the structure for another year or two at least... 7.5/10Recommended!
VFM: At £6.95 a bottle this is again, very good value at VFM = 1.08.

The Society's Australian Shiraz-Cabernet, 2009
Made by 4th and 5th generation English Ex-Pats the Potts family at the Bleasdale vineyards in Langhorne Creek, South Australia. A big one at 14.5%.

The Look: Dark plummy purple, violet rim with ruby highlights.
The Smell: Lots of berries, blackberry, blackcurrant and redcurrant, woody, spicy and meaty.
The Taste: Jammy, spicy/peppery fruit with some bitter blackberry. Shiraz dominant, the Cab is more for structure than blatant flavour. Very slightly hot and a nagging bitterness. Well integrated though.
The Score: Needs an hour to breathe. Not too bad at all 6.5/10.
VFM: At £6.95 a bottle this is very good value at VFM = 0.94.
And the whites were...

The Society's Pinot Grigio, Venezia Guilia, 2009
Classic Pinot Grigio from Friuli in North-East Italy. Matt Thompson the Kiwi Ex-Pat consulted on this...13%.

The Look: A medium pale gold.
The Smell: Honey, flowers, spice, apricot, peach, sweet and very ripe melon and some pear maybe? Quite a bit! Very aromatic!
The Taste: Unobtrusive. Very balanced, a long finish, slight minerality. Apple and pear but not a great deal of fruit. Pleasing acidity. Refreshing.
The Score: Good. Plain and simple, but good.  7/10.  
VFM: At £7.95 a bottle this is good value at VFM = 0.88.

The Society's French Dry White, 2009
A Vin Pays d'Oc from the Languedoc here and a Sauvignon Blanc dominated blend. Similarly to their other regional French wines, the blend changes from year to year.12%.

The Look: A deep lemony yellow.
The Smell: Light, airy, Sauvignon dominant with slight grassy/herby hints.
The Taste: Crisp and steely-dry. Some limey citrus, grapefruit and gooseberry. Restrained fruit; you're left expecting a bit more on the finish. Very drinkable but a slight bitterness on the finish.
The Score: A little underwhelming but by no means a duffer. Drinkable all day long...  6.5/10.  
VFM: At £5.75 a bottle this is a bargain and great value at VFM =1.13

So that was the Top Society Sellers from the Wine Society and I can see why! An excellent case overall. Great value for money. Every wine was good (6/10 or above), the majority recommended (7.5/10 or above) and all great value (the majority over VFM = 1.0).

If you're already a member then you probably already know (and love) the Society's own wines. If not then I thoroughly recommend joining. Three or four cases and you've more than made your £40 back in terms of value.

Well done to the Wine Society!

Next week we return to Laithwaites for a "Mystery Case". Basically a reduced-price lucky dip of bin ends. Always interesting to find out what's in the case, although they can be a  bit of a gamble in terms of value/quality, but, I have a fondness for them!

As always...

Speak to you soon!



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