First Release: a new way to buy wines in bond

Is that meant to say £5.72 or £57.20, it’s unclear, but I think your predictive text has misquoted you?

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I’d have loved some at £5 :sob:

I was thinking about this and I wonder if it’s another requirement of them getting an allocation to not be offered in bond. BBR are/were also solely selling it duty paid in 3s.

Why I am so fixated on a wine that I’ll never be able to afford in a style that I (assume I) am not that fond of is beyond me, but ah well!

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For less money you now have the chance to get 2013 Unico Vega Sicilia from BBR

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Bohorquez reserva first release is now live:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/in-bond/first-release-bohorquez-reserva-2017/buy

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That’s annoying I bet there won’t be a normal release of that vintage now (mind you I don’t think they’ve done a release of any vintage since 2011).

ETA On looking at the description, Pierre says it’s the first Riserva since 2011. So, maybe, if these are only released so intermittently I might go for the 6 and even pick up another couple of '11s.

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What are the chances this gets cut down from 6’s on allocation? I fancy some but not necessarily 6 bottles, maybe it is a sign…

2011 is still available to buy

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/bohorquez-reserva-ribera-del-duero-2011

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And is delicious!

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Good to know, I have 6 from the last EP still in reserve, been thinking of taking them out

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As a relative newbie, I’ve noticed that TWS has a pretty small range of Ribera del Duero. Does anyone know if this is due to low demand from members, price point, inability to secure supply, or some other reason?

There is a notable absence of anything in the middle to upper range (not talking about the likes of Unico and Pingus, but there’s plenty out there in the £25-50 and £50-100 ranges). I know Rioja is far more established in the UK market and I got my taste for RdD spending a lot of time in Spain, but it still surprises me a little.

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I agree that the 2011 is very good - I got a bottle in a mystery case last year.

From a personal point of view, it may be to do with the quality level. The shear amount of RdD I’ve tasted with searing ethanol and zero structure to the wine is eye watering . Yes there are some decent, good and great ones about but a large proportion of them are not balanced and don’t offer good vfm.

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There may be two reasons in my belief (a) undue pricing due to intense popularity in Madrid and (b) serious risks of vintage qualities due to weather (heat in summer and severe cold in winter) problems year by year. Neither apply to Rioja to the same extent.

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@Leah @Claret1961

Thanks for the replies, interesting viewpoints. It’s fair to say that in some cases the high alcohol can show too much, but I can’t say it’s in anything close to the majority of cases for me. Perhaps I’ve been lucky and/or you’ve tasted a lot more than me, and as you say, personal viewpoint. One of the reasons I don’t drink a lot of Rioja is that I think there is a lot of mediocre stuff out there wearing the badge, I’m sure others will happily drink it. There are of course Riojas that I like. I also wonder if some RdD is drunk too young.

Fair to say it is generally more expensive than Rioja and many other Spanish wines, VFM is always a hard one as it is so much in the eye of the beholder (see my comment above about Rioja). Perhaps price is a factor for TWS, though there are other “overpriced” regions (Burgundy?) it sells happily.

The domestic (and US export) demand is probably a factor in the pricing, indeed Madrid is where I was introduced to RdD more than 15 years ago now. There isn’t a great need for them to discount (though I did get a bottle of Unico at a restaurant in Madrid for less than retail price just before the pandemic, one of those rare wine list triumphs).

The weather point is also well made, there is vintage variation, though the winemakers (and it seems, the grape itself to some extent) are adapted to the short growing season.

In fairness I have questioned my own preferences and prejudices (I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Spain and most of my friends there prefer Ribera to Rioja, so I’m possibly a victim of some social groupthink, though I also like Napa Cab, so personal taste comes into it) and had a deeper look at other retailers. The main UK retailers don’t offer a big range of RdD either, Majestic does nominally but I would say that actual range availability is a lot less than what they show online. Obviously there are also a few specialists, upper end players like BBR and the likes of Vinissimus and Decantalo who sell in the UK. Some of the producers I enjoy aren’t widely available from mainstream UK retailers.

This is pure speculation, and I wasn’t a member most of the time she was Chair, but I also wonder about the influence of Sarah Evans MW at TWS. She has not been a big fan of RdD, though she’s actually said she thinks it’s often too structured (and concentrated) for the British palate.

All of that said, and even if it’s not widely popular in the UK, I don’t personally think it’s enough reason for TWS to be so limited, given that it serves wine enthusiasts and RdD, like it or not, is one of the most important and growing wine regions in Spain. It doesn’t bother me, I was drinking it long before I joined and can get what I want elsewhere, but just a bit of a shame IMO.

Don’t really want to derail the First Release thread and I see someone has today started another thread about RdD where I’d be happy to continue the debate, I do appreciate the comments. I’d never really considered it as being that “marmite”, but maybe it is more the case than I thought in the UK.

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