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LIVE FROM 1PM - Lunch with a Buyer: Toby Morrhall, Tuesday 21st April, 1-2pm

While our buyers are currently stuck at home, unable to traverse the world looking for great new wines for us, we’ve been enjoying the opportunity to get to know them a bit better! This is the third of our informal lunchtime Q&A sessions.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Buyer’s Lunch with the wonderful Freddy Bulmer - if you missed it and would like to catch up, please have a read of the thread here: LIVE FROM 1PM: Lunch with a Buyer: Freddy Bulmer, Tuesday 14th April, 1-2pm

For our next Buyer’s Lunch, we are very pleased to announce that we will be joined by our buyer @Toby.Morrhall!

Lunch with a Buyer: Toby Morrhall, Tuesday 21st April, 1-2pm

Toby Morrhall has been a Wine Society buyer since 1992, and covers Burgundy, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

On Tuesday lunchtime, Toby’s joining us for a Q&A - perhaps you’d like to ask about some of the growers from Toby’s buying regions, or maybe you’d like to know more about how Toby got into the wine trade ? Join us for an hour - maybe even bring a glass of something along - for a fun discussion about all things wine!

How to take part

Please send us your questions in advance, by replying to this topic - or just log in to the Community before 1pm on Tuesday and there’ll be a ‘ LIVE: Lunch with a Buyer ’ topic where the event will take place. The chat will be in written format - like a regular topic here.

We hope you can make it along! Who’s planning on joining us for lunch?

  • I’ll be there!
  • I can’t make it, but I’ll send a question in advance.

0 voters


Why are south american pinot noir under represented at TWS as there are some cracking ones around!

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As a buyer, are you limited by category as to how many wines you can stock? Is there a magic number or can you really push it if you come across a larger number of wines than intended that you firmly believe must be offered to members?


?why are so many new Argentine (wines) malbecs (today is Malbec day here by the way) priced as if they have had a long history, reputation, to deserve such a hi-level…

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I’d like to know Toby’s thoughts on this interesting topic:

Especially as Burgundy wines seem to often have such a descriptor. Do you know of any studies around this? What’s your opinion/experience of this phenomenon. Is it at all possible to make even the most general statement (like ‘good red Burg is usually good 2-5 after vintage and then after 15years’ - totally made that up but just as an example)? Or is it all smoke and mirrors?

In an ideal world I guess we’d all just dip into our stocks every once in a while and then discover the perfect moment for our tastes, but most of the keeping wines I have I don’t have much of, so it’s a bit of a risk to try 1/6 of a wine I have and disover it’s in a 10-year slumber - whatever that may mean!


Thanks Tom, you read my mind!


Why does there seem to be an inexorable progression towards stronger and stronger wines?
The great french reds were/are rarely 14.5 or 15%
The “new world” seem to be leading the charge.
I generally don’t like wine stronger than 13 % or so.


Hello Toby, may I ask for your feedback on the following please?
Firstly, regarding the 2019 Burgundy vintage, what thoughts do you have of its quality, and will you be doing the en primeur whites offer as usual?
Secondly, assuming the offer goes ahead, may we have some of the more upmarket wines in sixes (previously everything is in twelves)? This would enable purchase of a wider mix of the Leflaive and Burrier wines, which I love,


Hi Toby,

What is your opinion of the position Uruguay occupies in the South American range of wines available in the UK? Will we be seeing more of them in the future, and will they be offering Tannat and other varietals that aim for the fine wine market: in the way Argentina managed with Malbec for example?

Toby - can you recommend any South American reds i might like?

I’ve tried quite a few from TWS, but the only ones i really like are those produced by the Garage Wine Company, mostly from old vine Carignan i think, and those from Alcohuaz. Otherwise i find the wines too commercially focused, too “made”. I think there are a few other smaller producers in Chile, but have never really found anything in Argentina. i think it’s probably just too hot,even in the cooler regions - maybe has something to do with actual solar radiation rather than temperature?

In any case, can you suggest any wines that have freshness, for me an essential component?


What is it like as a buyer when you have to say no to a producer? (I.e. you go to taste and inform them it isn’t in some way right or suitable?)…or if you bought their previous vintage and not this years?


One more question please - Are we going to see any beautiful high altitutde malbecs like the colome or similar? Oh and the Ogio premium pinots? Both were real wine-epiphanies they were so good! :slight_smile:

What recommendations do you have for a wonderful savoury, mushroomy, forest floor-y Burgundy that I don’t need to sell my kidneys for?

Whoops that’s two…Thank you so much!


South America like South Africa enjoys a great quality/cost ratio. This year we have had two en primeur offers of well priced wines. Any plans of such offers of South American wines?

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A couple of topics, which I would very much value your opinion on;

  1. Do you think Premox has been adequately dealt with now? Are you comfortable ageing high quality white burgundies again? Any favourite new producers (the next PYCM or Arnaud Ente?)

  2. I always bought into your suggestion of starting top down in the quality hierarchy, and have had a few top wines courtesy of others (unable to afford or source fully mature examples myself) - I cannot think of anywhere else that scratches the burgundy itch and gives the “depth without weight” and ethereal qualities. What would be your top pick for a semi-modest (say £30-50) red burgundy that has a chance of giving some of that pleasure, without being too plush (whether or not available now)? At the lowest end of the scale, what would you recommend for someone who really enjoyed the austerity and lightness of the Society’s red burgundy?


And a pick in the same price bracket for a plush wine please.


Hi Toby, I know the area from Beaune down to Macon quite well. I have visited quite a few producers and now know some quit well. However I would appreciate your view on who produces a fair value everyday white for about €12 to €15 per bottle. Thanks, Norman Knight.

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Hi Toby

Have you tried the 1994 Weinert Malbec Tonel 111 recently? Is it developing as you expected?

I seem to remember that you felt it needed a little time to settle into its new container before showing its best, and I certainly found that the first bottle I had two winters ago was a bit underwhelming, whereas the second one, last Christmas, was more open and welcoming … almost like a mature claret on the nose and like a dry tawny port on the palate, if that makes sense.

And are you on the lookout for similar long-barrel-aged reds for another such offer, or was it probably a one-off?




Hi Toby,

A couple of questions from me:

  1. Have you ever bought in any other regions than those in your current portfolio - and if so, if you could have one of them back, which would you choose?
  2. Are we likely to see any more aligoté on the Burgundy list in future? I realise it’s perhaps not as highly regarded as the chardonnays but I have a real soft spot for it… I always pop it on my wishlist when it appears and then it inevitably disappears before I have a chance to order it!

Hello all, our Lunch with a Buyer will start at 1pm today and @Toby.Morrhall will be answering all of your questions! We’re thrilled to have him join us!

Make sure you check back in at 1pm and feel free to post any other questions you might have!


Dear Roly,

I have bought eight Chilean pinots and one rosé.

Two are yet to be listed.

I would say that is a reasonable number? How may more do you think we should have?

Pisano’s pinot (Uruguay) is OK but nothing special.

Most of Argentina is too hot, although Chacra in Patagonia are good but expensive.

You can find a list of the Chilean pinot noir we currently have here.

We also have Undurraga Finca Las Lomas Leyda Pinot Noir 2019 (£13.95) and Kingston Family Vineyards Alazan Casablanca Pinot Noir 2018 (£30) on the way, although not yet listed.