Lunch with a Buyer: Pierre Mansour, Tuesday 26th May, 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 eighth and last of our informal lunchtime Q&A sessions.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Buyer’s Lunch with @SykoWino - if you missed it and would like to catch up, please have a read of the thread here: Lunch with a Buyer: Tim Sykes, Tuesday 19th May, 1-2pm

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

Lunch with a Buyer: Pierre Mansour, Tuesday 26th May, 1-2pm

Pierre is our Director of Wine and our Buyer for Spain and Lebanon, having joined our Buying department in 2003.

On Tuesday lunchtime, Pierre’s joining us for a Q&A - perhaps you’d like to know of Pierre’s responsibilities as Director of Wine at The Wine Society, or maybe you’d like to ask how Pierre started his journey in the wine industry? 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 FROM 1PM: 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 over in advance.

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Hello! Please can I ask about plans for stocking more gran riservas or riservas from smaller bodegas? Also, are there anymore plans to do society blend bottlings similar to the Rioja Alta offer?

Oh and are there any plans to expand the white rioja offering? These are so delicious and defo one of my fave whites! Also, is there a spanish dessert wine outside of PX sherries that would ever be offered?

Muchos gracias!


Great question @Nowt_in_my_glass
Might I also ask about the range of Rioja. There’s a lot of new things happening and old things being fine tuned. Modern, traditional, and now village and vineyard definitions. Does Pierre think the range can expand to see more variety in style and ethos?

White Rioja again my question too. I asked rather badly a question in the zoom thing, but how about a traditional white reserva?


Hi @PierreM,

What does your role of Director of Wine involve? What does that mean for you both operationally and strategically?


Does Pierre think there’s room for some top Mencia in the list?
Also some Garnacha from old vines around Madrid etc.And the Islands seems to be talked about a lot.
I’m pleased to see lots from along the east coast but does the slots in the list allow a bit more form these talked about areas?


Again a plea for more from Galicia - mencia and white blends. Some interesting stuff coming out of the Basque country. And not forgetting the North East - Xarel-lo still and sparkling. Oh and some envinate and Tondonia blanco. That’s my Xmas list finished!


Oh yes, red wine from Galicia - more please, the last Mencia on the list seemed to sell through very well, so there must be scope for more (and not just mencia). Albariño is pretty well-represented, but more whites from the same region would also be great.


Hi @PierreM I watched the recent Zoom seminar with Gaston Hochar, and given the excellent relationship you clearly have with them, I wondered whether TWS had ever considered offering a 6 bottle vertical case of Chateau Musar vintages? A tasting through the ages if you will?


How about some more Mencia from Ribeira Sacra and Bierzo? IMO the most vibrant and interesting region of Spain for fresh mineral terroir reds.

And the Canaries?


Just from the first few replies to this thread you have requests for expansion of rioja (which already accounts for half the red Spanish wines on the list) as well as Galicia, Bierzo (which I’d agree with and add Penedes, Costers del Segre and Catalunya in general). Do you have trouble balancing the (I assume) bigger sales of Rioja with the the diversity of the selection.

Also, with your director of wine hat on, do you think there’s a case for splitting out Piedmont, Tuscany and Rioja from the Italy and Spain portfolios? I wonder if it could encourage a different way of thinking about regional Italy and Spain. At the moment, France seems to be split into Champagne, Loire, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone and Southern and Regional, where Italy and Spain, which are arguably as diverse, remain monolithic. I appreciate the work would remain the same, but wonder if splitting it up could usefully focus the mind.


Been mentioned already but would add my encouragement - gredos, the canaries and galicia are producing some of the most exciting wines around at the moment - any chance of increasing the society’s range from those regions?


The people have spoken!

What are your thoughts on the Pago system and other super-premium Spanish wines? Are they just a marketing gimmick/Spanish attempt at Supertuscans , as reflected by the major use of non-native grape varieties, or is there some quality that matches the prices to be had there? Does the amazing value offered by Spanish wine make it more difficult to sell premium wines?


There seems to be a move towards a lot more individual wines being offered En Primeur. Are we likely to see these offers increase in size to more regional EP offers rather than individual wines, or are they more likely to stay as one offs. Does the more Spanish/Italian style of wine selling where they bodegas do most of the ageing for you really suit the EP market as well as the French way of selling it while it’s still in the barrel?


Hi Pierre ,

After the Rioja master class with your 3 compadres do you subscribe to the non decant view and let the glass and it’s contents do the taking? After the class I followed this for a 2004 Rioja Alta Gran Reserva and it worked perfectly.

Secondly the CVNE lead talked of wines bought by TWS and I think a white wine yet to be released can you shed any light on this please?

Lastly on your wider WS perspective a question, we were drinking wine with Sebastian at Petit Thouars (Chinon) late last summer I wondered if this planned a release at some point as all the tasters loved the offering. Do I need to drive to Chinon or is this a forthcoming offering?

Thank you


Hi Pierre,

A recurring theme of these buyer lunches (which have all been fascinating) is purchasing to a somewhat prescribed number of slots for an area, balancing exploration with the need to shift inventory. As Director of Wine, how much input do you have in what those numbers are and what direction they are moving to? How do those discussions and decisions take place within the leadership team? Are the offers handled in the same way as the Lists?

Thank you for taking the time to join today.


Great question

Hi Pierre,

It was mentioned on last week’s Zoom event with Michael Brajkovich that Kemeu River have been working on a blend to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Wine Society.

Can you tell us any more and if there are plans with any other producers for similar commemorative wines?

Thank you.