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Society ranges

I am a few cases in now, but still getting to grips with the WS model and range.

I have sampled most of the curios now, and I have a case en route stuffed full of the sort off bottles I tend to enjoy. One thing I still don’t quite get though is the society ranges.

Many of these do not seem particularly popular, and I was wondering how they are generally viewed. Given the budget price point I imagine there would be more of a buzz if they punched well above their weight, but I was wondering if there are any hidden gems?

There are a few wines that aren’t that well represented on here that feature in the exhibition range, but I thought I would ask before I take up valuable space.

So…good, bad, or so so?

Also en primeur? Worth the punt (although probably a different topic)?

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These are my favourites

If you like Fino sherry then I would say that is the bottle that makes your membership all worthwhile on its own. It is an absolute bargain.

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My personal favourite is the White Rioja. It’s lovely and does everything I white wine at/around that price point to do in spades. I also really enjoy a few of the “used to be Vin du Pays Doc” reds and the cava is also excellent. I’ve not actually explored as much as I should, because I’ve become one of those drinkers we hear about who drinks less but spends more. To that end I’ve enjoyed pretty much every exhibition wine I’ve had (although felt some of them were way too young, even as early drinking examples, but then not ageing them as long is part of what keeps the price point down).

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The Valpolicella Ripasso and Sicilian Reserve and great, two of my favourites. I’d also recommend the Southern Spanish red as it’s incredibly cheap considering the quality.

I think the Society Zin is good but the Exhibition is better.

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There’s this thread, which could be used to have a more general discussion about whether or not to EP

There’s a fair few more specific “should I/shouldn’t I?” discussions going on in the various threads there. At the moment the main ones are the Bordeaux and a Weinert Tonel 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 discussion going on.

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The only Exhibition I’ve ever been particularly impressed with was the Crozes-Hermitage. But then i don’t buy them often, and don’t really buy anything under a tenner, so not the standard range at all. Keep meaning to try the Sicilian red, but I guess there’s always (more expensive!) wines from other producers i just want to try more!

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I thought this was excellent

The Society’s Sicilian red is definitely good value-for-money. I’ve tried the 2014, but my dad has loved every vintage since.

The Society’s champagne also very good, though many people here like to age it a couple of years at least.

One thing worth mentioning is that reviews on the product pages are limited in general to say the least - it’s not like Amazon. Part of the reason is that many people don;t immediately drink the wines so if they are sold out before they are drunk, it’s very difficult (and pointless?) to write a review.

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I do like fino. The sherry, vermouth and Madeira all seemed to be much better reviewed than the straight wines.

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I’d be interested to know whether this is the case or not for the own label ranges, they are often mentioned in the bestseller offers. Is it @SykoWino who deals with society ranges? Perhaps he might give us some insight in general terms?

My assumption with the own labels is that they are more about education and typicity - here’s what a standard chianti tastes like - rather than seeking the best possible wine for the region in the price point, which might not give the right volume anyway. Exhibition I suppose then shows what an area can offer beyond that.

I’ve enjoyed the Margaux, Haut Medoc and Pomerol based on that. Regular bottles, I’ve always enjoyed the Rioja very much, the Zinfandel is good for parties or bbqs (a bit sweet otherwise) and I loved the Chilean Merlot so am sad to see it replaced but will wait to try the Carmenere. Chilean Cabernet also great. The white Burgundy is a great staple too.

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Oh yes! The Fino!

I keep meaning to try the vermouth. Do you use it for making drinks or do you have it straight?

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Agree about the Crozes-Hermitage, the Ripasso, the fino, the Limari, the Cava, the Champagne. I think the point about ageing is a good one though sometimes, like with the recent EP TWS made Rioja they don’t need it. The 2013 Gigondas made by one of the very best makers (St Cosme) was rereleased recently with no additional charge for the cellaring. Life in a cooperative can be good.

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I agree about the Society’s Champagne, though I tend to only buy when it’s discounted.
The Society’s Côtes de Bordeaux is for me an excellent everyday claret.

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I think I am sold…I had kind of figured typicity which I am not opposed to (I sometimes host blind tastings), but wasn’t sure if it was just a way of offloading stuff that wasn’t being sold on brand.

It seems some of the options are well received, and thankfully I do drink sherry and vermouth reasonably regularly.

I am still not sure about the society options but I think I will sample some exhibition wines next month. I love rhone syrah so I think that will go in, and I am really enjoying warmer Italian reds right now (currently sipping a delightful nerello mascalese) so I guess Sicilian too…actually I think I will base a case around the range and report back.

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As you like sherry the other one not to be missed in my view is the Maribel Amontillado. Not a Society wine but by the same producer as the Soc Fino. It is glorious.

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Yes, yes, yes!! :+1::+1:

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The Dolin Vermouth is excellent well priced and and works both as a mixer or straight up. It’s a bar staple.

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This is information I needed. I a fresh out of Vermouth.

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Good news. Mine arrives on 10th June

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I second the recommendations of the Valpolicella Ripasso, cava and white Rioja (and would add that the Valpolicella is one of my absolute favourites and one of only two wines I’ve ordered more than once in my time as a society member). I’m also a fan of the Primitivo di Manduria. The Corsican rosé arrived with my most recent order so I’ll report back once I’ve tasted it (probably next weekend)…

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I’d be surprised if the Corsican rosé doesn’t find its way to your repeat list! It’s very good.

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