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Summer press tasting - notes of a dirty young man



Me too, but what a way to go :partying_face:


Actual footage of me hearing the news:


Table 7 - Joanna Locke

This was, somewhat unexpectantly, one of my favourite tables, mainly due to the quality of the whites on offer. Joanna was absolutely delightful and I loved hearing about each wine, and particularly an interesting discussion on South African reds, my wine kryptonite.

2018 Quinta da Calçada Alvarinho, Minho 13% £ 9.50

Do you have a friend who drinks Sauvignon Blanc and only Sauvignon Blanc? Slip them a glass of this without telling them, see what they say. Very limey, with ripe citrus and tropical notes.

Ripe! Fruity! Tart! Citrus!

2018 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc ‘Les Hauts Lieux’, Famille Bougrier 12.5% £ 8.25

Next up a couple of actual Sauvignon Blancs, but very different and equally delicious. This one’s great if you like the idea of a NZ SB but find them a bit too much. It’s like their more bookish cousin, a bit more grassy/herby, but still plenty of fruit. Open with fresh shellfish.

Grass! Ripe! Alternative! Passion!

2017 Touraine Chenonceaux, Domaine de la Renaudie 13% £ 11.95

Here we have the perfect SB for those who have grown tired of SB. A bit mineral, a bit waxy, a bit sweet, a lot delicious.

Slate! Herbs! Intrigue! Rich!

2017 Muscat Réserve, Trimbach 13% £ 14.95

What a nose! The kind you could sniff for hours and forget you’re meant to actually drink the stuff. I beg your pardon, but Trimbach very much promises you a rose garden here.

Flowers! Dreamy! Creamy! Springtime!

2015 Moselle ‘Pylae’ Pinot Gris, Château de Vaux 14% £ 25.00

Not online yet, but this is a stunner. Apologies to Joanna as she was delving into what sounded like a fascinating explanation of the wine and region, I was too bowled over by the intensity of aromas to give my full attention.

Intense! Toast! Lime-pies! Merangue!

2018 Percheron Shiraz-Mourvèdre, Swartland 14% £ 6.95

I had to eat my words a little here, this is very clean and fruit-forward, although can really taste the Mourvèdre. I probably wouldn’t guess SA if I didn’t know. Bottled in France for fact fans. Btw link is 2017 but 2018 was tasted, arrives August.

Fruity! Power! Value! Party!

2017 Fairview Bushvine Cinsault, Paarl 14% £ 13.95

Open, fresh and fragrant red. I didn’t find it particularly exciting, but don’t let that put you off.

Clean! Fresh! Relaxing! Blackberry!

2017 Esporão Colheita Tinto, Alentejano 14% £ 9.95

A lovely rich red to round of the table. Organic - a strong culture of sustainability on Portugal apparently. This wine feels a bit like it’s at a fancy dress party. It seems like a winter warmer, but it’s actually lighter and fresher and more Summery than it first appears.

Fruity! Compote! International! Blackcurrant!

Cálem White & Dry Port 19.5% £ 11.75

We actually came back to this after Tim’s table, as it made a perfect aperitif for lunch. On its own, it’s very refreshing and herby, not unlike a vermouth, but a little thin. Adding tonic however fills the gap and lifts the flavours. This needs to be in everyone’s fridge this Summer, with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

Refreshing! Lifted! Apero! Delight!


I had a bottle of this last weekend (but was too late to get it on the weekend thread) and your notes are spot on. Really good stuff.

I’m loving both your and @Cormski dedication and personalised descriptions!


Table 3 - @SykoWino

Tim’s table was stocked with Society own-label wines. I’m going to whizz through these, but not because they weren’t interesting, or the fact that we did this table just before lunch, far from it - all the wines here were excellent, and wonderful examples of their type. But as such I’m not sure my notes will be of much value because they all pretty much say ‘typical xxx’. That’s a good thing, and a credit to TWS.

Anyway here’s Wonderwall.

2018 The Society’s Bordeaux Sauvignon 12.5% £ 7.95

Citrus! Sea! Summer! OK!

2018 The Society’s Claret 13.5% £ 6.95


Actually, just add lamb.

Classic! Chalk! Medium! Staple!

2015 The Society’s Exhibition Haut-Médoc 14% £ 14.95

A perfect example of the benefits of trading up. Double the price maybe but more than double the value. 2014 is currently available, this one not in till September, sorry.

Typical! Beef! Balance! Fruit!

2015 The Society’s Exhibition Margaux 14% £ 23.00

I asked if there’s an Exhibition version of every commune and the answer is no. I asked because St Julien is my favourite so that would have been my follow up but this was given as an example due to the fact that it’s quite small and 85% is Cru Classé, so it’s hard to find a good example at the right price. However there’s a rumour (started by Tim) that this may change in the near future. I’ll be watching the space.

This was Margaux though, made by Brane-Cantenac from what was sold as Ch Notton in another life. It’s beautiful, plummy, autumnal and fleshy. I hate that tasting term.

Autumn! Plums! Bendy! Welcoming!

2015 The Society’s Exhibition Pomerol 14% £ 19.50

Yes yes.

Chocolate! Morello! Soft! Relaxed!

2015 The Society’s Exhibition Sauternes 13.5% £ 20.00

I find Sauternes hard. I know I love it from various tastings (including Yquem), but it’s a wine style I drink perhaps once a year, if that, so I never feel I have the energy or enthusiasm to properly explore. This may be all I need.

Honey! Orange! Waxy! Quince!

2018 The Society’s Exhibition Fleurie 13% £10.50

Cherry! Flowers! Typicity! Medium!

2018 The Society’s Exhibition Côte de Brouilly 14% £ 9.95

Juicy! Fruit! Red! Black!

2017 The Society’s Exhibition Moulin-à-Vent 13% £ 10.95

Super wine.

Delicious! Full! Fruity! Rounded!

The Society’s Fino 15% £ 6.75

Cracking value, this.

Salty! Apples! Sea! Spray!

And so to lunch. Or for me right now, bed.



When @Ewan said lunch would be provided I imagined a sandwich platter from M&S and a few crisps. Instead we were treated to a splendid repas in three courses, plus wine - I imagine this is how the trade spends every working day. Don’t burst my bubble.

As I scoffed a whole loaf of bread (we were up to 40 wines plus a Portonic at this point, and I hadn’t spit them all) the most fabulous arancini balls and padron peppers were presented, which I tucked into with a glass of Kumeu River Chardonnay (not sure if it’s this exact wine?) which had wonderfully balanced oak. A great start.

Next up lamb, which went down particularly well with the Rapsani. @Cormski gracefully sipped as I ungainly glugged away like we were at a Bachanalian orgy. All the hype from the Community is justified. About the Rapsani, not the orgy.

The cheese paired nicely with a Côte Roannaise, a new one on me, and far more lovely than the online review suggests.

In between I managed a glass or two (time didn’t really seem to exist in the basement) of Frog’s Leap Zinfandel, which is fine if you don’t like subtlety in your wine, but to me it was like chomping on a gag made from an oak stave and smothered in blueberry jam, while doing an Ironman contest. Too much.


Table 2 - @Toby.Morrhall

Tempting as it was to stay in the basement for the rest of the afternoon, we had a job to do (tough life), so somehow managed to drag ourselves up to Toby’s table for some Burgundy. Again, tough life.

2017 Domaine de la Rochette, Mâcon-Bussières Mont Sard 13.5% £ 13.50

“This is why Burgundy will always win” say my notes. Absolutely delicious.

Tight! Lemon! Fairies! Chiffron!

2017 Jacques Saumaize, Mâcon-Vergisson Sur La Roche 13.5% £ 12.95

Another cracking white Burg. I don’t think Cormac was enjoying these as much as I was. No oak here, which surprised me. Rich and buttery.

Butter! Rich! Sunny! Coating!

2017 Domaine Guillemot-Michel, Viré-Clessé Quintaine 13% £ 21.00

If I was being pretentious I’d describe this as ‘linear’. But I’d never be pretentious. It’s a diferent style and still declicious.

Lemon! Power! Linear! Sharp!

2015 François D’Allaines, Auxey-Duresses 12.5% £ 22.50

I’m finding Auxey-Duresses to be a great value area when it comes to WB. This is stunning. I suggested roast chicken with lemon, thyme and garlic. Toby one-upped me by countering with guinea fowl. I’ll get the valet to order some.

Rich! Honey! Floral! Food!

2015 Château de Puligny-Montrachet, Bourgogne Blanc Clos du Château 12.5% £ 24.00

More delicate and classy, so probably not for me.

Delicate! Green! Quince! Long!

2016 Domaine Sylvain Pataille, Bourgogne Rouge 12.5% £ 17.00

I’ve had a previous vintage of this wine that I wasn’t keen on, but this was lovely - I guess a warmer year? Toby’s comment that this is ‘about as cheap as a decent red Burgundy gets’ led to a discussion on the Society’s Red Burgundy and its future. I shan’t repeat what was said, we’re in polite company.

Austere! Pretty! Perfume! Light!

2016 Undurraga Cauquenes Estate Carignan 14% £ 8.95

And so to Chile. Enjoyed this very much, shows just what great value Chilean wines are.

Berry! Chocolate! Sunshine! Dark!

2016 De Martino Vigno La Aguada Single Vineyard Maule Carignan 13.5% £ 19.00

Wasn’t so keen on this, which is great news for the bank balance.

Green! Young! Chewy! Attack!

2013 Undurraga Altazor Alto Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 14% £ 26.00

I thought this was a wonderful example of a New World Cabernet, really intense flavours. I couldn’t help comparing to the Exhibition Haut Medoc on the next table though; I defnitely prefer that one, but I think @Cormski may have preffered this, so styles and roundabouts.

Cabernet! Blaccurrant! Leaves! Compote!

2011 Pisano-Arretxea Grand Reserve Progreso 13.5% £ 28.00

Final wine of the table, and I think possibly my first Uruguyan wine. Lovely spicy red fruit here, well worth picking up a bottle.

Spice! Wood! Power! Red!


that … … …


Table 5 - @owmarcel

Still here? Anyone? Ok, well, nearly at the end! And by this point we were well and truly flagging, and starting to feel like the spitoons looked. By now they were overflowing and there was nothing for it at some points but to swallow, meaning my notes deteriorate even further as we worked our way through. Some might say they couldn’t get any worse, but those people are mean.

Crémant du Jura Domaine de Montbourgeau 12% £ 14.50

Marcel’s table was full of wines I would normally order anyway, except this, because I’ve never had one. I’d happily have another one, it was very refreshing, but more of a palate-cleanser for me - a wonderful aperitif on a hot day.

Clean! Salty! Nuts! Refreshing!

2017 Niedermenniger Riesling Kabinett, von Kesselstatt 9% £ 11.50

This was a bit sweeter to my taste than I expected from the smell, and I wrote ‘bit flabby’ but that might be unfair as it came straight after the squeaky fresh Jura. All baked apples and cooked lemons.

Full! Baked! Sugar! Round!

2018 Corent Côtes d’Auvergne, Saint-Verny 13.5% £ 9.50

On to the rosés! Probably should have done these earlier in the day, especially as I’m in the market for a case for Summer post-work drinking. Hey-ho, the important thing to take away here is that they were all fantastic so you can’t go wrong with a mixed case of these three only.

This was full bodied and very food friendly. Halloumi or grilled fish.

Food! Summer! Red! Sundowner!

2018 Domaine Alzipratu Fiumesecco Rosé, Ile de Beauté 13.5% £ 14.50

I love Corsican rosé, and this is a belter. The quintissential home from work soaking up the last of the sun on the patio wine. Loved it.

Pink! Summer! Aperitif! Relaxed!

2018 Domaine Les Mesclances, Charmes, IGP Méditerranée Rosé 12.5% £ 8.50

The label screams ‘18-30s magaluf’ but the taste is all ‘leave daddy alone he’s taking in the provençal view with a bowl of smoked almonds’. Close your eyes and you can smell the herbs wafting through the crumbling stone in your dilapidated gîte.

Herbs! Holidays! Sunshine! Smiles!

2017 Ventoux Les Traverses, Paul Jaboulet Aîné 14.5% £ 8.50

In case you needed another bbq recommendation then add this to the list.

Jam! Cherry! Freshness! Easy!

2016 Duché d’Uzès, Les Perrasières, Domaine Camp Galhan 13.5% £ 10.50

“Almost smoky sausage/bacon nose”. Not sure if by this point I wasn’t just pissed.

Smoky! Meaty! Medium! Interesting!

2011 Massif d’Uchaux, Vieilles Vignes, Château de Saint Estève 14.5% £ 14.95

Still going strong this, rich and with that elusive figgyness, which I often see on the notes but don’t always get.

Rich! Cake! Dark! Brooding!

2018 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde, SCV Vignobles d’Agly 14.5% £ 8.50

I found this stronger, brighter, but less interesting. Perhaps a bit overbearing for me. I like to dance, not to be twerked at.

Dry! Tacky! Fruit! Sweets!

2016 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires Rouge, Côtes Catalanes 13% £ 17.00

I loved this, very spicy, savoury nose. “Bring me an adana kebab” say my notes. Or was I trying to order an Uber Eats?

BBQ! Savoury! Nose! Ripe!

2016 Collioure Rouge, Domaine Augustin 14.5% £ 18.00

Good balance, and a touch of bubblegum sweetness.

Balance! Fruit! Red! Sweet!


Loved this at the Rhone tasting.


Table 1 - @PierreM

And so we come to a close, ending where we should have started, at Table 1. We did this one alone - Pierre had spotted us coming and scarpered - and slightly rushed as the rest of the room cleared up around us, muttering under their breaths.

2018 Pepe Mendoza Moscatel Macabeo Airen, Alicante 13% £ 11.75

Honestly I don’t remember much about this, but:

Grapes! Fresh! Herbs! Spring!

2018 Auzells, Costers del Segre 12.5% £ 11.50

I’ve bought this before so knew I’d love it. A wisp of a wine with delightful aromas.

Light! Lemon! Puff! Meringue!

2018 Modus Vivendi Treixadura Albariño Loureira, Ribeiro 12.5% £ 9.50

Pears! Soft! Charming! Lilt!

2018 The Society’s Exhibition Albariño, Rías Baixas 13.5% £ 14.50

Lemon! Sherbert! Sharp! Flowers!

2017 Contino Blanco, Rioja 14% £ 20.00

I wish we’d left more time for this table as the wines were all rather wonderful, but you know:

You could throw a dart at the screen and be happy with any of these whites. This is a particularly delicious white Rioja, but ‘available 2 September’ - boo.

Wax! Honey! Lemon! Cream!

2017 Salvaje del Moncayo Garnacha 14% £ 8.50

Another one I’ve had before, and happy to have again. 2016 still on site, this vintage available mid-July.

Cherry! Kind! Juicy! Moreish!

2017 Pepe Mendoza El Veneno Monastrell, Alicante 14% £ 22.00

Thinking about it, I probably should have voice-recorded my notes here instead of leaving them off entirely. Harry Hindsight, what a crafty fellow. Anyway this had a lovely floral, fruity nose.

Berry! Fresh! Lavendar! Jam!

2012 Gomez Cruzado Reserva, Rioja 14% £ 17.00

We tasted this and the next in the wrong order, which suited me just fine as this was by far my preferred style, and half the price. Win-win. Actually win-lose, because this is a Rioja to sip slowly and contemplate the futility of existence, not the way we did it which was neck it back like there was no tomorrow.

Spice! Redcurrant! Wood! Fresh!

2015 Gomez Cruzado Cerro Las Cuevas Rioja 14.5% £ 32.00

ignore the current description on the website, this is a powerful red. Intense and rich but too much of a fruit bomb for me.

Power! Dry! Black! Fruit!

2016 El Pacto Crianza, Rioja 14% £ 11.50

Also great, and cheaper! It’s available 13 July if you want to get some :thinking: :no_mouth: :wink:

Oak! Smooth! Leather! Mint!

2009 Bohórquez, Ribera del Duero 14% £ 20.00

“Rich full dark oaky smoky delicious. Needs a big fat steak.” A fabulous way to finish. Sadly I had no room to take any open bottles with me, but then I had an AGM to get to.

Heavy! Bold! Dark! Intense!

What a day. Hopefully some of my ramblings were useful to someone. I’m off to bankrupt myself via my TWS wishlist.


Bonus tables! AGM

Cormac chickened out so after a quick pit stop of a refreshing lager and that pub classic, ham egg and chips, I snuck in at the back past a sea of white hair to attend my first ever Society AGM. Somehow I managed to stay awake long enough to taste a few more wines; whether my tastebuds were awake is another matter, but here we go.

Super apéro, went down so well I had another glass.

Spritely! Bouncy! Lemony! Party!

Much preferred this to the Society own label one at the tasting.

Fresh! Zingy! Tart! Citric!

The first of the #twstaste wines. By this point in the evening I really didn’t have anything useful to contribute.

White! Nectarine! Floral! Easy!

Arrogant! Lime! Peach! Refreshing!

Creamy! Vailla! Rounded! Flabby!

Lingum! Sherbert! Sweets! Pizazz!

Quite possibly a result of tasting/drinking 84 wines in the run up to trying this, not sure, but I wasn’t getting much out of it.

Watery! Light! Powder! Wisp!

This was very easy drinking. Dangerously so.

Bright! Light! Flighty! Shim-sham-shimmy!

Gorgeous this. But it’s £2 dearer than my new favourite staple, the Isola della Fiamma, and I’m a tight git.

Rich! Fruity! Value! Plump!

Blueberry! Medicinal! Chalky! Fruity!

Worth the sudden price hike compared to the others in the room. Great depth of flavour.

Dry! Dusty! Delicious! Drool!

Last one I promise! I won’t know what do do with myself now all my notes are written up. Apologies for the delays and the waffling.

I hadn’t come across this before but I loved it, although my teeth didn’t. Absolutely delicious with pink pepper and red fruits, a lovely sweetness and wonderful acid. Pair with fruit! or do as they suggest and make a cocktail.

Pink! Pepper! Toothache! Fruity!


I’m sorry I missed the finalé. Looks there were a few crackers there as well! Epic day, and would willingly do it again in a heart beat.

Sláinte! :clinking_glasses:


Wow! What a fabulous array of tasting notes. Thanks so much (though the regulator of the joint bank account may not agree) for your time and effort getting all this typed out for us.

The wish-list will be literally creaking under the strain of so many new additions.


Heads up - a bunch of offers have just appeared on the website, many of the wines in the thread are in them.

Off to buy a case of Rose…