Funnily enough you’ve picked the one lower priced Rioja from TWS that I’ve not tried yet! I have it on my wish list and I bought a couple of the slightly more expensive Murua VS bottles back in 2016; drank one which I loved and have the other put by for another year or two still! I found the VS surprisingly light for a Rioja (in a good way), would you say the same of the Crianza?
No I wouldn’t call it light. The description on the site calls it full-bodied -I’d probably say it’s Medium+. I completely agree with this part of the blurb though:
Elegant and silky with fleshy red fruit, perfectly enhanced with a touch of smoky oak, this offers world-class cold-weather drinking at a heartwarming price.
I’m not a huge Rioja fan really, so I don’t tend to shop in the over £15 price range for it, but this is comfortably the best one I’ve bought from TWS. Tastes and feels like a very classy wine. Highly recommended!
I have had several house wines in the past. Like some previous comments, I think that some are good for one year, and perhaps cynically, I think they are used as loss leaders in year one, with lesser quality thereafter. Not saying WS here, before I get shot down…there is vintage variation too…
Current house red is the Sicilian Red already noted above. White is more difficult, it has been the Verdicchio recently, but I’m not as impressed with the latest one. WS Vin d’Alsace is consistently good though. I have drunk the Corbieres in the past, but wasn’t so keen on the 2015. Also like the Grignan…
Speaking of house wines, I still remember a Jancis review quite a few years ago of an M&S House Red, which noted that it tasted like it had been made from them (houses that is!).
I don’t know about house wine, but the less expensive wines that I keep reordering are:
Good question, and one which I pondered on first joining TWS. But you probably have too many options already so I won’t add to them: I’d simply suggest that of the above recommendations, I’d agree with the Society’s Cote de Gascoigne, Society’s Oz Chardonnay, Parcelles Chardonnay, Society’s Gruner and Society’s Verdicchio for whites and I’d add the Society’s Claret and the 3c for reds. All greater value every day wines.
Sorry, meant also to agree with the Grignan.
I would like to suggest a slightly different approach that goes beyond considerations of wine style and price.
A few times in the Loire valley I have stayed at B&Bs that serve dinner and when asked about the wine list they answer - we have white and red wine. And generally from a very local producer that they know very well.
With that in mind why not have some fun and invest some time to get to know a producer whose style/price suits you and then armed with this knowledge you will have more than just a wine to share with your guests.
At Le Moutier, a B&B in Mareuil sur Cher they exclusively serve wines from La Renaudie (available at TWS for less than £9) White is Touraine Sauvignon and red is Tourine Gamay or a Malbec/Cabernet blend. They will arrange a pre-dinner tasting with Patricia Denis at La Renaudie if you like.
We don’t exactly have a house wine but we do buy these wines regularly directly from La Renaudie when we visit. We have fond memories of these visits and now know Patricia very well. We also have many friends who have drunk these wines and made visits to Le Moutier and La Renaudie based on our recommendation.
One of each please, any price but has to be consumed weekly at least.
Even in the baking summer,
Minervois Ste Eulalie
Pays de Caux, Pelerin Blanc
But: why? There are so many wines and so little time.
If I had the space, my house red/white would be these:
Both excellent value.
I started a thread a while back about house wines, might be interesting to compare the 2 threads to see which wines are still being recommended: