1 The Society s Wine Society Icons: Exhibition Tasting. Our Exhibition range is very special indeed. They are not just exceptional value for money. Each wine has been crafted to represent the unique qualities and nuances of their region, and showcase the wonderful relationships that our buyers enjoy with many of the world s best growers. They are often the result of many years work; a process of blending, tasting and negotiating with our suppliers to create truly exquisite wines for you. Our Exhibition wines aren t short of discerning fans; many wine industry educators use these wines as benchmark examples of their type, a ringing endorsement indeed. And it s not just industry experts that agree on the incredible quality on offer; our members often report these are their special occasion wines, reserved for Sunday lunches, family gettogethers or even particularly good (or bad!) Wednesdays. Sarah Knowles MW Society Buyer The Society s sweetness code: White wines from bone dry  to lusciously sweet  = sparkling wine = white wine = red wine = fortified wine = spirit S = screwcap closure 1.  The Society s Exhibition English Sparkling Wine NV Ridgeview Wine Estate Thanks to the excellent quality of back vintages now at our disposal, we have moved our flagship English sparkling to a non-vintage blend, meaning it is now more complex and delicious than ever. Bright and fresh on the nose, with delicate hints of brioche on the palate. Drink now until % ref SG bottle 252 dozen The Sussex climate, home of Ridgeview, is semi-continental and, like the champagne region just 88 miles to the south, has cool nights which make it ideally suited for the growing of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier for traditional-method sparkling wines. The cooler climate also enables the grapes to retain high levels of natural acidity when they are fully ripe, which is crucial to producing sparkling wines with fine flavours.
2 2.  The Society s Exhibition Grüner Veltliner 2016 Willi Bründlmayer From Willi Bründlmayer s terraced Kamptal vineyards, this grüner has great concentration and complexity. Mineral, pepper and citrus notes show on the nose, with peach developing on the dry, poised and refreshing palate. Very classy. Drink now to % S ref AA bottle 167 dozen Grüner veltliner is Austria s most planted grape variety comprising one third of the country s total vineyard area. When yields are high the resulting wines are crisp, fresh and inoffensive, but in the best sites, in the hands of the best growers, grüner can be concentrated, ageworthy and full-bodied, with peppery, mineral and citrusy flavours. 3.  The Society s Exhibition Alsace Riesling 2015 Domaine Josmeyer The Josmeyer sisters riesling is typically elegant and refined. The blend comprises some earlier picked and some more mature fruit from a combination of older and younger vines, including grand cru Brand. Rounded yet fresh, with a hint of spice. Drink now until % ref AL bottle 162 dozen With its steely minerality, riesling is often described as the King of Grapes in Alsace and is the most widely planted variety in the region. Riesling from Alsace has the same combination of fine fruit and high acidity as is found in Germany, but Alsace riesling has typically been vinified dry, so it tends to be fuller-bodied than its German counterpart. The last of all the varieties grown in the area to ripen, riesling is capable of sustained ripening even through spells of cooler autumnal weather and consequently can make exceptional lateharvest wines. It is an excellent medium for communicating the variations of terroir, be it limestone, granite or marl soils, coupled with the altitude and expositions of the sites. 4.  The Society s Exhibition Albariño, Rías Baixas 2016 Pazo de Señorans The warmer vintage conditions in Galicia in 2016 meant albariño was harvested with higher than average levels of ripeness. As a result our new Exhibition bottling stands out this year for its texture, richness and balance. Drink now until % ref SP bottle 155 dozen
3 5.  The Society s Exhibition Sancerre 2016 Domaine Serge Laloue The fresh grapefruit and lemon on the nose are reined in with a flinty purity. The palate is crisp and bright with real finesse behind the freshness on the finish making this a very elegant Sancerre. Drink now to % ref LO bottle 179 dozen Sancerre is a dramatically situated hilltop town on the left bank of the upper Loire which lends its name to some of the world s most famous sauvignon blanc wines. They show intense aromas of citrus fruit, minerals and grassiness with hallmark crisp, high acidity. 6.  The Society s Exhibition Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Hunter s Wines This Marlborough sauvignon is made for us each year by Hunter s. Elegant, dry and refreshing, this has plenty of lemon and gooseberry flavours, with passionfruit developing on the long finish. Drink now to % S ref NZ bottle 131 dozen 7.  The Society s Exhibition Chablis Premier Cru Montmains 2016 Jean-Marc and Julien Brocard A bright, ripe-tasting wine with beguiling aromas of white peach, from the left bank of Montmains. The crisp acidity makes this an excellent foil to salty seafood, but it s also delicious with boiled gammon and soft, bloomy rinded cheeses. Drink now until % ref BU bottle 210 dozen 8.  The Society s Exhibition New Zealand Chardonnay 2016 Kumeu River Wines Back in stock following such a frost-affected vintage in 2015 that saw us go without, I am delighted at the quality of the Bright apple and lemon notes, with a light touch of toasty oak, and a elegant long finish: all the hallmarks of Kumeu s excellent chardonnays. This is exclusive to The Wine Society and great value. Drink now until % S ref NZ bottle 179 dozen
4 Chardonnay is arguably the most versatile of all the white wine grapes. Having no dominant flavour of its own it can take on a wide array of aromas depending on where it is grown and how it is made. Grown in the cool climate of Chablis, on the local kimmeridgean claylimestone soils, the best examples are steely and precise with marked acidity. Elsewhere in Burgundy and the rest of the world chardonnay has an extra level of ripeness with flavours ranging from melon and tropical fruit to ripe apples. 9.  The Society s Exhibition Alsace Gewurztraminer 2013 Famille Hugel The Hugel estate is one of the best-known houses in Alsace, with a reputation for excellence going back to the 17th century. They are masters of the spicy gewurztraminer grape, producing delicious whites with splendid fruit and a body to match the opulent aromatics on display. Drink now to % ref AL bottle 179 dozen 10. The Society s Exhibition Juliénas 2013 Les Vins Aujoux Juliénas (you don t pronounce the s ) is one of the northernmost crus; some say this was where the first vines were planted in Beaujolais and the name harks back to Julius Caesar. The vines are up in the hills, some on quite steep slopes of granite or schist, producing robust, solid wines that are particularly good with food. Drink now to % ref BJ bottle 114 dozen Gamay is an early-budding and early-ripening grape variety that, although not vigorous, is fertile and, in order to produce quality wines, yields must be restricted. In the past, gamay was generally light and fruity, with techniques such as carbonic maceration being used extensively. Today, however, gamays of the Loire and Beaujolais show fine, refreshing red fruit and peppery spice with much greater concentration of flavour. 11. The Society s Exhibition Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 Prophet s Rock Vineyard You won t find this gem anywhere else Paul Pujol of Prophet s Rock fame makes this hauntingly perfumed pinot for our members only. Central Otago is producing some of New Zealand s most concentrated pinot noir right now and this blueberry-and-rhubarb scented red is no exception; light tannins and fresh acidity serve to balance the wine to delicious effect. Drink now to % S ref NZ bottle 167 dozen
5 Pinot noir is early ripening so only cooler regions have a long enough growing season to produce interesting wines. In its youth, wines made from pinot have cherry and raspberry fruit, and perhaps savoury, dried herb notes. As it ages, pinot takes on truffle and earthy forest-floor complexity. However, at whatever stage in its maturity, wines made from pinot noir should be soft, fruity and charming. 12. The Society s Exhibition Alto Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Concha y Toro Fine, cedary Alto Maipo cabernet sauvignon made by Ignacio Recabarren exclusively for us. This comes from two of the best communes, Pirque and Tocornal. Ageing in barrel has softened the tannins and developed the aromas. Drink now to % ref CE bottle 162 dozen 13. The Society s Exhibition Haut-Médoc 2012 Château Beaumont A firm favourite with members, Château Beaumont, supplies us with this friendly, fruitforward claret, offered in its irresistible youth, though it has a long life ahead. Plum and blackcurrant dominate, with a touch of spice adding complexity and depth. The palate is soft and supple with just enough tannin to provide structure while still making for delicious drinking without food, although this is an excellent red meat wine. Drink now to % ref CM bottle 167 dozen 14. The Society s Exhibition Rioja Reserva 2010 La Rioja Alta Amazingly fragrant and stylish Spanish red from the famous La Rioja Alta bodega, whose wines are known for their finesse and opulent depth of flavour. We chose them because they make the very best traditional Rioja, carefully aged in barrel and bottle, resulting in a complex, lengthy wine with fine, delicate texture simply delicious. Drink now to % ref SP bottle 174 dozen Traditionally Riojas have been defined by maturation and blending. Therefore the regional Consejo Regulador stipulates more stringent ageing criteria than the national authorities. Viña joven requires no ageing in oak. Crianza and reserva must spend at least a year in oak barrels, with crianza then having to spend a further year in bottle, and reserva a further two years before release. Gran reserva must be aged for two years in oak and a further three years in bottle before release.
6 15. The Society s Exhibition Pinotage, Stellenbosch 2014 Kanonkop Produced for us once again by Kanonkop, this rich and spicy full-bodied red was fermented in traditional open concrete vessels for velvety fruit and soft tannins. Deep and vibrant in colour, it shows typical plum and red-fruit aromas and flavour, with a smooth fleshy palate. Drink now until % ref SA bottle 126 dozen Pinotage ranges in style from light and fruity (pointing to the vine s part-pinot noir parentage) to rich, dark, spicy but fresh examples from old-vines. Created in 1925 as a cross of pinot noir and cinsault, it is South Africa s very own grape variety, and planted virtually nowhere else. As of 2009 pinotage represented 6% of the South African vineyard area, and whilst planted widely, the biggest areas are in Malmesbury, Stellenbosch and Paarl. 16. The Society s Exhibition Barolo 2012 Ciabot Berton This is our second selection for the Exhibition label from the attractive approachable 2012 vintage. It is made by Paola and her brother Marco Oberto from their excellent vineyard holdings in the commune of La Morra. Drink now until % ref IT bottle 300 dozen Barolo is the most powerful expression of the nebbiolo grape. Barolo is always a rich, concentrated and heady wine with pronounced tannins and acidity, but significant stylistic differences do exist, tending to reflect the two major soil types in the area. Calcareous marls are typical in the vineyards around La Morra and Barolo, and tend to produce wines which are softer, more fruity and aromatic. The vineyards around Monforte d Alba and Serralunga d Alba have a higher proportion of compressed sandstone and tend to produce wines which are more intense and structured. 17. The Society s Exhibition McLaren Vale GSM 2015 d Arenberg Made for us by Chester Osborn at d Arenberg, this new addition to our Exhibition range is a classic grenache-shiraz-mataro blend. Perfumed strawberry and spice aroma on the nose, a generous full body, with soft tannins and refreshing flavours of redcurrant and wild strawberry that last on the bright finish. Drink now to % S ref AU bottle 167 dozen
7 18. The Society s Exhibition Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2014 Vignobles Mayard Bursting with succulent red fruit, our Exhibition Châteauneuf-du-Pape is as generous, savoury and bright an expression of this iconic southern Rhône appellation as you could wish for. The renowned Mayard family make this grenache-led blend, which will partner rare roast beef very happily. Drink now to % ref RH bottle 222 dozen Situated between Avignon and Orange, Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a total vineyard area of 3,200 hectares. Thirteen red grape varieties are traditionally approved, but grenache forms the majority, along with syrah and mouvèdre which give the wines their colour, structure, aromas of summer fruits and, with age, their complexity. 19.  The Society s Exhibition Vintage Port 1985 Symington Family Estates Rich, sweet and vigorous with toasted ripe fruit, this comes from the Symington Family Estates, one of the foremost port shippers producing top wines such as Graham s, Dow s, Warre s and Cockburn s. A fine, concentrated and richly flavoured Port with excellent grip and ripe tannins. Drink now until % ref PT bottle 648 dozen Fortified wines are those which have had spirit (most usually grape spirit) added to the wine to ensure microbiological stability, adding alcoholic strength and precluding any further fermentation. The stage at which the spirit is added has enormous implications for the style of fortified wine produced: the earlier it is added in the fermentation process the sweeter the resulting wine will be. Most port-style wines and all vins doux naturels are fortified during fermentation, thereby retaining much of the natural grape sugar by arresting fermentation before its completion. In the case of drier styles of Madeira and sherry, spirit is added at the end of fermentation to dry, fully fermented wine. 20. The Society s Exhibition Grande Champagne Cognac XO Delamain This Cognac is produced from a single vineyard in the heart of the Grande Champagne area of Cognac by the house of Delamain and has an average age of 25 years. The initial bouquet of grapes and apricots leads to a fine, balanced finish with hints of nuts, almonds and vanilla. 40% ref BY cl bottle 768 dozen