Anthony Rose: The Wine Society has shown a wine merchant can compete with supermarkets

 

If there's any truth in the notion that a wine merchant can't compete with the supermarkets on value, the idea has been knocked firmly on the head by The Wine Society.

Regular readers will already know that the once-in-a lifetime membership fee of £40 for access to the non-profit-making Wine Society is the best wine investment since Château Lafite before China discovered it. So it proved at the spring tasting last month when it showcased one of the best under-a-tenner ranges on the market.

The first white to catch my eye was the 2011 Adega de Pegões Colheita Seleccionada, £6.50, a stylish, peachy, four-grape blend from Portugal rounded out by a smidgeon of vanilla oak. At just £6.25, the rose petal-fragrant, dry 2012 Zarcillo Gewürztraminer from Chile's Bío-Bío Valley, had you fearing for its producer's livelihood. Still in Chile, an intensely herb and green-pepper-scented 2012 Litoral Sauvignon Blanc, Leyda Valley, £7.75, was a Chilean answer to Sancerre. Next, a serious mouthful in all senses, Romania's refreshingly fragrant, floral, dry 2012 Prince Stirbey Tamâiosa Româneasca Sec, £9.50.

Three mouthwatering dry rieslings side by side pointed up the virtues of this woefully undervalued variety and how each country has its own distinctive expression of the world's top aromatic grape: Australia's lime-scented, dry 2012 Blind Spot Clare Valley Riesling, £7.50, Chile's intensely-fragrant, bracingly spritz-fresh 2011 Concha y Toro Corte Ignacio Casablanca Riesling, £8.50, and The Society's gentler, more floral and satisfying 2011 Saar Riesling, £8.95, from Kesselstatt in Germany.

Headed up by three delicious and differing styles of rosso from north Italy, the reds showed no sign of flagging value. The 2011 Dogliani Dolcetto, £6.96, was a delightful leap-into-spring red, the 2011 Curto Barbera d'Alba La Foia, £8.50, damson-fragrant, and the Poggio del Sasso Sangiovese di Toscana, £6.95 a quaffing mini-Chianti in all but name. And there's more, a bargain barbecue special in the 2010 Vinha do Reina, Douro, £6.50, and a smoky-peppery Uruguayan 2012 Atlantico Sur, Garzon Vineyard Maldonado Marselan, £7.95.

One error The Wine Society never makes is to mistake price for value. At over £10, its van will not just deliver but over-deliver. The 2011 Maycas del Limarí Pinot Noir Reserva Especial, £11.95, was a marvel of fragrance and smoky, strawberry fruitiness, pipped only by a mulberry-succulent 2011 Marsannay Les Longeroies, Domaine Sylvain Pataille, £21. As for an approachable, great Italian red, Dante himself would have forsaken inferno for the 2008 GB Burlotto Barolo Monvigliero, £28, all spicy, savoury cherry with that tell-tale north Italian grip and twist.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world