Mon 19 May 2014

Accepting the Challenge: IWC Winners From The Society


24Feb2014-071The Society exists solely for members’ benefit, and your kind feedback confirms our satisfaction with our wine range. It is, however, always heartening to see wines we stock recognised by the industry as being ‘best in class’.

The results of the 2014 IWC (International Wine Challenge) have just been announced, and we have a raft of gold medals to celebrate, topped off with two national trophies. Some are available now (hyperlinked below), others later in the year.


Trophy_thumbThe first of the trophies was awarded to that great English sparkling wine Nyetimber Brut Classic Cuvée 2009 from West Chiltington in Sussex. Nyetimber has been a fixture in our list for some time, challenging the very best across the Channel with the traditional chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier blend.



The second trophy has deservedly gone to La Rocca 2011, made by the Pieropan family in Soave. Sons Andrea and Dario run the estate, although still under the watchful eye of father Nino, whose relationship with The Society goes back for decades! Not the first time that this wine has won the Italian White Trophy, and doubtless not the last!

FGold_thumbor those who want more sparkle, we were very pleased to see a co-operatively produced Champagne pick up a gold medal – Le Brun de Neuville Chardonnay Brut NV, one of the increasing number of lesser-known Champagnes on our List. And a food-friendly viognier from long-standing Society suppliers Paul Jaboulet Aîné, their Condrieu, Domaine des Grands Amandiers 2012 also made the grade.

Gold_thumbMoving to the reds, Paul Jaboulet Aîné have another success with a wine closely followed by Society members over the years, Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 2009, while another Italian entry from Veneto, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Torre del Falasco 2012 made the grade, proving that it’s not just wines over £10 that can be award-winners. (Being a huge Italian fan, I was particularly pleased to see the ‘ripasso’ style rewarded.)

Gold_thumbIf you are in need of fortification, then sherry and port make up the remainder of our gold medals. Lustau La Ina is a classic of its type, and the more quirky Cayetano del Pino Solera Palo Cortado, only available from The Wine Society in the UK, is very different. (By the way, while you’re in the mood, why not try Cayetano’s elder diminutive  sister, the Palo Cortado Viejisimo, with an estimated age of 30 years.) Taylor’s 2000 Vintage Port brings this golden list to a close.

Silver_thumbWe were also delighted to discover the following Society wines received silver medals in the same competition: The Society’s Champagne, The Society’s Rosé Champagne, Blind Spot Tasmania Sparkling Brut, The Society’s Exhibition Limarí Chardonnay, The Society’s Exhibition Gewurztraminer, The Society’s Exhibition Rioja Reserva, The Society’s Exhibition Rioja Gran Reserva (soon to be launched), The Society’s Exhibition Sauternes 2010 and The Society’s Exhibition Mature Medium Dry Oloroso Blend – a great endorsement of our buyers’ talents.

Ewan Murray
PR Manager


  1. Michael Culver says:

    Very well done, looking forward to being back in England again to sample all of the Society’s great wines. Many congratulations to all concerned.

  2. Chris Barbour says:

    Congratulations. Are you thinking about putting together some mixed cases of your award winners?

    • Ewan Murray says:

      Thanks, Chris. It’s a possibility – we’ll wait for any good Decanter results and then need to make sure we have sufficent stocks for such an offer before making the decision.

  3. John Ward says:

    Many congratulations. A tribute to your hard work and professionalism.

  4. Michael Hemery says:

    Congratulations but why play the numbers game;all your main competitors will be trotting out similar awards which largely an Industry marketing gimmick.Your offerings are normally very acceptable but with the huge strength in Sterling over the last couple of years members should have been able to get better prices and at least a few special offers.

  5. Paul Robertson says:

    Should I be surprised? I think I would be more surprised if the Society had not won the award. A very well done to all at Gunnels Wood Road for another magnificent performance. In an age of change quality always seems to be a constant with the people at IECWS. I am proud to be a member/shareholder.

    • Tim Sykes says:

      Thanks for your feedback. We always endeavour to offer wines at the best possible prices and, and managed to keep prices held for most of last year. Sterling has indeed strengthened recently, but unfortunately the advantages of better exchange rates have largely been offset by cost increases at source and duty increases. 2013 was a small vintage in France and other European countries, and we have seen some substantial price rises from producers. We are monitoring the situation and doing all we can to offer our wines to members at the keenest prices possible.
      Tim Sykes
      Head of Buying

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