Thu 18 Feb 2016

Buried Society Treasure?


Today is apparently ‘National Drink Wine Day’, a day that according to the promotional website is ‘to celebrate and spread the love of wine.’

We need little excuse to indulge in such a noble pursuit, and would love to know what, if anything, our readers will be cracking open today.

Our members often let us know which wines from The Society they’ve been enjoying, and it’s great to see so many leaving reviews on our site, tweeting or writing in to leave their feedback.

Having been selling wines since the 1870s, it’s perhaps not a surprise that, from time to time, we receive some more unusual finds from the backs of cellars and cupboards – but it’s something that we love hearing about.

Such as this one, tweeted just the other day…

…and that Wine Society bottling of 1966 Savigny Marconnets that turned up in South Africa…

…not to mention the 1914 Cognac that led to the remarkable discovery by our own Liz Cerroti that her grandfather had also worked at The Society!

Wine Society Cognac

Society buyer Marcel Orford-Williams recently unearthed a surprise too, in the form of the 1997 vintage of our Society’s White Burgundy – the biggest surprise being that the wine, designed for drinking young, was apparently fabulous…

The Society's White Burgundy 1997

So if you’ve found any buried Society treasure, we’d love to hear from you!

Categories : Miscellaneous


  1. Guy Dennis says:

    I cry when I read of wonderful aged white Burgundy… how they have messed it up.

  2. Chris Pett says:

    Last year I found and opened a hitherto forgotten bottle of 1976 Moulin-a Vent with a rather lurid crimson Society label on it. I think it cost around £2. I have tasted old beaujolais before, noting that in good years it can take on a gentle old burgundian character and I recalled that ’76 was a good beaujolais vintage (though I did have a bottle of something else in reserve just in case it had gone over the top). The colour when poured was promising – still lively and nothing dull and brown – and I was both delighted and astonished at finding it supremely drinkable. It gave genuine pleasure and enabled recall of pleasant memories of nearly 40 years ago!

    • Pete LASSAM says:

      ‘ 76 ‘a millésime’, I was there! for the vendange, grape picking at Fleury too and further north at Vauxrenard. The weather was superb. As were the grapes.. I elected to receive wine in lieu of payment. Loaded the boot of my Citroen Deux Cheveux with the 75 vintage (the 74 was a washout… literally). Managed to sneak through the Customs at Calais ….. ah yes, those were the days my friend – too old for that work now Amities Pete

  3. Stephen Hall says:

    Last Christmas we found a bottle of Sandeman’s port 1960 (perhaps the Society bottling with wine list reference 6162). It drank nicely, better than the next bottle which was Warre 1963 getting a bit thin now.
    Lovely to see those old fashioned simple labels used by the Society around the 60’s. If you would like to see the label (which fell off the bottle intact) I will happily send it to you.

  4. Tom Wilson says:

    Many years ago, not long after I became a member, the Society ran a competition in which the prizes were aged bottles from its cellars. I think it must have been in 1974 to mark the centenary. I won a bottle of “Boal 1874” – sadly the wine was almost undrinkable, well, actually undrinkable, but I opened it at a party and it did get drunk! I still have the bottle, which might be worth a few pounds, even without the wine!

  5. Chris Garrard says:

    Nothing to do with The Society but recently unearthed, in my collection of old but interesting wines & beers:

    Youdell’s Amontillado Sherry “To commemorate the life story of The County of Westmorland 966-1974”
    Youdell’s “Kendal Charter 1575-1975” Amontillado Sherry. The charter was awarded By Queen Elizabeth 1.

    H Youdell & Co Ltd was a renowned Wine Merchant In Kendal, Westmorland until the latter end of the 1970’s.

  6. JerryW says:

    Interesting, to see how attractive the labels were in those days

  7. simon willbourn says:

    5 years ago now on my 60th birthday, I opened an overlooked single bottle of 1970 Ch. Giscours from my late father’s cellar. He was an IECWS member, in fact I have inherited his membership, but I think the wine probably came from Peatling and Cawdron.
    As an earlier contributor said I had something else decent standing by, just in case, to accompany the simple charcuterie and olives to share with my 2 (40 and 80 year old) friends but it did not prove necessary. The cork was damp right up to a consistent 2 or 3 mm below the top but crucially not all the way. I poured us each a small glass and nobody said anything for several minutes. It was wonderful, rounded, complete and surprisingly long on the finish. Another 6 months or so and I reckon it would have started to oxidise so very serendipitous timing. I shall be very impressed if that 1961 Burgundy has lasted as well, somehow I doubt it but it will be fun finding out.

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