Any views on the wines offered at the AGM this afternoon? They were supposed to be a selection from the buyers’ ‘wine champions’, but, although several were good, ‘champion’ seems slightly exaggerated. The ones I certainly want to see again are the Chilean Pinot Noir (Maycas del Limari Reserva Especial 2016) and maybe the Monbazillac, Ch Pech la Calevie 2014.
I absolutely loved the Chilean Maycas del Limari, this was one of my favourite reds at the press tasting
To explain the champion term, the wine buyers conduct a blind tasting of approx 800 wines each year. Each buyer gives every wine a score (0, 1 or 2) with a 2 being a definite champion and 1 being almost there but not quite for that particular person.
Wines that achieve 70% of the possible maximum score are labeled champions. As Pierre mentioned in his notes, there were 90 wines that achieved that this year, so a little over 10% of the wines tasted. Unlike many wine shows/competitions where prizes are given out like it is an Under 6’s sports day, our buyers only give scores to the wines that genuinely stand out.
The terminology may be a bit gimmicky for some, and blind tastings in large flights have obvious shortcomings, but most agree it is a worthwhile process that allows the buyers to evaluate the wines that they and their colleagues have been purchasing and for the standouts to be identified and offered to our members.
We will be showing an expanded selection of the Champions Tasting that was offered tonight in Manchester next Monday with the release of the Champions offer on the same day. Hopefully some of our northern members will be able to make it along.
Yes, I heard the explanation, but most of the wines last night were worth a 1 on that scale. I would have expected you to restrict the term to wines with virtually unanimous 2s, not include wines that are ‘good enough’.
^^^ how wonderful to have had the opportunity to taste the wines for free so you can choose the ones for purchase that most suit your palate. Although the wine buyers are highly trained professionals, I’m sure we can all agree that taste is mostly a subjective experience. Thank you for sharing your personal highlights.
Has anyone come back from the AGM with anything to share regarding the discussions? I’ve never been myself, and this is the first one since the launch of the Community and the questions posed here.
The minutes will (apparently) only be sent to those of us who went the meeting, although I assume they are lurking somewhere on the website. Perhaps it would be better if they went to everyone. The chair did mention the problem of what mailings different members receive, and apparently there will be IT improvements, but she seemed to miss the point, saying that it was important that members receive mailings that widen their experience. True, of course, but while no objects to unexpected mailings, some of us want to be able to specify ones we know we want. They are still waiting for progress on the question of the legal advice about the pensions a few years ago. They are still looking for a new CEO, but have some promising candidates.
So some of the questions raised here were at least mentioned. Sorry: I wasn’t taking proper notes, so I hope others can add something.
Questions from members included some about wines they had tried, and which seemed to have vanished (answer: some will be in summer list), bag in box wines (there may be more), whether the logo is too oldfashioned (under review), and several about different criteria for the various pre-chosen cases (are these called wine without fuss, or something similar)? I am afraid I didn’t listen to these as I can’t imagine not having the fun of choosing for myself.
Of the wines tasted: Fefinanes Albarino (sorry about no tildes) 2017 was good, but not exceptional enough for £16; the Olivier Leflaive Oncle Vincent 2016 seemed too young to appreciate now… The Society’s Gruner Veltliner, Raats Chenin Blanc, Ch de Lacarelle Beaujolais Villages, Ventoux Les Traverses, P. Jaboulet Aine, and Society’s Valpolicella Ripasso were all what I described as ‘good enough’. Several of us were uncertain about the Quincy Dme de Tremblay 2017: an odd mixture of metal and grassiness on the aftertaste,
Good to hear your roundup of the day. All in all a worthwhile experience?
Definitely. (That was my message: extra characters because I had an error message saying minimum 14 characters. Why?)
In order to limit the number of posts in the community that are just ‘reactions’ rather than useful content.
In this case “definitely” might have been a sufficiently concise and relevant answer to the immediately preceding question, but if you imagine someone asking a question like "I’d like to know who enjoys Pinot Grigio and why" and 99 people answer simply “me” or “yuck”, the 1 considered reply might be lost amongst this noise.
PLEASE trust the members on this site, and reduce the number of unnecessary rules.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will pass it on, but really these are not onerous rules and we do trust members, that is why anyone can post without moderation, but for this to work, the system has some basic mechanisms in place to try and encourage thoughtful contributions.
(I am not sure if you use other social media platforms, but there are a lot of examples there where replies are limited to a “+1”, an “F” (for follow, just so they are part of the conversation), or maybe a " ". I think you’d agree with me that we want to avoid this behaviour getting established here, a place for more relevant conversation)
If you would like to make suggestions like this, or any related to the community, for general discussion, please feel free to post them to the #site-feedback category and invite others to comment and support your ideas
I see you’ve never managed an online forum before
The minutes will be published on the website soon. Sorry you feel we’re not clear enough. We do try to make important matters as visible as possible - not sure that one ‘hover’ on our homepage can be defined as ‘lurking’, though …
Just wanted to say I thought the line up of wines last night was absolutely fantastic - Thankyou to all who yet again put so much work into making the night at QEII so wonderful. Done my purchasing - such a treat. Sam
Congratulations: New Member(s) of the Month
Thank you very much @bondy.
It was the first AGM for 3 out of the 4 in the Tastings team but I think we have all survived it, just!
The post AGM tasting, being a free tasting, has quite the reputation so it’s very pleasing to hear it was enjoyed. Thanks to the buyers, @catherine and all the other TWS staff who came down to help pour and assist.
Although most of the credit though should in fact go to the members as it is all of you who allow Pierre and the buying team to buy such interesting and high quality wines.
@bondy what were your favourites?
Thought I’d move this nice exchange here so you can compare notes with the other people discussing the AGM wines - would love to hear your thoughts!
Just finished analysing the sales following the AGM (some of us actually work instead of tasting wines on a Thursday )
All wines had significant support which is always pleasing to see but the stand out in terms of number of bottles, number of orders and overall revenue was the Chateau de Lacarelle Beaujolais.
The Society’s Valpolicella Ripasso and the Jaboulet Ventoux were 2nd and 3rd place for most categories.
We love the Soc Val Rip and bought a case in the January sales. Also enjoyed the Lacarelle and just got another bottle in a mixed Case.
Thumbs up for the Society Valpolicella Ripasso! Fabulous wine, and excellent value for money!!
Hi everyone. Just a heads up that a summary and transcript of Sarah’s speech is now online - the Q&A will follow ASAP