2013 Awards


IWC Merchant of the year

As a mutual organisation, it is recognition from our membership that matters most. However, it is also pleasing to receive accolades from the wine trade, and we were delighted to be voted National Retailer of the Year at the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards. This is the third consecutive year in which The Society has received this award.

What the Decanter judges said:

  • What else could we do? There were some worthy names on the shortlist, but the case for multiple past winner, The Wine Society, was compelling.
  • On membership
    The panel considers the £40 lifetime joining fee a no-brainer, and we are not alone: it has more than 120,000 members.
  • On our mutuality and pricing
    We applaud the way that profits are invested back into the business for the benefit of members. From January 2011 until April 2013, not only were prices held on 1,100 lines, but 400 lines actually saw their prices reduced.
  • 'Relentless energy'
    But once again it is the Society's relentless energy that impressed the panel most. It has been increasing the number of 'keeping wines' in its warehouse - it buys fine wines now for release to members when ready to drink - and it has increased its excellent 'own label' range to more than 90 wines.
    It has relaunched its website, launched new iPhone and Android apps, and has chalked up 27,000 followers on Twitter. Getting out and meeting members is another strength: 120 events countrywide welcomed 13,000 people last year.
  • Wine range
    But it was the quality and depth of the Society's wine list that finally secured victory once again. The buyers have recently won awards for their Portuguese, Alsace and Chilean ranges, and have added wines from Macedonia and Uruguay.

Above all, we wanted to thank our members for their continued loyalty and support: given that we remain a co-operative Society which exists solely for members benefit, this is your award.


IWC Merchant of the year

We are thrilled to announce a record number of awards for The Wine Society from the IWC (International Wine Challenge), including its highest accolade, Wine Merchant of the Year.

'The original Oscars of the wine trade', the IWC awards have existed for 30 years, and 2013's ceremony saw The Society named:

  • Wine Merchant of the Year for the second time in three years
  • Wine Club of the Year for the third consecutive year
  • Specialist Merchant Award for Chile for the seventh time in eight years
  • Specialist Merchant Award for Alsace for the sixth consecutive year
  • Specialist Merchant Award for Portugal for the second consecutive year

In addition, The Society was shortlisted for Direct Merchant of the Year, Own Label Range of the Year and Specialist Merchant for Languedoc-Roussillon.

The merchant awards are assessed on a number of criteria, including variety and quality of wine list, customer service, online promotion, innovation and how the company has changed over the past year. The distinguished judging panel consists of Tim Atkin MW, Sam Harrop MW, Peter McCombie MW and Charles Metcalfe.

The Society's chief executive, Robin McMillan, said:

'We are very fortunate to have a membership that is loyal, discerning and passionate when it comes to wine and they rightly expect outstanding quality and great value from The Society. In turn, the staff at The Society work very hard to meet these expectations, consistently, every time.

'Winning the Merchant of the Year award is great recognition of this partnership and illustrates that an organisation run on mutual principles, where the satisfaction of our members is our primary focus, can offer a great experience and value in a highly competitive trading environment. Thank you for your continued support for your Society.'

Our buyers' comments

To have one's range identified as the country's best by such an expert panel is highly gratifying and reinforces what our members already know: that we have some of the best wine buyers in the business! On receiving their respective Specialist Merchant Awards, our buyers had the following to say:

  • 'I am delighted that we have won the award for the best Chilean list for the seventh time in eight years. One has to run to keep up with Chile as each year it seems to discover a new valley or successfully produce a new wine style or variety. Chile's only constant is change!' - Toby Morrhall, buyer for Chile
  • ''Think Alsace, think The Wine Society' is what this award means and we are thrilled to get it.' - Marcel Orford-Williams, buyer for Alsace
  • 'It is great to see that the Portuguese Specialist Award is now an established part of the International Wine Challenge programme. Portugal thoroughly deserves it, and for it to be two in a row for The Wine Society makes it all the more rewarding.' - Joanna Locke MW, buyer for Portugal

Thank you to our members

The Society is only what it is today thanks to our members, solely for whom it continues exist. Receiving this kind of recognition is extremely pleasing but, as ever, it raises the bar still higher. We look forward to further enhancing our services in the future while continuing to bring you the best of the world's vineyards at the best possible prices. Thank you to all our members for your continued support.


We are delighted to see such a strong performance from The Society's range in the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards and IWC (International Wine Challenge) awards - in particular our Society and Exhibition-label wines, which scooped over 30 medals between them.

Below is a list of trophy winners and gold and silver medal-winning Society wines, including links to the product pages for those wines that are available for sale at the time of writing:



La Rocca, Soave Classico, 2010 (Italian White & Soave trophies)
Henriques & Henriques Malvasia, 15 years old
Williams & Humbert As You Like It Amontillado (Medium Amontillado trophy)
Stanton and Killeen 12-year-old Muscat, Rutherglen (Classic Rutherglen Muscat trophy)
Undurraga TH Alto Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 (Maipo Valley trophy)

Gold Medals

The Society's Corbières
La Rocca, Soave Classico, 2010
Nyetimber Brut Rosé, 2008
Stanton and Killeen 12-year-old Muscat, Rutherglen
Williams & Humbert As You Like It Amontillado
Henriques & Henriques Sercial, 10 years old
Blandy's Terrantez, 20 years old, 50cl
Undurraga TH Alto Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010
Roda Reserva, Rioja, 2007
Cono Sur Ocio Pinot Noir, 2011

Silver Medals

The Society's Champagne, Brut
The Society's Saar Riesling
The Society's LBV Port, 2007
The Society's Exhibition Crusted Port, Bottled 2006
The Society's Exhibition Victoria Shiraz, 2007
The Society's Exhibition Mendoza Malbec, 2010
The Society's Exhibition Chianti Classico, 2010
The Society's Exhibition Limarí Chardonnay, 2011
The Society's Exhibition Single Vineyard Martinborough Pinot Noir, 2011
The Society's Exhibition Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2012
The Society's Exhibition Viejo Oloroso
Fitou, Domaine Jones, 2011
Corbières, Chateau Trillol, 2008
Rufo do Vale D Maria, Douro, 2010 (Cristiano Van Zeller)
Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, Marlborough
Domaine du Tariquet Dernières Grives, 2011
Chateau Musar, 2005
Tahbilk Viognier, 2012, Nagambie Lakes
Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé, 2010
Louis Roederer, Non-Vintage, Brut Premier
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, Marlborough
Pazo Señorans Selección de Añada Albariño, Rías Baixas, 2006
Hermitage, Chevalier de Stérimberg, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, 2010
Peter Lehmann Margaret Semillon, 2007, Barossa
Peter Lehmann VSV 1885 Shiraz, 2010, Barossa
Rufus Stone Shiraz, 2009, Heathcote
CVNE Imperial Reserva, Rioja, 2007
La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva, Rioja, 2001
Crozes-Hermitage, Domaine de Thalabert, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, 2009
Passadouro, Touriga Nacional, Douro, 2010 (Quinta do Passadouro)



Corbières, Chateau Trillol, 2008 (Red Languedoc-Roussillon under £15 trophy)
Louis Roederer, Non-Vintage, Brut Premier (Non-vintage Champagne trophy)
Lawson's Dry Hills Pinot Noir Rosé, 2012, Marlborough (New Zealand Rosé under £15 trophy)
Riesling Grand Cru Brand, Cave De Turckheim, 2008 (Alsace Dry Riesling over £15 trophy)
Domaine Cauhapé Quintessence du Petit Manseng, 2009 (Sweet South West France over £15 trophy)

Gold Medals

Dogliani Dolcetto, Clavesana, 2011
Pol Roger, Pure Brut
Jordan Estate Nine Yards Chardonnay, Stellenbosch, 2011
La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva, Rioja, 2001
Riesling, Cuvée Sainte Catherine, Domaine Weinbach, 2010
Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, 2011

Silver Medals

The Society's Exhibition Mendoza Malbec, 2010
The Society's Exhibition Limarí Chardonnay, 2011
The Society's Exhibition Crusted Port, Bottled 2006
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, 2011 (Vigna Corvino)
Minervois La Livinière, Château Sainte Eulalie, Cuvée Cantilène, 2010
Momo Vendimia Seleccionada, Ribera del Duero, 2009
Night Harvest 'John George' Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010, Margaret River
Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, Marlborough
Wither Hills Chardonnay 2011, Marlborough
Gavi La Battistina, 2012
Le Brun de Neuville, Chardonnay, Brut, Non-Vintage
Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé, 2010
Cono Sur Riesling Cosecha Noble Bío-Bío, 2011
Williams & Humbert As You Like It Amontillado
The Society's Exhibition Hermitage Blanc, 2007
Viña Zorzal Graciano, 2011
La Ferla Nero d'Avola, 2011
Minervois La Livinière, Château Sainte Eulalie, 2011
Château Vignelaure, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, 2012
Susana Balbo Signature Malbec, 2010
CVNE Imperial Reserva, Rioja, 2007
Penfolds St. Henri Shiraz, 2008
Herdade do Esporão Verdelho, 2012
Jordan Chenin Blanc, 2012
Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Furstentum, Domaine Weinbach, 2010
Gewurztraminer Cuvée Comtes D'Eguisheim, Léon Beyer, 2007
Pieropan Calvarino, 2010
Château Doisy-Védrines, Sauternes, 2010

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