2016 Awards


IWC co-chair Tim Atkin MW (left) with Wine Society Chief Executive Robin McMillan
IWC co-chair Tim Atkin MW (left) with Wine Society Chief Executive Robin McMillan

IWC Merchant Of The Year 2016

The IWC (International Wine Challenge) 2016 saw The Society receive four accolades during a glittering ceremony held at London's Hilton on Park Lane Hotel. These are:

  • Merchant of the Year for the fourth time (following 2005, 2011 & 2013)
  • Online Retailer of the Year
  • Specialist Merchant for South America
  • Specialist Merchant for Regional France

In addition, The Society was shortlisted for Specialist Merchant for Italy and for Spain.

The judges said that The Society "has a wonderful list of wines, lovingly curated by one of the best teams of wine buyers in the UK. Staff are immensely effective sellers of the excellently chosen wines."

Several of our wines received medals earlier in the year. See below for details.

Chief Executive Robin McMillan said:
'This is the top award in the UK wine trade and a ringing endorsement for The Wine Society's mutual model in what is an increasingly competitive market. The Society, the co-operative we all own, is in the exceptional position of having no masters to serve other than our members. This means that we can concentrate on what's important to you: providing delicious and interesting wines at fair prices backed up with outstanding service. It's a business model that has worked for more than 140 years and one that these awards suggest is to be cherished.'


Decanter & The Internationsl Wine Challenge

Society wines recognised by an independent panel of experts

As a member-owned mutual organisation, it is of course members' approval that matters most to us. Nonetheless, it is also pleasing to receive plaudits for the wines which we work hard to source for our membership, and we were delighted to see several of our wines receive such prestigious awards from these two independent panels of experts.


It was particularly pleasing to see three of our flagship Exhibition wines recognised this year:

The Society's Exhibition Moulin-à-Vent 2014 (£9.50)

Decanter Gold

Concentrated, powerful yet richly fruity and succulent Beaujolais for under £10.

The Society's New Zealand Chardonnay 2014 (£13.50)

Decanter: New Zealand Chardonnay Under £15 Trophy
International Wine Challenge: Auckland Chardonnay Trophy

A fine vintage of this exceptional single-vineyard wine from Kumeu River.

The Society's Exhibition Rioja Gran Reserva 2004 (£25)

Decanter: Rioja Gran Reserva Over £15 Trophy

From the outstanding 2004 vintage; wonderful complexity, round texture and a long persistent finish.


Franschhoek Vineyards Semillon, Franschhoek 2014 (£7.95)

International Wine Challenge: Franschhoek Semillon Trophy
International Wine Challenge: South African Semillon Trophy

Mission Estate Hawke's Bay Syrah 2014 (£10.95)

International Wine Challenge: Gimblett Gravels Syrah Trophy

Anselmo Mendes 'Contacto' Alvarinho, Vinho Verde 2015 (£12.95)

International Wine Challenge: Vinho Verde Trophy
International Wine Challenge: Portuguese White Trophy

Soalheiro Alvarinho, Vinho Verde 2015 (£14.95)

Decanter: White Northern Portugal Over £15 Trophy (though we currently sell it for just under £15!)

La Rocca, Pieropan 2013 (£22)

International Wine Challenge: Soave Trophy

Pazo Señorans Selección de Añada Albariño, Rías Baixas 2008 (£29)

Decanter: White Galicia Over £15 Trophy

Penfolds Bin 389 2015 (£39)

International Wine Challenge: Barossa Valley Shiraz Trophy

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV (£43)

International Wine Challenge: Non-Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy

Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2013 (£85)

International Wine Challenge: Barossa Valley Shiraz Trophy


Maycas del Limarí Chardonnay Reserva Especial 2014 (£12.95)

Decanter Gold Medal

Taylor's Tawny Port 20 Years Old (£34)

Decanter Gold Medal

Graham's Tawny Port 20 Years Old (£37)

Decanter Gold Medal

CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva, Rioja 2009 (£39.50)

Decanter Gold Medal

Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésime 2005 (£59)

International Wine Challenge Gold Medal

Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésime 2006 (£75)

Decanter Gold Medal

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