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A sleek, dark full-bodied red from the best-known Languedoc appellation. Full of ripe blackberry fruit with a hint of plum and a seasoning of spice. Made for us with love and care by Pierre Bories from Ollieux-Romanis.
Product Code: WS-FC33561
View all products by Château Ollieux Romanis
The Bories family have been making wine in Corbières for generations, since they built their own winery and cellar in 1896 using original stones from the estate’s quarry. In the 1980s, Jacqueline and François Bories completely rejuvenated the family property, buying up parcels of vines and restructuring the vineyards, wisely refusing to pull up the older vines as so many other producers were doing. Now Ollieux Romanis owns some of the oldest vines in the region.Jacqueline and François laid excellent foundations for their son, Pierre Bories, who began working with them in 2001 and has maintained the Chateau’s excellent reputation ever since.The domaine is located at the heart of Boutenac, one of the 11 sub-zones of Corbières and historically better known for olive groves and grazing sheep. In 2005 it became the only Corbières sub-region with its own ‘cru’ status, so it is deemed by most to be the best of the bunch. The domaine’s 150 hectares of vineyards are particularly well positioned in a south-south-easterly aspect which gives shelter from the north wind and is a beautiful sun-trap.Impressively, more than a third of their vines are carignan aged between 50 and over 100 years old, but they also grow syrah, grenache noir, mourvèdre, roussanne and marsanne, among other varieties. Soil types vary greatly too – from hard clay with rolled pebbles, to red mediterranean soil – but all are excellent at keeping vines hydrated in the scorching summer heat.The family practises sustainable viticulture, although they haven’t yet achieved formal certification. Weed-killer was discontinued several years ago, and chemical fertilisers have been replaced by compost made almost entirely on the vineyard.The harvest takes place in September, with different parcels of grapes being picked together according to their quality. A small team of pickers harvests about 80% of the grapes by hand, as their ancestors did, carrying the grapes in baskets on their back. They are then transported to the winery by tractor in small boxes, where they are sorted and then most of the grapes undergo carbonic maceration.Although the family pay careful attention to their long-held traditions, they are also dedicated to improving their wines by using the best modern technology: for instance, they use a pneumatic press which is gentler to the grapes and extracts better-quality juice.In collaboration with our buyer for southern France, Marcel Orford-Williams, Pierre has been producing The Society’s Corbières since the 2007 vintage. It has since gained a huge loyal following among our members, and also has more official appreciation: in May 2013, it won gold at the International Wine Challenge.
Where do we start in a region so huge? With production nearly three times that of Bordeaux, or more than the whole of Australia, the Languedoc-Roussillon accounts for about a third of all French wine made. The sheer scale of production and the intense competition to channel such volumes through to the market means that in most years supply is greater than demand so prices are kept in check. It is not for nothing that wines from the South of France offer such great value for money. Here you get what you pay for. The trick is to get beyond the gain line and tap into a rich vein of almost endless vinous pleasure. Appellation Contrôlée and Vin de Pays (also known as IGP – Indication Geographique Protegée) - officially, these are two quite different wine worlds that live side by side almost, seemingly, in complete ignorance of each other's existence. Luckily, reality is different and most producers see no conflict between the two and many produce wines under both codes. Nor is one necessarily better than the other. Indeed many of Languedoc's most iconic wines, such as Mas de Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères, are Vin de Pays. So why the difference? The status of Appellation Contrôlée was gradually conferred to the historic heartlands of Languedoc-Roussillon, in other words those sites in the foothills of the Massif Central and Pyrenees where viticulture has existed since the Romans. Appellation status is also about taste and about wine made from a narrow selection of mostly Mediterranean grape varieties.Vin de Pays (IGP) was introduced to improve the quality of what was then the mass of 'vins ordinaries'. It confers an identity to wines coming from those areas that were planted during the big periods of expansion, mostly in the plain between Narbonne and Pézenas. It allows for higher yields than AC, and, more importantly, allows a much wider palette of grape varieties for the growers to choose from.In terms of grape varieties Languedoc-Roussillon is France's answer to the New World. In the duality of Appellation Contrôlée and Vin de Pays, the conformism of Parisian bureaucracy goes hand in hand with the creative spirit of pure liberalism. So in terms of grape variety, almost anything goes! Native Languedoc and Roussillon varieties are at the heart of all appellation wines. With a changing climate and a tendency to extremes of weather, these ancient varieties are gaining favour.Carignan is the workhorse of Languedoc especially in the drier west. At its best, it produces a wine that is deeply coloured, quite tannic, sappy with brambly fruit. Many producers have woken up to the qualities of carignan if it is treated with respect and low yields are achieved.Grenache produces round tasting wines, often with low tannin and high alcohol and is rarely to be found on its own except in the fortified reds of Roussillon.Cinsault belongs in the heat of North Africa. In the South of France, it is widely grown and can add fragrance and lightness of touch to big brawny reds, but more often it is made into rosé.Like carignan, the native whites are more obviously associated with high production but with careful handling can produce wines of real interest. There is maccabeu and grenache blanc, grown mostly in Corbières and Roussillon. Clairette, grown mostly in the east, closer to the Rhône. Terret is grown extensively around Marsseillan, home of French vermouth. Maybe the best of all is the piquepoul which east of Beziers produces good quaffing dry picpoul de Pinet. Muscat used to be grown exclusively for vin doux naturel such as Saint Jean de Minervois and Rivesaltes but also produces full-flavoured dry wines of some interest.The biggest change in the South of France was the introduction of other grape varieties to help boost quality. For the reds, syrah was the most obvious import and is now widely planted and is usually part of a blend with grenache and/or carignan. Syrah is at its best where there is a little humidity such as in the east around Pic Saint Loup. Mourvèdre is much more complicated to grow but has a real future in areas close to the sea such as in parts of Fitou and Corbières.For the whites, roussanne and marsanne have also journeyed south from the Rhône to add finesse and flavour to Mediterranean blends. Increasingly, the Corsican vermentino, also known as rolle, can be found in blends where it often has a positive influence.Bordeaux has for long been an important connection for the Languedoc with the Canal du Midi there to prove the link. Not surprisingly, Languedoc producers were quick to introduce Bordeaux varieties in their vineyards. Merlot is the most widely planted and in some years has been very profitably exported in bulk to California or back to Bordeaux. The later ripening cabernets are probably better suited to the climate of the south and have great potential.Another revolution across the South of France has been in the quality of the whites. Before new standards of cellar hygiene and refrigeration were introduced, the concept of a fresh, dry and fruity Languedoc-Roussillon white wine was nigh impossible. Growers like Pierre Bésinet at Domaine du Bosc and Louis-Marie Teisserenc at Domaine de l'Arjolle were quick to spot the potential and successfully plant chardonnay, sauvignon and even the mysterious viognier.Regional StylesLanguedoc-Roussillon is such a large region that it is impossible to generalise about the entirety. It helps to divide it into three main sections: Eastern Languedoc, Western Languedoc, and Southern Lanuedoc. The east includes excellent appellations like Faugères, Côteaux du Languedoc, Pic saint Loup and Montpeyroux. The style of wine produced here is often Rhône-like: generous, thickly textured and often high in alcohol. Syrah is the outstanding grape variety and it blends well with grenache and sometimes mourvèdre. Nothing remains static in Languedoc and the old Côteaux du Languedoc is about to be replaced by a new appellation called simply Languedoc. Western Languedoc is more dramatic, mountainous, and much drier than the east, but it's also colder and the austerity of its climate and topography can be tasted in its wines. The carignan grape is often an essential element in many of the reds. Look out for saint-Chinian, Minervois and Saint Jean de Minervois (the latter for muscat based sweet vin doux naturel), Cabardès, Limoux (especially sparkling Crémant de Limoux).The south incorporates Corbières, Fitou and Roussillon. These are dry, hot regions surrounded by mountains which provide a majestic backdrop. Fitou is the oldest Appellation and confusingly comes in two parts. The best wines though come from in between in what is actually southern Corbières. Corbières is the largest single appellation in Languedoc, with myriad different styles from different soils and microclimates. This veritable chaos of crags, gorges, strewn with castles, wild herbs and abandoned abbeys encapsulates the heart of the Midi. The wines all have a little of that wildness and wonder.In Roussillon black schists on the north bank of the Agly make the best reds. These are typically fine and spicy with grenache and syrah. Traditionally the best-exposed sights near the village of Maury have produced sweet fortified wine. High mountains provide the opportunity to plant vines at higher altitudes and make fresher wines. Finally, this vast region ends in a narrow strip of land between mountain and the sea and with Spain on two sides. Twisting lanes and vertiginous vine terraces link the little ports of Collioure, Banyuls and Cerbère. The fortified wines are sold as Banyuls and are mostly Grenache-based with a little carignan. The Collioure appellation is for expressive, full-bodied and refined table wine which can be made from several grape varieties: carignan, syrah, grenache, mourvèdre and counoise for the reds and grenache, roussanne and vermentino for the whites.
"This wine was the main reason i joined the wine society - Full bodied with hint of vanilla. My Guest were thrilled by the ever present taste.
Do give this a go , a great wine and collection"
I would recommend this wine
"I can’t analyse wine like many, I like wine and some more than others. This is F.A.B. I’m getting more before it runs out."
"First sampled this variety in France and fell in love! Lovely fruit, hints of vanilla and tiny hints of oak - delicious. The Society's offering is consistently good and excellent value."
I would recommend this wine
"Wonderful, blackberry fruit, mildly spicy. The best WS red I've had so far in my sub £10 price range.
"Very good, dark fruit and chocolate."
"I can’t analyse wine like many, I like wine and some more than others. This is F.A.B. I’m getting more before it runs out."
"Another good value red showing much of the quality now available from the Corbieres region."
"I’ve had several bottles in the last few years. It’s everything I want in a wine; fruity, a good tannin bite, inexpensive and all to whom I’ve introduced it expressed joy on first taste. "
"This wine was the main reason i joined the wine society - Full bodied with hint of vanilla. My Guest were thrilled by the ever present taste.
Do give this a go , a great wine and collection"
"This is a lovely fruity wine with a good depth of flavor. It also has hints of vanilla and a long finish. I have compared this to other WS wines around the same money but this always came out tops."
There are no press reviews for this product.
"Good everyday drinking. Good enough at the price."
Mr James Roberts (07-May-2018)
"Good firm spicy tannins, lots of flavour, but the fruit was overdone and tending to jamminess"
Mr Nigel Morris (08-Feb-2018)
"Surprised by the variation in the reviews for this - I really enjoyed it and found it easy to drink, fruity but not over-blown and fresh. I would probably still recommend this as a food-wine and a pleasant partner for many mid-week dining occasions. I will buy it again to confirm this view."
Mr Robert McIntosh (07-Feb-2018)
"Not a wine/ region that we order often but did so based on the 2015 vintage. Only one bottle opened (I note the comments about variability of bottles) but the one we have opened was truly excellent value for money. Fully flavoured round and soft. Will but again at the price, good value."
Mr Anthony J Kinahan (19-Jan-2018)
"Previous vintages of the Society's Corbieres have been absolutely stunning. Sadly 2015, (or perhaps the batch of 6 I received), was thin, and lacked the rich fruit that has characterised its predecessors. Wine Society: please ask the maker to re-instate the glories of past vintages of this wine."
Mr Christopher J Dodd (02-Jan-2018)
"Pretty much no sediment but not much to inspire either. Slightly sharp and lacking complexity."
Mr Michael Martin (01-Jan-2018)
Mr Anthony Castledine (26-Dec-2017)
"The variance in the reviews points towards extreme bottle variation rather diverse opinion, my bottle was fine , very much in line with the description, is it worth£7.95 perhaps not but I have no qualms about recommending the wine I received .
Sadly different batches different bottling s of this type of wine does throw up variations on occasion though not as extreme normally as shown here in the reviews, perhaps TWS should check the bottling s for consistency or do they already ?"
Mr John Wigglesworth (03-Dec-2017)
"What is this 1 star twaddle about?
Some nice bramble/dark fruit with a bunch of earthy acidity. Little bit of grip. What do these people want for less than £8?
Amazing value wine - we'll have some more of that thanks."
Mr Andrew Buurman (12-Nov-2017)
"Very surprised that this wine was among wine champions as it is very average...."
Mr Michal Slavik (29-Oct-2017)
"Mmmm.....I gave a very positive review to a previous vintage, but less so this time and I am a little surprised at some of the press reviews, unless it's gone a bit over the hill since then which seems unlikely for a 2015. It's not a bad wine, just not as balanced as previous vintages and I agree with the comment on overripe fruit. It's very dense in colour and texture, and even two days after opening it was still a bit overwhelming. Overall, just a bit OTT I thought for many foods."
Mr Mark Colman (27-Sep-2017)
"Indeed this is good value, competing quite well with similar wines from Chile or regional Australia. However. The 14.5% alcohol is an early warning. Deep, dark, plummy on appearance, but what is this? The nose is overripe, prunes rather than the crunchy fruit that I was expecting. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable among all the extraction, and acid has been skilfully balanced, but I'm still left with an impression of sweet, over-ripe fruit, and there is little hope of drinking this with an unsugared meal. Maybe a takeaway tikka masala (heavily sweetened as is common) would work, or try serving it on its own to shy guests before the meal as a first course? Perfectly sound, if you like this kind of thing, but not for me."
Mr Andras Salamon (18-Sep-2017)
"I feel compelled to refute the poor reviews of Messrs. Davey and Hindle.
This wine is truly delicious, and an absolute bargain at £7.75.
I urge members to pay more attention to the professionals' reviews in this case, although I wouldn't call this wine 'everyday' or 'gluggable'; it should be savoured slowly, even on special days!"
Mr Rolande Auten (17-Aug-2017)
"Splendid fruity drop, fresh with bramble-fruit flavours and happy with or without food. Will buy again"
Mr Pete Woods (21-Jul-2017)
"I am confused by the one star member reviews. I have had three bottles of this now and it is absolutely delicious. In my opinion the press reviews are spot on."
Mr Neil Hogg (13-Jun-2017)
"Oh dear indeed!! This was a real favourite of mine, a 5 star wine, and have purchased it regularly over the years, so I was very surprised at Mr Davey's review of the 2015 vintage. In fact I concluded he was being vindictive and harsh, so to play safe I bought just one bottle before placing a larger order. It was dreadful. Unless Mr Davey and myself have received the only 3 bad bottles in the cellar, I would say that this vintage does not deserve the Society's name. I cannot comment on any sediment because I actually poured it away. Even my better half, who normally drinks anything rejected it. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Wine Society, do not do this to customers. It undermines confidence. And please get the 2016 vintage back on track. I hate giving bad reviews, but I have to warn potential customers to buy one bottle before committing yourself."
Mr John Hindle (10-Jun-2017)
"Lots of brambly fruit . Not as pleasant as the 2014 which was better balanced, but no real complaints"
Mr Frederick Matthews (07-Jun-2017)
"Oh dear. I have greatly enjoyed several previous vintages, but the 2015 is a tremendous disappointment based on the two bottles I have tried so far. The warning about it throwing a “small” amount of sediment is something of an understatement – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much in a bottle – and while it may be harmless it’s none too pleasant if you happen to accidentally swig some. The wine also leaves an unappetising cloudy deposit on the glass, something I have never experienced before. However, both of these things could be overlooked if the wine tasted as good as the previous vintages. Sadly, it doesn’t. It’s not undrinkable, but it is very dull, with none of the vibrant fruit that characterised the previous vintages. There’s also a slightly chemical aftertaste which does nothing to enhance the drinking experience. All in all, very poor"
Mr Mike Davey (07-Apr-2017)
Yorkshire Post (13th May 2017)
southern French drinking, An everyday wine at an everyday price.- Christine Austin"
JancisRobinson.com (10th May 2017)
"Juicy black fruit
with a soft, easygoing roundness and good blackcurrant concentration through to
the finish. Good glugging stuff, and good value. 16/20 Richard Hemming"
The Wine Gang (2nd May 2017)
"Always one of the
best value wines on the Society list, this classic Corbières is particularly
good in the bountiful 2015 vintage, with an impressive concentration of
blackberry juiciness, liquorice and dusky earthy and herbal notes. Excellent with
hearty meaty stews and sausages. - The Wine Gang"
"Deep red and still youthful. Gentle brambly fruit. Quite full and round on the palate. Very ripe and easy to drink."
Mr David Chittleborough (21-Jan-2017)
"Consistent and dependable. Technically sound wine. No grape variety dominates, although the Grenache is always detectable. I agree with the comment that this is a great 'house' wine. I don't understand how it could seem dense and hard as another reviewer notes, as that implies that it's too young or tannic, which I've never found over 4 vintages."
Mr Mark Colman (30-Sep-2016)
"3 and a half stars
Quite full, a bit of damson maybe . Good value and well made. A worthy weekday red"
Mr Frederick Matthews (21-Aug-2016)
Mr Robert Hudson (12-Aug-2016)
"A few bottles of this wonderful wine find their way into almost every order I place. It has been consistently good for several years, and as an "everyday" red it is unrivalled."
Mr Mike Davey (12-Aug-2016)
"Tried a bottle after passing through Montreuil, and was impressed. Fruity and rounded, balanced by a little bit of weight - very enjoyable summer drinking."
Mr Philip Kirkley (07-Aug-2016)
"Outstanding wine in every respect at a great price."
Mr William Baxter (29-Jul-2016)
"Proving that we all like different things in wines (see other member's review) this has been firmly adopted as the "house red" and is the go to choice when we just want a nice bottle of red. I think this is the 4th or 5th vintage we've had and this is different from the 2013 (tested side by side) by equally enjoyable. Definitely full-bodied but not over-powering it is fruity, far too easy to drink and always surprises me that it does not contain a little syrah as it has a nice gently spicy touch. Not only an award winner but even gets the Chief Exec's blessing too."
Mr Andrew Fricker (23-Apr-2016)
"Not had a great experience with this wine, found it unnaturally powerful dense and hard even after considerable breathing. Most unlike the fruity generous Corbieres I am used to."
Mr Trevor Howard (30-Nov-2015)
The Wine Gang (3rd Nov 2015)
herb-and-spice quality – liquorice, pepper, rosemary and thyme – brings the
seasoning to a lively southern French blend of Grenache and Carignan, where the
brambly black fruit is dark but juicy and fresh in a red that is ready to go
with a herby sausage casserole. 87/100"
"Very smooth, rich, fruity, pure and not too heavy!"
Mrs Clare R Turner (21-Aug-2015)
"A little more tannic than I remember and less rounded. Decent fruit though and has its place for the price."
Mr Martin Wingate (03-Jul-2015)
"My taste and experience of this wine is going to disagree with most others here. I found this to be exactly the reason I don't buy much French wine (in my budget that is usually under £10). If I was to close my eyes and pick a French red in a super market over £6 they would all taste like this one to me, dull and not that good. Not for me alas."
Mr John Devlin (29-Jun-2015)
"I just love this wine. Not as much as the Ollieux Romanis under their own label, but its sensational value. We were travelling near the canal de midi and realised we were close, so we went to visit the chateau. What a reception we got! Just mentioned The Wine Society and the owner rushed in from his office and regaled us with how fabulous the guys from The Society are and how they have helped him develop his wines. We had a fabulous tasting and bought a variety of his wines. The chateau labels that The Society offer get sold out so quickly, as justly so as I believe that they offer sensational value for genuine quality wines."
Mr Gregory D Templeton (05-Jun-2015)
"I'm feeling foolish to have given this wine an earlier bad review when I found that decanting a final bottle transformed it into a warm and pleasant, full bodied red that well accompanied the lamb casserole."
Mr Oliver Cottingham (05-Jun-2015)
"I agree with the review by Mr Arrowsmith. Slightly syrupy and lacking any structure."
Mr Oliver Cottingham (23-Mar-2015)
"I hadn't drunk Corbieres for many years and was impressed with the Press reviews of this example. I am not sure we were drinking the same stuff. I found this red fruity but completely soft, slightly sweet and completely lacking in structure. OK as a third bottle."
Mr Martin Arrowsmith (06-Mar-2015)
"This could be the perfect everyday red..."
Mr Jonathan W Turnbull (24-Jan-2015)
"A lovely well balanced corbieres which tasted even better after 24 hours breathing."
Mr Shane Keen (20-Jan-2015)
"I ordered a bottle of this with my Christmas delivery but didn't drink it until last week. I can't believe its so good for this price. It's delicious!"
Miss Barbara Britton (14-Jan-2015)
"Year after year this is a reliable red. Always a joy."
Mr Derek S Hills (27-Nov-2014)
The Mail on Sunday (14th Jul 2015)
hearty red that'll take some beating for an all-round top bottle this summer. - Olly Smith"
winegang.com (1st May 2015)
"New vintage, same
price, same impressive quality once again for the Society's full-on, fruity,
spicy Corbières. It's an unoaked blend of, predominantly, carignan and grenache
and is blended by Society buyer Marcel Orford-Williams with Pierres Bories of Château
Ollieux Romanis. Hats off to both."
Daily Mail (11th Apr 2015)
"Corbières is the
largest Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée region in the whole of the
Languedoc-Roussillon. Red wine is the order of the day here and carignan
is the most important grape variety. Serve this inexpensive, plummy
version with all manner of Sunday roasts. - Matthew Jukes"
The Mail on Sunday (5th Apr 2015)
"My go-to red for an
all-round lamb friendly tipple resonating perfectly with the delicate flavour
of the meat and any Mediterranean herbal lavishment such as rosemary that often
adorns the dish. - Olly Smith"
JancisRobinson.com (31st Mar 2015)
"Juicy red fruit, all
primary colours and simple drinkability.- Richard Hemming"
Yorkshire Post (21st Mar 2015)
"This is the kind of wine that the Wine Society is
famous for. On the list it may look like a simple, Languedoc appellation, but
because it is sourced from a family estate where organic principles are used to
care for their old Carignan and Grenache vines it manages more concentration
and finesse. Clear, classic, herb-sprinkled, bramble fruit at a great-value
price. - Christine Austin"
The Times (5th Jul 2014)
"Generic corbières and
minervois used to be some of the nastiest French reds around, but this
terrific, 14 per cent alcohol 2013 is a very different beast. Produced and
blended by one of the south’s stars, Pierre Bories from Château Ollieux-Romanis
in Corbières, this juicy, fruit-laden red is a gem, all plummy, peppery, dried
sour cherry and cranberry fruit, with a herby garrigue finish. - Jane MacQuitty"
ollysmith.com (25th Jun 2014)
"This Corbières is
darn scrumptious and my top pick with lamb. Cherry burst, plump textures, a
wine with depth and sunny Mediterranean splendour. - Olly Smith"
"This was lovely will be buying again!"
Mrs Rachel Ford (24-Jan-2014)
"This is an absolute steal for £7.25 a bottle. The star of my 2013 Christmas order. Superb."
Mr Anthony Robinson (11-Jan-2014)
"My husband is addicted to this and I cannot disagree. If you like big, beefy, fruity SW wines there's not much better in this price range,"
Mrs Jacqueline Davies (05-Jan-2014)
"Superb.The star of the family Christmas dinner table!"
Mr Bennet Summers (27-Dec-2013)
timatkin.com (14th May 2014)
"You can find cheaper
Corbières on the market, some of which will challenge your dental enamel, but
this delivers plenty of wine at the price. Sourced from Château Ollieux
Romanis, it's a youthful, wild herb-scented red with the accent squarely on
fruit rather than oak. Juicy, bouncy and bright, it's just the thing for a
summer (or late spring) barbecue. - Tim Atkin"
France Magazine (13th May 2014)
"Snap it up: The
makers of this red for The Wine Society are one of the leading producers in the
Corbieres appellation of Languedoc-Roussillon, so it's no surprise that it's a
tasty little number. There's a lot in it for the price - a lifted violet
perfume leads into sweet, crunchy red berry fruits which taste as though
they've been infused with herbs from the Mediterranean scrubland known as the garrigue.
A glycerol-sweet texture in a medium-bodied and spicy wine makes this ripe and
ready for drinking. - Sally Easton"
thewinegang.com (5th May 2014)
"Full, dry and supple
with sweet red berry and cherry fruit and lovely, garrigue fragrance. Made for
the Society by Pierre Bories at Ollieux Romanis using a blend of Carignan and
Grenache, including some impressively old vines. A bargain. - The Wine Gang"
The Field (19th Apr 2014)
red of great depth and flavour. - Jonathan Ray"
The Mail on Sunday (13th Apr 2014)
fragrance and a core of deliciously firm cherry-like fruit. - Olly Smith"
"Deep ruby red, soft, plummy flavour. Excellent value, really impressed."
Mr Brian Kain (17-Aug-2013)
"Well this is my first bottle from The Society since becoming a member. I hope the other five bottles from my first purchase prove to be as enjoyable. Great value and really of the style, would recommend."
Mr Jonathan Childs (11-Jul-2013)
"One of the most enjoyable wines tasted from the Society. Young but rounded with loads of fruit. Brilliant everyday red."
Mr Brian Pidgeon (11-Jun-2013)
"As longstanding lovers of Corbieres, this is one of the best. Loads of fruit and oomph!"
Mrs Jacqueline Davies (24-Apr-2013)
"OMG, keep this one a secret please. Wonderful fruit that just fills the mouth. Can be enjoyed on a night without food, but would add to any meal. Wonderful, but don't tell anyone will you!!!
Mr Robert M Parsons (20-Apr-2013)
"Enjoyed. Great value and very fruity ."
Mr Mick Stiffin (24-Nov-2012)
The Press Association (23rd Aug 2013)
"With little gems like
this from the rugged terrain of Corbières, it's easy to see why the International
Wine Challenge judges took a shine to The Society - and why members are keeping
their wine racks well stocked. A blend of carignan, grenache and syrah with a
splash of mourvèdre, this viotel beauty is jammed with juicy cherry and
strawberry fruits and notes of herbs. - Sam Wylie-Harris"
The Press Association (16th Aug 2013)
With little gems like [this] from the rugged
terrain of Corbières, it's easy to see why the [International Wine Challenge]
judges took a shine to [The Society] - and why members are keeping their wine
racks well stocked. A blend of carignan, grenache and syrah with a splash of
mourvèdre, this viotel beauty is jammed with juicy cherry and strawberry
fruits and notes of herbs.
- Sam Wylie-Harris
JancisRobinson.com (3rd Jul 2013)
"Deep rich purple. Smells a little jammy and plum-syrupy. Very simple, big, sweet, easy fruit. Cherry and strawberry. A gentle rub of soft chalky tannins. The faintest touch of herb, but most very juicy and fun and easy. –Tamlyn Curran"
"What a beauty! The society is right on the money with this little 'quaffer' for under £8."
Mr Peter Grant (15-Aug-2012)
"This is the one society wine I return to again and again. It's a well balanced wine that doesn't have that dodgy alcoholic burn that a lot of wine approaching 15% tend to have. It's probably the best wine around for under a tenner as far as I'm concerned."
Mr Kieran Hynes (01-Apr-2012)
"I really struggled with this wine, especially having read so many positive reviews. Happily, it was the only wine in my order that I had ordered 2 bottles of. The first one was a write off, no decant, no nose nothing good to report. The 2nd bottle, I afforded much more respect to... decanted for 2 hours, taken with food. There is still virtually no nose to speak of, but the fascinating thing was that the approach was of young fruit which within seconds "morphed" into old fruit with a long damson finish. It was pleasant and I finished it without food and enjoyed. If this is what is labelled a "complex" wine, then I think that I now 'get it'. This wine must be given your full attention and care, prior to being taken. How would I rate it? I wonder how it will be in the next year or so. Worth pursuing."
Mr Richard Morton (04-Mar-2012)
"Excellent. Pierre Bories of Ch. Ollieux Romanis offers a benchmark wine against which we can judge the enormous range offered in the eleven districts that make up the Corbieres appellation. For my money it's a touch below the standard set by Henri Gualco of Ch. Etang des Colombes and the Wine Soc's Castelmaure Mechanics, but its a lovely wine. It's a true Corbieres with fruit and spice, and a nice long finish. I've just joined the Wine Society and the availability of wines like this is well worth the investment."
Dr David Kiernan (23-Feb-2012)
"Smooth, silky tannins. Fruity. You won't be disappointed with his one."
Mr Richard Burton (24-Nov-2011)
"Rich, complex and scrumptious. A wonderful bottle."
Mr Ricky Reemer (17-Nov-2011)
"Lovely wine; reminds me of long hot summer days in the south of France! Rich blend, long finish and winemaking at its local best. Taste the terroir!!"
Mr Michael Cohen (11-Sep-2011)
"I am so fortunate to have rediscovered Corbiere. After many years tasting New World reds, I took the plunge and I wasn't disappointed. This is a sumptuous and juicy number, soft tannins and ready to drink now. A lively drinkable red with easy drinking at it's heart. A cracking find."
Mr Darren Jefford (26-Jun-2011)
"We had this Corbieres with our Christmas turkey, and jolly good it was too!"
Dr John Good (29-Dec-2010)
"Another admirer of this wine. A herbal nose leads to a balanced palate of slightly sweet (though far from cloying), vanilla-tinged red fruit with just a touch of spice on the long finish. Fantastic value."
Mr Andrew J P Hunt (19-Dec-2010)
"I can well understand why everyone raves about this wine; for the money it is truly fantastic. Smooth, low tannins, big fruit and flavour, and drinkable with pretty much anything, and wonderful on its own. The perfect affordable red wine. 10/10."
Mr Athelstane Aamodt (03-Dec-2010)
"Corbieres can produce gorgeous wine. This one certainly is one of those fine examples. A very spicy nose with notes of herbes de Provence and dark stone fruit. The nose gets met by the colour. Lots of extract make a deep, deep red with purple sparkles. On the palate it develops very nice blueberry and slightly plumy notes. Liqourice and again herbs. It puts quite a bit of weight on your tongue. Altogether it reveils the typical character of the blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, which is omnipotent in the south of France. The Syrah part in this cuvee is not to overlook. It clearly has the Syrah-typical bits of animalic notes to it. Leather, blood and stable-like notes are easy to spot. Very charming, warming drink. Superb on its own, perfect with lamb."
Mr Thomas Neuneck (02-Dec-2010)
"This is an excellent wine which deserves to become one of the Society's greatest favourites."
Bernard T Hawcroft Esq (08-Mar-2010)
"A firm, upstanding wine of excellent colour, well adapted to roast beef or strong cheese. I will add it to my regular drinking. It seems to be a shade better than the Thongue Syrah."
Mr Michael C Kennedy (02-Aug-2009)
"Twenty or so years ago we found ourselves near Narbonne and chose to eat at a very decent restaurant. Usually we ask the sommelier to recommend a local wine and this chap chose a Corbieres - Chateau ? It was good enough for us to explore this slightly forbidding region and to find Chateau ? - a house of faded elegance - where we were received by a charming elderly couple, sampled the wine in their drawing room and, inevitably, bought a case. We were not able to identify a source in the UK and no other Corbieres wine has matched it. However, The Society's Corbieres is of that quality. As a check, I have tried another in your list at the same price - not nearly as good. Well done!"
Mr Brian K Elms (01-Aug-2009)
"A delightful tasting wine. Very smooth. For me it is not a heavy wine, and is excellent value. It will certainly be part of my next order."
Mr Jeremy J A Davis (22-Jul-2009)
"A deep red colour in the glass, the first sip releases a fruity flavour with spicy overtones. Very moreish and, with it being reasonably priced, this is an enjoyable wine to drink at any time, with or without food. Another own-label winner forThe Society!"
Mr David R McCallum (13-Jul-2009)
"The first bottle was a little disappointing - I was expecting something to match Ch de la Grange, Fitou, or Ch de Pena, Roussillion, both favourites from that region of France. However, we had our third bottle of the Corbieres with some roast lamb recently and very good it tasted (a bit smoother on the pallet than previously), so maybe it was the all important balance between food and wine.
Nonetheless, in that region, Ch de Pena will take some beating in the value for money stakes and Ch de la Grange probably sets the standard in the price range.
Keep up the good work!
Mr David Odling (10-Jul-2009)
"A delicious glass, beautiful aroma of the "garrigue", followed by a delightful mouthful of flavour and a good long finish. Very good value."
Dr Malcolm J Smith (09-Jul-2009)
"Yes it is quite a good wine for the price; one which must be consumed with food. I think wines from this area are to be encouraged since, despite efforts to the contrary, in my opinion, bordeaux wines are still over priced. I think it is a wine that will improve with time."
Mr Michael Cruise (06-Jul-2009)
"I have been drinking Corbieres for many years but this is the finest example I have ever tasted. Very full and rounded. I will certainly be buying another case."
Mr Adam Salt (06-Jul-2009)
"Having connections with the home area I was pleased to see you had found such a pleasant easy drinking wine. My wife & I have just ordered our second case!"
Roy C Keating Esq (04-Jul-2009)
"Excellent every day drinking wine at an affordable price - just what the current financial climate calls for. Would also make a great informal dinner party wine. I've just ordered 12 more.........."
Mr Roger Burge (29-Jun-2009)
"Have only just opened the first bottle after delivery a couple of months ago - for Sunday lunch on a hot muggy day . Exactly as described in the Essential Languedoc offer , it is nicely fruity and was indeed good served slightly chilled . Couldn't quite work out the blend but obviously some Syrah . Will certainly get again for summer drinking ."
Mr Timothy M Curtis (28-Jun-2009)
"Excellent example of South of France country wine, much better than that description might imply. Fruity, quite light, just very good! And value for money too!"
Mr Thomas R Cole (27-Jun-2009)
"This is a very fruity, palatable wine. Will be buying more."
Mr Robert Crabb (26-Jun-2009)
"A meaty wine that is ideal with both a roast or a barbeque. Smooth to drink but with an an excellent depth of flavour."
Mr James C Bischoff (25-Jun-2009)
"Smooth and fruity - suits my simple palate and liking for the French style. Good value."
Mr Kenneth Last (25-Jun-2009)
"I am extremely pleased with the Society's Corbieres 2007. I agree entirely with your description of this wine as being "deliciously fruity and fragrant" and would add that for me it has a very satisfyingly long and flavoursome feel in the mouth.
Asking for member's opinions in this way is a most welcome innovation.
Mr David C Shepherd (25-Jun-2009)
"Light and tasty. Went down a treat at a recent wine and canope reception."
Dr Danny Alexander (25-Jun-2009)
"This looks like a reliable addition to the Society range at a reasonable price.
A no-nonsense screw cap facilitates spreading the consumption of a bottle over a few hours or longer, if need be.
When opened, it has a surprising floral flavour, rather like a good tempranillo, but that soon disappears; while the firm slightly acid after-kick persists. Nevertheless this wine remains smooth and drinkable a day after first opening. I shall add it to my list of wines for re-ordering."
Dr Christopher Currie (24-Jun-2009)
"I have much enjoyed the Society's Corbieres. Not as heavy as some southern French wines and good with a range of every day meals. As with so many of the Society's own wines it does what it claims to do very well.
I shall certainly buy more."
Mr Roger Guy (24-Jun-2009)
"An excellent value, every day drinking wine. Plenty of flavour with the smoothness of a much more expensive offering."
Mr Steven Burgoyne (24-Jun-2009)
"First sampled this evening, with beef - disappointing; no more exciting than any vin de Plonk from Nicholas; I will have to find a friend (who does not appreciate good wine) to offload the second bottle on to!"
Mr John Duncan-Smith (23-Jun-2009)
"A classic southern French red, extremely drinkable and excellent value for money."
S Newton Esq (23-Jun-2009)
"Just had a bottle last night. We bbqed gigot chops and some rump steak - salad cous cous and tomatoes with basil and olive oil. Wine was perfect, smooth but not too light and coped with the big food flavours well, will be ordering more soon!
Mr Christopher Trotter (23-Jun-2009)
"I was excited too see that Pierre Bories at Ollieux Romanis was producing this Corbieres Blend for the Wine Society.
Having visited the region and tasted the wines from this producer I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.
It's a bargain and one i'll be enjoying throughout the summer!"
Mr John Lees (23-Jun-2009)
"I am no connoisseur of French Wines and rarely buy them, due perhaps, to lack of knowledge, but mainly because I prefer Chilean Merlot, Camenere and Coyam, and also the Spanish Rioja's.
However, The Society's Corbieres is a lovely smooth fruity wine and yet to my palate is still dry enough to enjoy with any simple meal, but I have found this best on its own when playing Bridge with my friends.
I must try and become more adventurous, in spite of being a senior citizen and having to watch my consumption."
Mr Gerard Litten (23-Jun-2009)
"A well flavoured wine with an aroma which enhances its complicated taste. It is not in the least boring but neither does it leave me with the words to describe it. I am keeping the remaining bottles to drink with my friends and I hope that this will give more words to express the pleasure I had from this first bottle."
Mr Richard D Hilken (23-Jun-2009)
"A delighful drink at slightly below room temperature on a warm evening. Refreshing and tasty, not heavy"
Nicholas Reese Esq (23-Jun-2009)
"Not sure I want to review this wine- I'd rather it was a secret so it doesn't sell out too soon!
Like many 07 Southern France wines this is a lovely fruity dry Red and outstanding value for money. Corbières, and especially this Society one has come a long way in the last 10 years. Recommended."
Mr Chris Lake (23-Jun-2009)
"Excellent with a chinese takeaway after a long late trip back from London! Full and fruity flavour that was consistent from first drop to last. Have reordered the same again."
Mr Ian M Taylor (23-Jun-2009)
"A good example typical for the area, honest, easy drinking and excellent value for money."
Mr John S Clutterbuck (23-Jun-2009)
"Juicier and fruitier than the usual Corbieres. I've got it in the basket ready for my next order."
Mr A Barton (23-Jun-2009)
"Excellent - only one problem, it does not last very long in our house! I shall be ordering more."
Mr Thomas G Nellist (23-Jun-2009)
"Fruity, decent body. I bought it at £6.95 a bottle, and continue to think it's incredibly good value and a rewarding drink."
Mr Mohammed Haque (23-Jun-2009)
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We do moderate comments and reviews, purely to ensure that content published on The Wine Society's website is of value to members, and is fair and balanced. We're delighted to say that in the vast, vast majority of cases, our members' input is just that! We will normally approve comments for publication as long as they:
If a review or comment does not meet the rules above, then we may remove it from the site, and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Where we choose not to publish a rating, comment or review for a reason other than those listed here, we will reply to the member concerned by e-mail explaining our reasons and inviting them to make appropriate changes so that their input can be reconsidered. We also reserve the right not to publish reviews that mention other wine merchants and competitors.
Your review and your name will be displayed on our website. We may wish to use your comments and ratings in our literature or elsewhere online. Unless you specify otherwise, you are therefore agreeing in posting your comments that The Society has the right to use, edit, publish in any media, delete and/or store the whole or any part or parts of that post, and may quote you by name, without charge and without reference to you or anyone else.
The Society's wine buyers work very closely with our suppliers to determine how best to seal our wines. We list below those closures currently in use with a brief description of each.
A technical cork made up of the remnants from the production of natural corks which are ground down into particles and cleaned and then combined using a food-grade polyurethane glue. A cheaper closure which The Society's buyers discourage suppliers from using.
A technical cork made from cheaper-grade natural cork where the naturally occurring pores are filled with ground down cork particles and then the whole is sealed with a food-grade wax coating. Generally only used for wines with a short shelf-life.
Diam corks look like agglomerate corks but are far superior and are designed to put an end to cork taint and random oxidation. The production process chops cork into pieces and sorts the superior, highly elastic, suberin component from the less elastic lignin, which is discarded. It mixes the suberin with microscopic spheres of the same substance used for contact lenses, which fills the voids between the cork particles reducing porosity to air and increasing elasticity without introducing humidity. Finally the pieces are mixed with a glue and moulded under pressure. The mechanical properties of the cork are guaranteed for a certain minimum number of years depending on the grade of cork - for example Diam 2 is guaranteed for two years; Diam 3, 5 and 10 are also available.
The Champagne cork is 90% agglomerate made from cork off-cuts which are ground down, cleaned, compressed and then glued together with two disks of good quality natural cork glued onto the end which protrudes into the bottle.
Natural corks harvested from the cork oak (Quercus suber) forests in Spain and Portugal have been the closure of choice for wine for the 300 years. The bark of the cork oak is stripped from mature trees every nine years. The planks are stored and then cleaned and graded before the corks are punched out of the wood. For wines destined for long-ageing, high-grade natural corks are still the closure of choice.
Cost-effective synthetic 'corks' made from food-grade plastic with a silicone coating (similar to that used on natural corks). Generally used for wines for short-term cellaring.
A glass stopper with a plastic 'O' ring which acts as an interface between the top of the bottle and the stopper, held in place by a metal, tamper-proof seal. Relatively expensive as a closure and not widely used. Can be removed by hand.
A short natural or agglomerate cork with a plastic or wooden top to enable the stopper to be removed by hand. Traditionally used for whiskies, sherries, Madeira etc.
Aluminium alloy screwcaps made with an expanded polyethylene wadding for the lining. Screwcaps are also known as ROTEs (roll-on tamper evident) or by the brand name (Stelvin is a popular brand). Widely used in Australia and New Zealand and for wines for short-term cellaring. Becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of allowing differing levels of permeability so mimicking the properties of natural cork offering winemakers more choice depending of the style of wine being made. There is still a lack of sound data regarding the performance of screwcaps for longer-term cellaring.
This is an agglomerate cork with a disk of good-quality natural cork adhered to both ends. A reasonably priced, reliable alternative to natural cork.
This is the metal pilfer-proof cap usually used to seal beer bottles but also used in the production of Champagne and sparkling wine when wines are stored under crown cap before the dosage is added. A few producers use crown caps to seal wine bottles. Open with a standard bottle opener.
Jamie Goode has written an excellent book on the subject of closures for those wishing to find out more (Wine Bottle Closures, Flavour Press).
Alcohol by volume%
Units per standard bottle
The Society includes the alcohol by volume percentage figure for each wine available online, in Lists and offers.
It is generally accepted that alcohol levels in wine have been increasing in the last 20 years. There are many reasons why, but the single most important factor is the vast improvement in vineyard management techniques which have resulted in healthier, riper fruit being harvested. Alcohol is a by-product of the fermentation of sugars in the grapes and the best-quality wines are made from grapes that have reached physiological ripeness (colour, flavour and tannin), and this generally happens after sugar ripeness.
There are several techniques that can be used to reduce alcohol levels but currently most are intrusive and strip flavour as well as alcohol and we don't buy wines made in this way. In actual fact, more than half of our still table wines have an abv of 13% or less. Members looking to choose wines with lower levels of alcohol can now search our range by level of alcohol.
Excellent-quality wine is at the heart of everything we do at The Wine Society and balance is the single most important feature of quality. The interaction of a wine's main components of sugar, acidity, tannin, alcohol and flavour matter more than the actual level of alcohol. A well-made wine of 14.5%, for example, will taste more balanced than an inferior-quality wine with 10% alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol levels are only a guide to a wine's fullness: a 12.5% cabernet sauvignon may feel heavier and more full-bodied in the mouth than, say, a gamay of 13.5%. Members should refer to the wine's tasting note for a description of the style and fullness of the wine.
The Society is committed to promoting the responsible enjoyment of wines and spirits by providing relevant information to our members that allows them to make their own informed choices. An additional figure is beginning to be used on labels: the number of (UK) units of alcohol contained in that bottle. This is simply the alcohol by volume percentage multiplied by the content. Thus a 13% wine in a standard 75cl bottle will have 9.7 units of alcohol. All new labels of Society and Exhibition wines will include this information. drinkaware.co.uk
The Society's buyers provide recommended drink dates for all of our wines to help members decide the right time to pop the cork. As a general rule, most everyday white wines are best enjoyed within a year of purchase, and most everyday reds within two years. Certain fine wines, however, those with the right structure and balance, have the ability to evolve over time and gain complexity and finer nuances of flavour.
If the product page says:
...then our advice would be:
Should be drunk over the coming months, certainly within the year.
Ready to drink now but will keep until the year shown.
We recommend keeping longer before opening. For example, a wine will be ready to drink in 2020 but still young and will keep until 2042. It's a matter of personal taste when such wines should be drunk. Many members prefer to try the wines over many years from the opening drink date to the last to watch the wine evolve.
Within one year of purchase
A non-vintage wine that should be drunk within 12 months.
Within two years of purchase
A non-vintage wine that is ready now but will keep for two years.
Savouring the wonderfully complex and intense bouquet and flavour of a wine drank at its peak is undoubtedly one of life's greatest pleasures. As with people, the ageing process will vary from wine to wine. Over the years the wine's primary aromas of fresh fruit will develop more complicated and persistent secondary and tertiary aromas. The fruity flavours of, for example, a premier cru white Burgundy will, over time, evolve buttery, toasty and yeast aromas, or fine reds may develop coffee, cedar, tobacco, vegetal, or even 'animal' flavours as they age.
There is much pleasure to be had by experimenting with bottles at different stages of maturity; finding out how a wine evolves with age and, perhaps more importantly, establishing your own preference in terms of taste for mature wine are all part of the interest and excitement of cellaring wine.
The drinking window we provide is a guide to when the wines will be at their best. Many will favour the wines in the youthful early stages of their development; others will enjoy the wines at their most mature.
Decanting is a useful way of softening the tannins, rounding out the flavours and releasing the potential of a young wine. To find out more please visit our Serving Wine guide.
The Society's purpose-built, temperature-controlled Members' Reserves offers members access to optimum storage conditions for their wines.
For more help and advice about how best to enjoy your wines contact us via our enquiry form.
Oak plays a very important role in the production of wine throughout the world. However, the level of oak detectible in a wine can vary depending on a number of factors – for example, the age and size of the barrel and the type of oak used, as well as the length of time the wine is aged in wood. Oak also influences the structure and tannins of the final wine. For wines on our website, we use the following classifications:
This suggests that a wine has either seen no oak at all, or may have been produced using very large, old oak barrels, resulting in a wine that has no taste of oak. Expect these wines to be crisp, fruit-forward and aromatic.
Some oak has been used in the production, yet it has not been a defining factor in the style of the wine. In this instance, the oak may have played more of a part in the structure of the wine but there will still be discreet flavours associated with the use of new oak.
Wines that are defined by and known for their use of new oak. This must not be confused with a wine which is 'overly oaky' as that would purely be down to bad winemaking! We buy only wines that, we believe, use oak in a balanced and appealing way, enhancing flavour and complexity, and/or imparting structure.
How detectable oak is depends a good deal on the size of the barrel and how new it is. New oak provides a much more evident flavour and aroma and must be used carefully. The size of the barrel is important, as the smaller the barrel, the more surface area of the wine is in contact with the wood and the more flavour will be drawn out. Often, very large old oak barrels are used, which impart little or no oak flavour to the wine at all. They will still bring an extra dynamic to the final taste of a wine though, when compared to stainless steel or concrete vessels, as oak is porous and therefore lets a small amount of air into the barrel. This controlled oxidation has a positive effect on wines, softening the tannins and developing secondary flavours, all helping to add a complexity which comes with age.
There are many ways that people rate wines, whether it is on the 100 or 20 point scales, 5 stars, 3 glasses or simply thumbs up or down. The pleasure of a bottle of wine is hard to express in figures, but it does help give the memory of that wine a context, and a way of sharing your opinion with others.
In response to members' requests we have added a star rating option to the site so you can mark your favourites, or maybe those occasional less-than-welcome experiences, and make your next order easier.
You can use the 5-star rating tool to record your experiences however you wish, but if you are looking for some guidance we believe that a focus on the 'value' of the wine takes into account the quality but also the pleasure it provided, and whether it is something you would recommend to friends.