Judging day 2018

Another judging day has come and gone. Almost 700 wines have been put through their paces by a team of 21 independent wine merchants and soon our winners will be announced.

This year’s judges came from as far afield as Orkney, Manchester, south Wales and the Isle of Wight. Between them they represent a pretty good cross section of the independent wine trade.

We worked them hard, and there were some tough decisions to be made. And we’re confident that the wines that they enjoyed the most – whether they turn out to be Top 100 winners or the Highly Commended wines that just missed the cut – will make for interesting tasting on our stand at the London Wine Fair.

We’ll unveil the winners on May 21. Watch this space!


The 2018 competition is now open

We are delighted to announce that entries are now open for The Wine Merchant Top 100’s 2018 competition.

Once again we’re on the hunt for the most impressive wines in specialist independent wine merchants, at all price points. Our winners might retail for £7 or £70 and beyond. The important thing is that they offer brilliant value for whatever the price tag happens to be.

As always, our judges will be a group of independent wine merchants – we’ll be naming this year’s panel over the coming weeks.

Our winners will be showcased at The London Wine Fair in May and featured in a special supplement that will be sent to all 850-plus independent wine merchants in the UK.

Deadline for entries is March 27. You’ll find all the information you need within this website, including your entry form. But please get in touch if you have any queries that you don’t see covered.

Good luck!

Winners Supplement 2017

As always, every recipient of The Wine Merchant magazine will receive a copy of our winners supplement in July.

It contains descriptions and images of all our winning wines, a run-down of the Highly Commended entries, and information about the judges and how this year’s competition worked.

Here’s the digital version. Congratulations again to everyone who achieved success in a very tough year.

The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners Supplement 2017

The Wine Merchant Top 100 2017

We’re delighted to confirm this year’s Wine Merchant Top 100. We had a record entry this year of just under 700 wines which meant it was tougher than ever to be a winner. Congratulations to all the producers and suppliers who made the cut.

All of the wines are available to taste this week at our stand (V76) at the London Wine Fair. Competition director David Williams and Wine Merchant editor Graham Holter will be happy to discuss how the competition works and what the judges – a panel of 18 independent wine merchants – were looking for in the winning wines.

Look out for our winners supplement, which will feature profiles of all the winning wines and a run-down of our Highly Commended wines too.

Meanwhile, all this year’s Top 100 appear below:

Continue reading

Top 100 Trophy winners revealed

Diversity is theme of this year’s Wine Merchant Top 100, as the judges in the fifth edition of the annual competition for independent-only wines gives places and trophies to an unprecedented range of suppliers, countries and styles.

A total of 14 countries share the spoils, including first-ever appearances from Croatia and Slovenia and a strong showing from Greece, which provides a trio of high-scoring whites including the Best White Trophy for Ktima Gerovassiliou Malgaousia, Macedonia 2016, imported by the 2017 competition’s leading supplier, Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines.

France is well out in front, however, providing a quarter of the Top 100, and trophies for Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus Champagne NV (Best Sparkling Trophy; Hatch Mansfield) and Les Domaines Paul Mas Côte Mas Frisante NV (Best Value Sparkling Trophy).

The Wine Merchant issue 58
Spain is second with 13 Top 100 places plus three trophies: Best Value Red Trophy, Familia Castaño Hecula Monastrell, Yecla 2015 (£9.99, Liberty Wines); Best Fortified & Dessert Trophy, Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla Antique Palo Cortado NV (£35.55, Boutinot); and Best Value Fortified Trophy, Equipo Navazos I Think Manzanilla En Rama 2017 (£9.95, Alliance Wine).

The remaining trophies go to Argentina’s Sottano Judas, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza, 2014 (£49.99, Vindependents), awarded Best Red Trophy, and Man Family Vineyards Free-Run Steen Chenin Blanc, Coastal 2016 (£6.59, Enotria & Coe), Best Value White Trophy.

Among suppliers, Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines is comfortably the year’s star performer, with 19 entries in the Top 100, followed by Les Grands Chais de France (nine entries), and Enotria & Coe (seven).

The only competition for wines aimed exclusively at the UK’s independent wine merchants, The Wine Merchant Top 100 2017 was as ever judged by a diverse panel of 18 independents from around the country, chaired by David Williams, wine correspondent of The Observer.

“With almost 700 wines, this was the best year yet for entries, and the final list – including the 117 Highly Commended wines that just missed out on a place in the Top 100 – is a brilliant reflection of the quality and variety on offer in the UK’s independent trade,” says Williams.

• All winners will be revealed and showcased on The Wine Merchant’s stand at the London Wine Fair and featured in a supplement published with the magazine in July.

The 2017 competition is now open!

The independent trade is the most exciting part of the wine trade. It’s got the best people – and also the best wines.

We’re putting both these elements together once again with the 2017 Wine Merchant Top 100 competition.

We’re on the hunt for the most interesting and enjoyable wines that the independent trade has to offer. They’ll be put before a judging panel of independent merchants and the ones that perform the best will be awarded Top 100 status and showcased at The London Wine Fair.

We’ll also feature all of them in our winners supplement, published in early summer.

If you sell cracking wines to independent merchants, here’s a chance to get national recognition. Our judges are hard-headed and very demanding. The winners they choose are always exceptional, and a magnificent advertisement for the UK’s vibrant independent retail scene.

Winners supplement 2016

All specialist independent wine merchants in the UK have now been sent the winners supplement for The Wine Merchant Top 100 2016.

The digital version is here. Congratulations once again to all those who were successful in this year’s competition, when it was harder than ever to make the final cut due to the record entry level.

The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners 2016