The ninth edition of The Wine Merchant Top 100 is under way – and once again we’re looking for the most exciting wines in the independent trade.
Our panel of 40 indies is preparing to put wines of all styles and price points through their paces. As always, they’ll be looking to reward wines that are commercially attractive and which represent excellent value for money.
Our panel will be a cross-section of the independent trade and we want the wines to be equally diverse and eclectic. Of course, we expect to see a healthy proportion of crowd-pleasing Sauvignon Blancs and Malbecs, but we also welcome orange wines, natural wines, bizarre field blends and the like. As long as the wine has a natural fit with the indie trade, it’s very welcome to enter.
Once again, due to Covid, we are conducting the judging remotely, rather than assembling in one venue. But the judging process will be more rigorous than ever, with our panel encouraged to spread the task over a period of a few weeks, and to invite other members of their team to assist them as they go.
We’re delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Wine Merchant Top 100.
This year’s judging process has been a big logistical challenge, with dozens of merchants across the UK being sent their flights of wine to taste blind over the course of two rounds.
We’d like to say a huge thank-you to our judges, all of whom are independent wine merchants, who found the time to make such an effort at what has been a very hectic, uncertain and often stressful time.
We’d also like to thank all of our entrants for being so patient while the judging process ran its course.
And of course we’d like to congratulate our worthy winners. You can read more about them all in the forthcoming supplement, and on our new website, in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, here’s the list of Top 100 winners, in supplier order.
Sadly the judging date that we’d set for April 1 is no longer possible, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will be rescheduling for a date in June or July – at this stage it’s impossible to know how long restrictions on social gatherings will be necessary but as soon as the situation becomes clearer, we will announce it here and on social media, and contact all the companies who have entered the competition.
All wines that have already been sent to us are safely stored at Sensible’s warehouses, where they’ll be absolutely fine.
With the London Wine Fair now postponed, we’ll be planning to showcase the winning 100 wines at a new event in the autumn. Again, watch this space.
We appreciate it’s disappointing news but it will come as no surprise. Please get in touch if you have any queries or concerns. Many thanks.
Entries are now open for the 2020 Wine Merchant Top 100 – the only competition devoted to wines exclusive the independent trade.
Last year saw record entries in the competition, which was first held in 2013, and we’re ready for another big turnout in 2020.
The judging is done by a panel of independent wine merchants, whose identities we’ll be revealing in the coming weeks. We mix the panel up every year so that as many merchants as possible have chance to take part and to make sure we keep things fresh.
All of our winners – including the Top 100 and Highly Commended wines – will be featured in a special supplement published in the early summer. The Top 100 will also be showcased on our stand at the London Wine Fair.
This year, for the first time, we’ve opened the competition to wines not currently represented in the UK. This section of the competition, called Breakthrough Wines, will be judged separately by a panel of independent merchants. All entries will receive feedback from the judges and the best ones will also appear in the winners’ supplement.
Email us now for an entry form for either part of the competition. The deadline for entries is in mid March. Good luck!
The waiting is over and we can now reveal this year’s winning wines in our Wine Merchant Top 100 2019.
All 100 are available to taste on our stand at this year’s London Wine Fair, adjacent to the Esoterica zone upstairs at Olympia. Please come and try them and say hello to the Wine Merchant team.
Our forthcoming supplement will offer more details about why each wine won. We’ll also be celebrating this year’s Highly Commended wines, which just missed out on a Top 100 place but still impressed our judges.
Well done to this year’s winners, who were faced with a lot of stiff competition in our biggest-ever entry.
Viña Cobos, Felino Chardonnay, Luján De Cuyo & Valle De Uco, Mendoza, Argentina 2017 (£15.49, Alliance Wine)
Lowboi Riesling, Porongurup, Great Southern, Australia 2018 (£26.50, The Knotted Vine)
Magpie Estate, Rag ‘n’ Bone Riesling, Eden Valley, South Australia, Australia 2018 (£12.99, Boutinot)
Helfrich Familly Muscadet Sèvre Et Maine Sur Lie, Loire, France 2017 (£11, Les Grands Chais de France)
Helfrich Family O Sauvion, Haut Poitou, Loire, France 2018 (£10.60, Les Grands Chais de France)
Louis Jadot Pernand-Vergelesses Blanc, Burgundy, France 2013 (£32.30. Hatch Mansfield)
Domaine Ferret Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy, France 2016 (£33.50, Hatch Mansfield)
Domaine Belleville Rully 1er Cru La Pucelle, Burgundy, France 2017 (£30.99, Vindependents)
Gérard Bertrand Château Sauvageonne Grand Vin Blanc, Coteaux du Languedoc, France 2016 (£29.49, Hallgarten & Novum Wines)
Domaine De Saint Cosme Les Deux Albion IGP Vaucluse Principauté D’Orange Blanc, France 2017 (£10.63, Walker & Wodehouse)
Domaine Bott-Geyl Pinot Gris Les Eléments, Alsace, France 2016 (£19.99, Vindependents)
Domaine Bott-Geyl Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Sonnenglanz, Alsace, France 2011 (£32.99, Vindependents)
France has confirmed its position as the leading supplier for UK independent wine merchants after taking a quarter of the positions in the 2019 Wine Merchant Top 100 selection.
The competition, which is now in its sixth year, was judged by a panel of 25 independent merchants led by Wine Merchant Top 100 chair David Williams in London in April, and featured the largest-ever field of entries – 837 wines from more than 40 UK suppliers were submitted for blind tasting.
A total of 276 wines made it through into the final round of judging, with the 176 wines that just missed out on the final Top 100 earning a Highly Commended award.
Other countries to fare well in the final Top 100 were Italy with 16 wines, followed by Spain with 10 and New Zealand and Australia with eight apiece, while Hungary made its first appearance in a Top 100 selection with two wines, and Greece once again punched above its weight with three Top 100 wines.
TROPHY WINNERS 2019
Best Sparkling: Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve, Champagne, France NV (Liberty Wines) RRP £67.99
Best Value Sparkling: KWV Laborie Blanc de Blancs Methode Cap Classique, South Africa 2011 (North South Wines) RRP £14.99
Best Value White: Casa de Vila Nova Vila Nova Alvarinho, Minho, Portugal 2018 (Boutinot) RRP £11.49
Best Rosé: Domaine Gavoty Cuvée Clarendon Rosé, Provence, France 2018 (Laytons) RRP £18.95
Best Value Rosé: Caves Languedoc-Roussillon Rosé des Plages Premium, IGP Pays d’Oc, France 2018 (Vindependents) £11.99
Best Fortified: Henriques & Henriques 10 Year Old Bual Madeira, Portugal (Mentzendorff) RRP £20.75
Best Value Fortified: Fonseca Unfiltered Late Bottled Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal 2012 (Mentzendorff) RRP £16.50
This year’s winners will be unveiled and available to taste at The Wine Merchant Top 100 stand at the London Wine Fair from May 20 to 22, with a full list of the Top 100 and Highly Commended winners published in a supplement to The Wine Merchant in July.
We’re now in the process of going through all the judges’ notes and scores, and making some final checks on the wines that look set for a Top 100 position or a Highly Commended slot.
We’ll be letting entrants know how they got on in the next couple of weeks, and revealing the winners on May 20. You’ll see them announced first here, but you can also come along to the London Wine Fair where all 10 winners will be on taste at our stand.
Thanks to everyone who entered and to our fantastic judges for giving up a day to help us out. We had a brilliant panel, who refused to rush their work and gave every one of the wines they tasted a thorough asessment. The winners had to work very hard.