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

The winners unveiled

Congratulations to all the wines that made the Wine Merchant Top 100 this year.

All are available to taste on our stand (B30) at the London Wine Fair. We’ll also be profiling them in a forthcoming supplement to The Wine Merchant.

The full top 100 list follows:

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Open for business!

The 2016 Wine Merchant Top 100 competition is officially under way.

Once again we’re inviting suppliers of wines aimed solely at independent retailers to submit entries – and once again we’ve held fees at £70 per wine.

This is a competition with two major points of difference. As well as being the only competition devoted entirely to wines in the independent sector – a marketplace involving nearly 800 shops, worth in excess of £500m – it’s also judged entirely by independent merchants themselves.

The deadline for entries is March 15 2016, with judging taking place in London a couple of weeks later.

Again, all our winning wines will be showcased over three days on our free-pour stand at the London Wine Fair. They will also be featured in a special supplement sent out to all Wine Merchant readers.

See the links to the left for all the information you need, and for the entry form.

Trophy winners unveiled

All winners in The Wine Merchant Top 100 are equal, but a handful are more equal than others. Every year we reward the wines that have particularly impressed the judges and award some Trophies to the highest-scoring wines in selected categories.

Here are this year’s Trophy wines … congratulations to them all.

Sparkling Wine Trophy: Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV

White Wine Trophy: Gaia Wines Wild Ferment Assyrtiko, Santorini, Greece 2014 (Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines)

Red Wine Trophy: Bodegas Navajas Gran Reserva, Rioja 2005 (Walker & Wodehouse)

Best Value White Trophy: Azienda Agricola Contesa di Rocco Caparrone Pecorino, IGT Colline Pescaresi 2014 (£8.63, Boutinot)

Best Value Red Trophy: Cuatro Pasos Mencía, Bierzo 2012 (£9.99, Liberty Wines)

Dessert & Fortified Wine Trophy: Gonzalez Byass Leonor Palo Cortado Sherry NV (Gonzalez Byass UK)

Full details of all our winners will appear in a special supplement with the July 15 edition of The Wine Merchant. There will also be an online version available on the website.

The 2015 winners unveiled

The wait is over – and visitors to the London Wine Fair have already had a sneak preview. We can announce the winners of this year’s Wine Merchant Top 100 and a very deserving lot they are too.

Let’s be clear – this year’s winners had to work very hard to get their reward. Our entry field was the biggest yet. And our judges – all of them lovely people – were pretty ferocious in their judging. It wasn’t enough for a wine to be “good” or even “excellent”. Our judges are all independent wine merchants and we asked them to approach the competition entries in the same way as they wWine Merchant Top 100 tasting 2015ould with any wines vying for a place on their shelves.

This inevitably leads to the questions: is this wine worth the money? Do I already list examples of the style that offer better value? Is it a wine that I’d be happy to put my name to? In short … would I sell it?

Full descriptions of all the winners, and why they won, will appear in our special supplement in the early summer. Meanwhile, here’s the list of those who made the Top 100. Congratulations all.