France leads the field

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 Red: Fèlsina Berardenga Fontalloro, Toscana IGT 2016 (Liberty Wines) RRP £52.99

Best Value Red: Boutinot Brisa de Verano Garnacha Tinta, Catalunya, Spain 2017 (Boutinot) RRP £9.49

Best White: Diamantopetra White, PDO Dafnes, Kato Asites, Heraklion Crete, Greece 2018 (Vindependents) RRP £16.50

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.