Judging the Wine Merchant Top 100

Hugo at Vineyards of Sherborne decides to call it a day

Judging is under way for this year’s Wine Merchant Top 100. But instead of taking place in a room in west London, it’s happening all over the country.

Covid-19 disrupted our plans for judging on April 1 and so we needed a new solution. We could either return all the wines to the companies that sent them in, and write off the 2020 competition altogether. Or: we could invite our judges to do the tasting in their own homes and premises.

So we’ve sent out the wines to 26 first-round judges, all bagged up so that they can be tasted blind, and in flights. The wines that they score highest will make it through to round two, where 10 more judges will re-taste them and we’ll arrive at our Top 100.

All of our winners will appear in a special supplement, as always, which we’ll mail to every specialist independent wine merchant in the land. We’re also creating a website which will showcase all our winners – and tell consumers where they can buy them. They’ll all be independent-trade exclusives.

Thanks so much to all of our judges this year. Tasting these wines takes a lot of time and effort and we know that most of you are already working crazy hours to cope with current demand.

Dan KirbyCorkr Fine Wines
Polly GibsonGrapeSmith
Sara BangertThe General Wine Company
Finn DunlopMacknade Fine Foods
Riaz SyedStonewines
Eugenio CiccarelliVinarius
Lucy ChenowethThe Old Garage
Deiniol ap DafyddBlas ar Cwd Cyf
Chris and Gosia BaileyMr & Mrs Fine Wine
Simon ParkinsonVinological
Anthony BorgesThe Wine Centre
Hannah WilkinsVineyards
Kasia KonysDunnell’s
Matt ThomasVinoramica
Jamie SmithTring Winery
Steve TattamWinyl
Sophie PoultneyGrace & James
Jon CampbellDeFINE Food & Wine
Jon MooreMumbles Wine
Tom HemmingwayHighbury Vintners
Jen FergusonHop Burns & Black
Carolyn SkeelsVintoto
Kelli CoxheadThe Wine Shop
Lloyd BeedellChesters Wine Merchants
John MorrisBradmans Wine Cellar
Sarah and Richard TringWeber & Tring
Hannah WilkinsVineyards
Julia JenkinsFlagship Wines
Colin ThorneVagabond Wines
Penny ChampionChampion Wines
Sam HowardHarperWells
David PorterLea & Sandeman
Sam JacksonChester Beer & Wine
Chris PiperChristopher Piper Wines
Hal Wilson and Alice ArcherCambridge Wine Merchants
Cat BrandwoodToscanaccio