Liberty Wines has won the 2016 Sommelier Wine Awards Merchant of the Year Trophy, with 'a brilliant spread of awards across the entire world of wine'.
Decided on a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis of the awards received each year, the trophies are presented on the first day of the London Wine Fair.
Competition director Chris Losh said Liberty's winning wines included 'Golds in most of the on-trade's must-stock regions and styles', with 'a nice mix of value for money and showcase wines', adding 'If all you were to do was to put together your wine list from Liberty's winning selection of Golds, you would have a really good wine list.'
Matthew Clark won the Fine Wine Merchant Trophy 'with the biggest selection by far of Gold medals over £12', while last year's Merchant of the Year, Bibendum PLB, picked up the New World Merchant Trophy. 'While there were pockets of brilliance everywhere, including Champagne, based on the strength of the medals achieved in Australia and New Zealand alone, there is clearly nowhere better to look for wines outside of Europe,' said Losh.
With over a third of its Gold Medals coming in under £10, Enotria&Coe won the Great Value Merchant Trophy in its best SWA performance to date, and ‘in a year when value for money was harder to find than ever’.
It was Hallgarten Druitt & Novum's 'success with the unusual' that gave it the Speciality Merchant Trophy – these wines were 'the sort that will add zip to any wine list' said Losh.
While Eurowines once more picked up the Italian Merchant Trophy with a peerless medal selection, Top Selection picked up the inaugural Boutique Merchant Trophy. Designed to celebrate excellence for those smaller submitters entering less than 30 wines, Top Selection scored an impressive six Golds and one Food Match Trophy.
For further details on Merchant & Producer Trophies, visit the Sommelier Wine Awards website. And see the full list of 2016 SWA winners.