Thu 12 May 2016

Wine Champions 2016: Initial News from the Tasting Room


It’s nearly time for us to reveal this year’s Wine Champions, selected from a course of blind tastings that ran over three months to find the best of our best for drinking now.

Wine Champions 2016 - Freddy Bulmer

As with every year our team of buyers tastes all of the contenders blind, with nothing but price brackets (under £10, £10-£15, £15-£25 and £25+) and an overall theme of the tasting (Mediterranean Reds or Aromatic Whites, for example) as guidance.

Each buyer scores what they think the wines deserve and at the end of the tasting, we may, or may not, have a Champion or two!


Slightly mad.

Very effective.

Our final 40 wines in the offer have been picked out of 784 candidates, throughout the course of 18 tasting sessions. This year was a record number of contenders a sign that our range is always growing as we search for new and exciting wines, but having more wines means that it was harder than ever for a wine to be crowned a Champion.

Champs panorama

That isn’t to say that there weren’t some noticeable trends this year: pinot noir, for instance, performed extremely well and there is also a superb showing from Italy which we are all very excited about indeed.

When you have fewer wines, the chances are that because of the more limited selection it is more likely that buyers will land on more of the same wines but, thanks to the size of some tastings this time around, only the unquestionable best of the best make it through.

As a result, this year there are fewer Champions in the offer than last year, but because of that we are able to present you with a truly elite selection.

The winners will be unveiled in June, but in the meantime, keep an eye on this blog, where we will be able to provide sneak peaks as to what you can expect from this year’s offering.

Although how much we can give away is very limited, we can reveal that:

One outstanding producer has not one, not two but three of their wines in the Wine Champions offer!
The Mediterranean 2015 wines are singing
And your lunchtimes may soon become a lot fizzier thanks to a delicious, lower-alcohol bottle of bubbly (and not the one you might expect either!).

Freddy Bulmer
Trainee Buyer

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