WineTrust100 – Six Months On : John Valentine, Founder of WineTrust100

Wow, I can’t believe it has been just six months since we launched WineTrust100. It has been such a journey and I love it!

We set out to find and manage an ever-changing range of 100 very special wines. We assembled a team of Masters of Wine who get together 10 times a year to look at wines from different areas – such as Burgundy, Australian Shiraz and so on.
Last week we were looking at Italian and Spanish whites, among others. Our MWs, who taste thousands of wines every year, bring along their own short lists, before we all taste the wines and select the very best quality for the price. Simple!
We are searching for extraordinary wines that over deliver for the price. We might not always select the best, if for instance the very best red Bordeaux we find happens to be Chateaux Latour at £1,000 a bottle! Instead we are searching for quality alongside value, so as many people as possible can enjoy fantastic wine at an equally fantastic price.
Our last selection meeting was really exciting and I can’t wait for some of these new wines to work their way onto the list. MW Nick Adams has brought some very special Italian whites to the party – more on these later.

There was also a lovely Godello, a little-known Spanish wine that is just superb. We have two wines coming on from John Duval, an Australian producer; these are top-end wines that are truly special. John Duval for many years was the winemaker for Penfold Grange (which is THE iconic Australian wine and sells for £300 a bottle). He is now producing his own wines, which we will be selling at less than a tenth of the price of Grange but are right up there in terms of quality.
vin_de_con_2Another wine coming soon, which I am so pleased about, is Vin de Constance from South Africa. I have enjoyed this wine many times on my regular trips to SA and have a few bottles in my own cellar. It has been produced for over 200 years and was apparently Napoleon’s favourite wine. It is the most famous South African sweet wine bar none and in my view deserves this status. It’s definitely one of the great sweet wines of the world and many would say on a par with the French classic Chateaux d’Yquem, but at a fraction of the price. Just the kind of wine we are looking for at WineTrust100.
We also found a truly lovely Muscadet, which we are going to be selling at £9. I think Muscadet is just great, sublime with mussels and incredible value for money. Also watch out for a brilliant Portuguese red which is going on and selling at the unbelievable price of £7.50, and a stunning Sauternes, winner of the Sauternes Trophy at this year’s International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC).
Just on the list from previous tasting, which I am buzzing about, is the Picpoul de Pinet from Jourdan. Our MWs were unanimous that this was the best Picpoul, bar none. We are selling it at £7.50 for 6 or more bottles – we shouldn’t be because that is not much more than we are buying it for. But I don’t care, fill your boots and enjoy, this one’s on us!
Another one that is getting my blood racing is the Lawson’s Sauvignon Blanc Reserve. Nick got us this one as he has known the family for years. The wine won the Trophy for the best NZ Sauvignon Blanc at IWSC and the trophy for the best NZ white at the same awards. There is hardly any around and I think we are one of only a very few retailers in the UK to have it. We can’t get any more – so when it is gone it is gone.
We have a long journey ahead of us but we are going to have fun and stick to our vision of searching the world for absolutely extraordinary wines at affordable prices that over deliver.
We are going to carry on rowing our own boat and just working hard to find you those stunning wines. Please don’t expect lots of discounts (discounts are rarely real you know!). We are just committed to pricing our wines correctly, and highly competitively.
I do hope you are enjoying the wines. Please do let us have your feedback.
Best wishes
John Valentine