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Online retailer Winetrust100 hits targets for first year

Published:  18 February, 2014

After one year's trading Winetrust100, the online retailer that uses experts to select the top 100 wines based on price and quality, has hit its targets and is considering expansion.

"We've hit our targets," said ex-Tesco marketer and founder John Valentine.

Valentine told that it was selling wines right across the price spectrum, with prices starting at £5.50 for its 2012 Borsao Garnacha from Campo de Borja, which is its biggest seller by volume.

The company gathers together experts in the trade, led by in-house Master of Wine Nick Adams, 10 times a year at which they introduce between four and eight new lines at a time, sticking rigidly to the 100 total. "The range is quite dynamic and does change," Valentine said. But he added that certain wines, such as its Picpoul de Pinet 2012 from Félines-Jourdan in the Languedoc, had staying power because of their top quality. The same goes for its Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne - "it's the finest non-vintage Champagne out there for the money, so I imagine it will stay [in the line-up] for some time," Valentine added.

But he said that customers enjoyed the dynamic nature of the range.

John Valentine

Valentine identified "a few gaps" in the range, "we've got a Rioja but it's fairly modern, we'd like a high quality traditional Rioja too". There is also room for more red Bordeaux, as well as top end white Burgundies, he said.

So far WineTrust100 has not spent a lot of money promoting itself heavily, "we're happy to grow organically and acquire customers at a steady rate," he said.

The firm is committed to offering 100 wines at very affordable prices - 80 of its range sells at under £20. But, Valentine said, "we do have customers that want to go for top wines. I wouldn't rule out a Connoisseurs 50 wines at some point".

Read our in-depth Q&A with John Valentine, written by Dominic Weaver.