Home News > September 2018 > Success stories: Top Selection

We take a few sips with Melodie Konforti, Managing Director at Top Selection, to find out what’s been going on since their Fine Wine Merchant of the Year win in the 2018 competition and to see what’s coming next…

1. Can you tell us about your winning wines from this year’s SWA competition?

This year, we had over 50 winning wines, including 14 golds and the 2018 White Fine Wine of the Year. We were very pleased by quality and the diversity of our winners – although many were from Europe, and in the more prestigious price category, we also has some more exotic wine producing regions represented (Transylvania) and some accessibly priced winners.

2. What has happened following the win and announcement of your merchant award?

At Top Selection, we pride ourselves on the quality of our portfolio, so it was both a delight and an honour to be recognised for it by the trade – especially as many of the judges are our clients. We’ve had lots of positive feedback from the trade and the award has been a valuable communication vehicle for us – be it with clients, wine suppliers and vendors in general.

3. Why did you enter this year’s competition?

We first entered the SWA in 2016 and were thrilled to have been awarded the first ever Boutique Merchant of the Year. We successfully retained the title in 2017 and naturally wanted to try again for a third win. I’m glad we did as we were absolutely delighted to win Fine Wine Merchant of the Year this year! There are a lot of great wine competitions out there, but – as I tell our producers every year – for us, the SWA is the most important awards competition for driving sales in the UK. This year, we landed a new account just days after the winning wines were announced – the client wanted one of the gold-medal wines they’d seen on the SWA site and now we’re doing business together.

4. How was your Autumn tasting?

Very nice! We had just under 80 wines including new wines and vintages from our current portfolio plus lots of new producers: Tement from Austria and its sister winery in Slovenia, lots of new Italian producers (including Boroli and Tomaso Gianolio’s Piedmont reds, Fontanassa’s Gavi and Friuli wines from Ronchi di Manzano), plus exciting wines from Nathan Kendall in New York and Precision Wines out of California. Last but not least, we had launched the collection from Bemberg, a top-end producer from Argentina.

5. What’s next for Top Selection?

After over a decade on Conduit Street, we are moving to a brand new office in Vauxhall in October. Our team has grown quite a bit over the past years and we are looking forward to having more space to hold small tastings and events. We’re also planning a full portfolio tasting on 6th February 2019, and will have many of our 70+ producers present in person. Stay tuned for more details!

6. Do you have any involvement in upcoming Harvest’s from your producers?

Our producer in Chablis, Domaine Testut (who’s won several golds), just told us that the 2018 harvest is the best that he’s seen. Our famed producer Egon Muller broke records at last’s week’s auction in Germany – again!