Butt attended French organic wine fair Mill ésime
Bio in January hoping to source extra wine for the range. He said "trying to pick 12 decent wines is a big issue ... and some of it has a shelf life of only four or five months". The own-label range currently includes eight wines, including Trebbi ana d'Abruzzo, Chardonnay, Syrah/Grenache, Merlot and Syrah Vins de Pays d'Oc.
Thresher has also revamped its European merchant brand wine range Radcliffe's with new-look packaging and, in some cases, new suppliers. A 2006 St V éran has been added to the range (£8.99) and the blend for the Piccini Chianti has been tweaked.
It has also increased its range of New Zealand wines, in response to increasing customer demand for all things Kiwi and decreasing sales of Australian wine.
Thresher Group is selling 45 off-licences as part of a review of its estate. The leasehold properties are a mix of Threshers, Haddows, Victoria Wine, The Local and Drinks Cabin fascias in England, Scotland and north Wales. Commercial property agents Christie's are handling the sale - christie.com/thresher.
A trio of Thresher wines tasted
2006 Brocard Premier Cru Vau de Vey, Chablis (£12.66)
An elegant and complex wine with smokiness and minerality dominating the nose.
The smoky notes continue onto the palate along with pronounced stone fruit and citrus characteristics. Very dry, with a clean, lingering finish.
2005 Mitchelton Viognier, Central Victoria, Australia (£7.99)
(Wine Rack only)
An extraordinary wine, from a winery which bases its winemaking on the Rhône, according to Thresher Group head buyer Jonathan Butt.
Riesling-like notes of petrol and lime dominate the nose and palate, but this light-bodied number also has a creaminess which softens the edges.
"It's inspired by Condrieu," says Butt.
2006 Radcliffe's Piccini Chianti, Italy (£4.33)
The blend has been tweaked and bottle relabelled. A light-bodied, easy-drinking red with ripe red cherry notes dominant. Dry, and light on tannins with a clean finish, and excellent value for money.