Press Release: big name fine wines prove they deserve their status in a Hong Kong blind tasting

Wine Lister, the world’s first data-driven wine rating system, held its inaugural ‘Showdown’ dinner in Hong Kong on 26th May 2016, with some of the most distinguished collectors and members of the trade in attendance to have their say. To help guide its users, Wine Lister has developed four ‘Wine Lister Indicators’, two of which came head to head during this intimate dinner. Buzz Brands, the most talked-about, prestigious wines, were served blind alongside Hidden Gems, fine wines that are under the radar but worth discovering.

The Buzz Brands emerged victorious, scoring on average 18% higher than the Hidden Gems, proving that they have achieved global brand recognition for a reason – thanks to their exceptional quality.

Read the full press release here.

HK launch dinner tasting

Left to right: Jo Purcell (Managing Director of Farr Vintners Hong Kong), Thierry Desseauve (Wine Lister partner critic), Pierre Lurton (MD of Châteaux d’Yquem and Cheval Blanc), Ella Lister (Wine Lister’s Founder & CEO), Jessica Zhang, Agnes Hon, Don Weaver (Director of Harlan Estate), Ying Hui, Jean-Philippe Lemoine, Simon Lurton, Alexandra Rendall, Michel Bettane (Wine Lister partner critic), Nelson Siu (Editor-in-Chief of WINE.Luxe), Alex Cheung.

Primeur 2015: a close look at the release prices

As the en primeur campaign drew to a close on Tuesday with the release of Cheval Blanc, we take a look back at pricing – first, a basic “how-to” template, and then an example of two châteaux that got it right.

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In the chart above, taken from our study “Bordeaux – Reasons to Hope“, we compare the average quality scores from the last seven vintages to the current market price for those vintages (looking at 97 top Bordeaux crus). The closest quality rating to 2015 for this sample is 2010. As such, we applied the quality to price ratio from 2010, in order to arrive at a derived future market price of £169 for the 2015 vintage on average, according to its current quality assessment. Next we have applied négociant and importer margins of around 25-30%, and a discount to the consumer of between 10-20% for buying en primeur. This would imply an average ex-château release price between £98 and £110.

Some releases in the 2015 en primeur campaign failed to follow this logic, with prices that leave little or no upside for the end-buyer, and these wines have been difficult for the négociants to sell on. However, several châteaux made en primeur work for everyone concerned this year.

One was Château Canon, for which 2015, which at 965 has the highest Wine Lister quality score since 1964 (988), performing well over its average quality level of the last decade. Despite such an exceptional quality, it was released 26% cheaper than the current market price for the 2009, the vintage closest to 2015 in terms of quality in recent history (well below at 885).

Among other châteaux experiencing successful campaigns, we also find Château Beychevelle, whose release price for the 2015, with a quality score of 910, was 38% below the current market price for the 2005, the closest vintage for quality in recent history, scoring 864 for quality.

For more detailed insights, have a look at the complete report. If you are not a subscriber yet, it takes seconds to sign up for a 14-day free trial.


Would you pick Bordeaux for value?

The Wine Lister Indicators have been devised to tell you in one glance the particular characteristics of a wine. One of those is Value Picks: wines which represent exceptional quality for the price. Of all the fine wines in our database, Value Picks have the best quality-to-price ratio, where we have applied a coefficient to allow exceptional quality to be recognised, even for higher-priced wines.

In the image below, taken from our study “Bordeaux – Reasons to Hope”, we list the value picks among the 100 foremost wines of Bordeaux. On our site you can view a wider selection of Bordeaux Value Picks.

To read the complete Bordeaux study, follow this link, and if you are not a subscriber yet, why not try a 14-day free trial.

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Why Bordeaux is still to be reckoned with

In recent years Bordeaux has been subject to “Bordeaux Bashing”. Commentators decried excessive pricing, and made much of other regions rivalling Bordeaux in popularity terms. However, the chart below, taken from our study “Bordeaux – Reasons to hope”, tells a different story.

We compared the popularity of five top wine-producing regions based on the number of online searches on the world’s most visited wine site, Wine-Searcher, thanks to our unique data partnership allowing us to provide a unique insight into a wine’s overall popularity and desirability.

The 100 most consulted Bordeaux crus were searched for around five times more than the top 100 crus in other regions. Even when you combine searches for wines by producer, to account for regions where each producer makes significantly more cuvées than in Bordeaux, and instead take the 100 most searched-for producers from each region, Bordeaux is still almost three times more popular in search terms. That should give Bordeaux one concrete reason to hope.

To learn of others, read the complete report by clicking on the link below. If you are not a subscriber yet, why not try a 14-day free trial?

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