Like Buzz Brands, which we explored last week, Value Picks are one of the four Wine Lister indicators, designed to highlight particularly interesting wines for our subscribers by isolating sub-sets of data. The Value Pick indicator helpfully identifies the wines and vintages which have the best quality to price ratio (with a proprietary weighting giving more importance to quality, thus allowing the finest wines a look-in).
This month, five of our eight new Value Picks are from France – but with a Sauternes, Riesling and left bank Bordeaux to choose from the options are still diverse. Most affordable is Domaine Cauhapé La Canopée Sec 2011, from Jurançon, at just £16 per bottle and with a Quality score of 733.
The most expensive wine – but still at only £34 per bottle – is one of the two Italians that feature this month: Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Maté 2004, which has an exceptional Quality score of 971. The other wine in the table with a Quality score above 900 is Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Pinot Gris 2007, from Alsace, priced at under £30 and with a Quality score of 906.
Please see our previous Value Pick blog for a note on prices.
What makes the perfect wine?
Using the entirety of a 1,000-point scale, Wine Lister’s scores are calculated using nine criteria that define iconic wines. These fall into the categories of Quality, Brand and Economics, giving a 360° view of the finest wines in the world.
Unlike wine critics’ scores, which sporadically feature a perfect 100/100, a perfect Wine Lister score of 1,000/1,000 is practically, though not theoretically, impossible. The perfect wine would have to be the best in the world across every single criterion – a magical combination of ingredients.
The perfect wine does not belong to any one region. In terms of quality, it has the perfect critic score of Sauterne’s unsurpassed Château d’Yquem (1), and the ageing potential of Cockburn’s Vintage Port (2). Its brand is legendary: like Dom Pérignon, it is found throughout the world’s top restaurants (3), and its online monthly searches rival those of Lafite (4).
The perfect wine outperforms on price. Already with a price per bottle to match that of Romanée-Conti (5), its vintages see price increases in both the short- (6) and long-term (7), without undue fluctuation (8). Finally, like Mouton, the perfect wine is traded in large volumes (9).
Download a PDF version here.
First published in French in En Magnum.
Measuring the number of searches on the world’s most visited wine site, Wine-Searcher, provides a unique insight into a wine’s real consumer demand. With the latest online search data now in, we can determine whether there are any new “Buzz Brands”: one of the four Wine Lister Indicators, which were developed to isolate sub-sections of search criteria for our users. A Buzz Brand is a wine with strong distribution, showing high online search frequency or demonstrating a recent growth in popularity, and identified by the fine wine trade as trending or especially prestigious.
As shown in the chart below, three new wines achieved Buzz Brand status in June. To qualify, a wine must either be among the 20% most searched-for wines, or a wine whose search growth has significantly exceeded the rest of the group over the last six months. Domaine Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru saw an impressive 27% increase in average monthly searches over the last six months and also excels in terms of quality, with an average Quality score of 948.
The other two wines, Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Luchets and Domaine Ponsot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, saw their search frequency increase by 18% and 16% respectively over the latest six-month period. The latter has the highest overall Wine Lister score of the three, with 879/1000, and is the most expensive: £201 per bottle on average. Noticeably, all three wines are from Burgundy, a region whose online searches have been on the rise for some time.
With the latest online search frequency data in from Wine-Searcher we can now see which wines caught the public’s attention in May. Results demonstrate the effect of the 2016 en primeur campaign – now coming to a close – with Bordeaux brands taking four of the five top spots.
Cos d’Estournel saw online searches rise the most last month: the brand was one of the first out of the blocks with its 2016 release, which came in late April, maintaining the same price as its 2015. Exactly one month later, Lynch-Bages released its 2016 for €96 ex-négociant. Despite a 14% increase on 2015, the release went down well on the Place de Bordeaux, perhaps due to the wine achieving the highest Quality score of the century.
Montrose, which saw the third largest increase in searches in May, released its 2016 mid-month. With its Quality score up on 2009, 2010 and 2015, but, like neighbour Cos, releasing at the same price as 2015, Montrose 2016 looked like one of the vintage’s better buys. Figeac also saw searches soar in May but is something of an anomaly in this table – it only released its 2016 on Tuesday 13th June, too late to influence May’s search statistics. Nonetheless, the brand may well be garnering interest due to its exceptional Quality score, as rated by our three partner critics (Jancis Robinson in the UK, Bettane + Desseauve in France and Antonio Galloni in the US).
The final wine of the table, providing some respite from Bordeaux, is a heavyweight from Burgundy: DRC La Tâche. Two auctions in May – one from Sotheby’s and one from iDealwine – saw a number of bottles of La Tâche for sale, which may explain the boost in searches.
Bordeaux en primeur analysis of Vieux Château Certan 2016, which has been released this morning at €192 ex-négociant, an increase of 28% on 2015, with a UK RRP of £197, an increase of 33% on 2015:
You can download the factsheet (from which you can access the wine page and the interactive chart) here: Wine Lister Factsheet Vieux Château Certan 2016
Bordeaux en primeur analysis of Lafite Rothschild 2016, which released its second tranche today, resulting in a release price of €490 ex-négociant across the two tranches, an increase of 17% on 2015. It is being offered in the UK at £500, an increase of 38% on 2015’s release price:
You can download the factsheet (from which you can access the wine page and the interactive chart) here: Wine Lister Factsheet Lafite Rothschild 2016 Second Tranche
Bordeaux en primeur analysis of Figeac 2016, which has been released this morning at €150 ex-négociant, an increase of 47% on 2015, with a UK RRP of £155, an increase of 67% on 2015:
You can download the factsheet (from which you can access the wine page and the interactive chart) here: Wine Lister Factsheet Figeac 2016
Bordeaux en primeur analysis of La Conseillante 2016, which has been released this morning at €150 ex-négociant, an increase of 33% on 2015, with a UK RRP of £155, an increase of 50% on 2015:
You can download the factsheet (from which you can access the wine page and the interactive chart) here: Wine Lister Factsheet La Conseillante 2016
When it comes to wine scores, we’re all used to looking at quality and critic ratings. Wine Lister scores incorporate two other crucial measures: Economics and Brand. Today, we take a closer look at these categories in the context of the top Bordeaux crus in our 2017 Bordeaux Market Study.
Brand: not much in it
We begin with the Brand category, based on search frequency and distribution. The first thing to notice is that score differentials are incredibly narrow. The 15th wine in Economics terms achieves a score of 932, while the 15th wine in the Brand table gets 992 – testament to the incredible brand strength of Bordeaux crus in general.
Three wines share the top spot, with near-perfect scores of 999 apiece: Lafite, Mouton, and Yquem. Latour and Margaux have lost one point since last year, putting them in joint fourth with Haut-Brion, up one place, while Pauillac and Pomerol powerhouses, Lynch-Bages and Petrus, share seventh position. Only two right bank wines achieve Brand scores in the top 15, and Cheval Blanc is the only Saint-Emilion premier grand cru classé A to feature.
Economics: all change at the top
We now move onto the Economics score, based on a variety of price metrics and liquidity. Unsurprisingly, due to the constantly changing nature of its component parts, the Economics category displays significant changes over a 12-month period. The order of wines in the top 15 has completely changed from the previous year. Compared with the Brand table, the top 15 is also very different: wines have moved in and out, and the order has shifted.
In a continued display of commercial strength, Angélus has moved up three places into pole position, while second and third places are also occupied by right bank wines: Pomerol’s Le Pin and Petrus. The first growths have all moved up the table since last year, in part thanks to improved price performance, although Latour still trails the others. The wine that has most improved on 2016 – a new entrant into the top 15 – is Ausone, up 26 places, while Beychevelle has also seen significant improvement. Pavillon Rouge is the only second wine in the top 15.
For the top Bordeaux crus in terms of overall Wine Lister score – which takes into account a wine’s Quality score as well as those for Economics and Brand – take a look here.
These are excerpts from Wine Lister’s 48-page Bordeaux Market Study – subscribers can download the full report from the Analysis page.
Bordeaux en primeur analysis of Léoville Las Cases 2016, which has been released this morning at €180 ex-négociant, an increase of 30% on 2015, with a UK RRP of £175, an increase of 42% on 2015:
You can download the factsheet (from which you can access the wine page and the interactive chart) here: Wine Lister Factsheet Léoville Las Cases 2016