As a sort of postscript to the difficult 2017 en primeur campaign (read our CEO Ella’s thoughts here), over the past week or so Pomerol powerhouses Petrus and Le Pin were released at £1,480 and £1,750 per bottle respectively. With Pomerol wines achieving the top three Quality scores of all reds for 2017 – and five of the top 10 – it was the top-performing red appellation of the vintage.
Now that we have release prices for all of Pomerol’s top wines, we can see which came out on top in terms of overall Wine Lister score*.
With a score of 979, Petrus was not just Pomerol’s leading wine of 2017, but the number one wine in Bordeaux. This is perhaps unsurprising given that it received the joint-second best Quality score of the vintage of all reds (971) – alongside Vieux Château Certan – and also has a Brand score of 998 (beaten only by Lafite, Latour, Mouton, Yquem, and Dom Pérignon Vintage Brut) along with a wine-level Economics score of 978 (third-best in Bordeaux). With Wine Lister’s Founding Members voting it the second-most prestigious wine in the world in a recent survey, behind DRC La Romanée-Conti, Petrus is currently unbeatable in Bordeaux.
Number two on the 2017 Pomerol leaderboard is Vieux Château Certan (959). While the confidence rating attributed by Wine Lister’s Founding Members slipped a point over the past year from 9/10 to 8/10, it nevertheless achieves Pomerol’s second-best Brand score (972). Thus, despite its relatively modest Economics score (909) – still putting it amongst the very best on Wine Lister’s 1,000 point scale – the 2017, thanks to its excellent Quality score, manages to edge just ahead of Lafleur in terms of overall Wine Lister score (957).
Lafleur 2017, the best red wine of the vintage for Quality (978), was released in early May at £430 per bottle, a 7% decrease on the 2016 release price. This was Neal Martin’s favourite of the five, Wine Lister’s newest partner critic awarding it a score of 95-97 /100 and commenting: “This is an awesome 2017 from Baptiste Guinaudeau, one of the few that will oblige several years in the cellar”.
Le Pin 2017 was released in the UK at £1,750 per bottle, its 25% decrease on the 2016 release price the largest year-on-year reduction of the five. It experiences the lowest Quality score of the five for the vintage (951), and also has the group’s lowest Brand score (944). The fact that the 2017 betters Lafleur and La Conseillante in terms of overall Wine Lister score is thus the result of its formidable Economics score (980), which it achieves not just because of its high average price but also strong growth rates, which are the best of the group over both the long and short-term.
Rounding out the group is La Conseillante (945). Whilst it is by far the most affordable of the group, it is the only one of the five whose 2017 climbed the Bordeaux Quality score table compared to 2016, surging 21 spots to be the eighth best red and 11th best overall.
Remember that you can catch up on all of the campaign’s releases on our dedicated en primeur page.
* Please note that overall Wine Lister scores for en primeur wines use estimated Economics scores based on the performance of back vintages.
Petrus 2017 was released in the UK at £1480 per bottle (19% down on 2016), with a lower Quality score: 971 (vs 991).
You can download the slide here: Wine Lister Factsheet Petrus 2017
Despite the annual bustle of the en primeur campaign, it is healthy to breathe some non-Bordeaux air once in a while. With Bordeaux 2017 behind us, we examine new Buzz Brands for June from contrasting locations – Burgundy and the New World. One of four Wine Lister Indicators, ‘Buzz Brands’ use Wine Lister’s bespoke algorithms to indicate trending wines found in the highest number of the world’s best restaurants, and with high online search frequency.
This month, 10 new wines have made the Buzz Brand cut, as shown in the image below.
Six Burgundian wines (four whites and two reds) become Buzz Brands in June. This aligns with results of our latest Founding Members’ survey, where Burgundy producers earned the most number of votes (50) from key members of the global fine wine trade as most likely to see the largest brand gains in the next two years.
Louis Jadot and Domaine Leflaive both have two new white Buzz Brand references. Jadot’s Chevalier-Montrachet Les Demoiselles and Corton-Charlemagne have the highest Quality scores of this month’s Buzz Brand additions – 951 and 925 respectively. Domaine Leflaive proves its popularity with presence of its Puligny-Montrachet les Combettes and/or Meursault Sous le Dos d’Ane in 28 out of c.150 of the world’s best restaurants, and votes from the trade as a consistent seller (see p.23 of Wine Lister’s Bordeaux market study 2018 for more).
Of the red Burgundian Buzz Brands, the popularity of Domaine Leroy’s Pommard Les Vignots is perhaps unsurprising, given the producer’s renown, and the wine’s relative affordability (£505 per bottle) compared with Leroy’s more expensive offerings, such as its Musigny Grand Cru (£8,365 per bottle). Denis Mortet’s Clos de Vougeot is the only Côte de Nuits to feature in this month’s Buzz Brand additions.
The remaining four wines all hail from the New World – three from South Australia, and one from California. The latter, Vérité’s Le Désir, wins on all fronts with the highest Quality (949), Brand (740), and Economics (603) scores. The Quality comparison is hardly fair, given Le Désir’s price of £233, over four times higher the average of the three Australian representatives. Torbreck’s The Steading and the Descendant combined are present in 15 of the world’s best restaurants. Henschke’s Cyril Cabernet Sauvignon joins its pricier and better-known siblings, Hill of Grace Shiraz and Mount Edelstone Shiraz, as the producer’s third Buzz Brand.
You can see a full list of Wine Lister Buzz Brands here
What do you do when your drinking tastes far outweigh your wine budget? You could trawl the shops and the internet in search of that bottle that combines high ratings and moderate prices, or alternatively you could use Wine Lister’s Value Picks search tool. It selects top quality wines that are available at reasonable prices, doing the legwork for you. This week’s Listed section shines a spotlight on the top five reds that currently qualify as Value Picks. At present, they are all Tuscan, all available for under £90 – in fact all but one cost less than £50 – and all have Quality scores of over 990, putting them amongst the elitest of the elite on Wine Lister’s 1,000 point scale.
If you are after exceptional value, then look no further than Castello dei Rampolla’s Sammarco. With two vintages in the top five (2010 and 2006), each of which have plenty of life still left in them, they look like wise purchases. The 2010 owes its exceptional Quality score to a perfect 100-point rating from Wine Lister partner critic Antonio Galloni, who called it “stunning as it has always been. In a word: magnificent!”. At £88 per bottle, it might not be the cheapest, but it does look good value compared to the two other 998-point scorers from Tuscany 2010: Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino (£248) and Castello dei Rampolla’s Alceo (£128).
Whilst the 2010 is not quite ready to drink, the 2006 has just entered its drinking window. Underlining the wine’s longevity, Galloni, who awarded the wine a 97-point score, remarked: “Readers will have to be exceedingly patient here. There is no denying the 2006’s greatness, though.” The 2006 will be drinking well until 2036, and available for as little as £34 per bottle, looks like an excellent long-term investment (if you can refrain from opening it).
Flying the flag for Chianti is Fontodi’s best ever Chianti Classico Vigna del Sorbo Riserva – the 2010 (£43). Whilst its Quality is not in doubt, its economic performance is slightly less impressive, its price having fallen 11% over the past six months.
The remaining spots are filled by Isole e Olena Collezione de Marchi Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (£46) and San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo 2013 (£41). Isole e Olena Collezione de Marchi 2010’s Quality score is the furthest above its wine-level average Quality score (993 vs 934) of the five. The market has not yet reacted to this standout vintage, its price being no different to the wine-level average price. Meanwhile San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo 2013’s Quality score is the closest to its (formidable) wine-level average (992 vs 967), yet its price is 36% below the wine-level average, underlining the 2013’s excellent value.
Please note that prices shown are excluding duty and VAT, and often reflect prices available only when purchasing a full case. They are provided by our price partner, Wine Owners, whose own proprietary algorithms process millions of rows of incoming price data from Wine-Searcher to calculate a more realistic market level price – the price at which a wine is likely to find a ready buyer – based on market supply and spread models. As lower retail prices are likely to sell first, the prices you see on Wine Lister may be below the Wine-Searcher average in some instances.
Ausone 2017 released at €400 ex-château (18% down on 2016), which will likely result in a UK release price of c.£492 (also 18% down on 2016), with a lower Quality score: 969 (vs 987).
You can download the slide here: Wine Lister Factsheet Ausone 2017
All the facts on Cristal 2008 which has been released today with its best ever Quality score (996).
You can download the slide here: Wine Lister Factsheet Cristal 2008
Cheval Blanc 2017 released at €432 ex-négociant (22% down on 2016), with a UK release price of £442 (17% down on 2016), and a lower Quality score: 938 (vs 989).
You can download the slide here: Wine Lister Factsheet Cheval Blanc 2017
Vieux Château Certan 2017 released at €168 ex-négociant (13% down on 2016), with a UK release price of £172 (also 13% down on 2016), and a lower Quality score: 971 (vs 991).
You can download the slide here: Wine Lister Factsheet Vieux Château Certan 2017
Often overlooked in favour of Burgundy’s top whites, the Rhône’s counterparts should not be forgotten, particularly if you’re looking for a rich style at a more reasonable price. Whilst the Rhône’s top five dry whites for Quality can’t match the scores of Burgundy’s top chardonnays (930 vs 977), they are nearly 30 times cheaper on average (£126 vs £3564). Within the Rhône, in the battle of North vs South it is the former that comes out on top, with four expressions of Hermitage featuring in the top five.
Leading the way is Chapoutier’s Ermitage Blanc L’Ermite (966). By far the most expensive of the five, it is particularly favoured by Bettane+Desseauve, the French duo awarding it an outstanding average score of 19/20. It is also the longest-lived of the group, alongside Domaine Chave’s Hermitage Blanc, with an average drinking window of 12 years. Despite its outstanding Quality score, it experiences the lowest overall Wine Lister score of the group (799), its Brand and Economics scores failing to keep pace (659 and 666 respectively).
In contrast to Chapoutier’s L’Ermite, Domaine Chave’s Hermitage backs up its excellent Quality score with the best Brand and Economics scores of any Rhône white (930 and 873), propelling it to first place in terms of overall Wine Lister score (927). It is Vinous’ favourite of the five, with an average score of 95/100, helped by a score of 97-99 for the 2015, Josh Reynolds stating that it shows “a remarkable interplay of depth, power and energy that I only occasionally encounter with the very best white Burgundies”.
Interrupting Hermitage’s hegemony is Beaucastel’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes (917). Proving that the appellation’s best whites can compete with their red counterparts, it outperforms Beaucastel’s straight Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Quality category (917 vs 876). However it can’t quite beat the domaine’s flagship Hommage à Jacques Perrin (962), but at under a third of the price (£81 vs £255) it does look better value.
Two more Hermitages round out the group, another from Chapoutier – Le Méal Blanc – and, impressively, one from Chave’s négociant label – Hermitage Blanche – each with a Quality score of 909.
With daily en primeur release alerts and offers for the new 2017 vintage filling our inboxes, the “Bordeaux buzz” at this time of year is undeniable. However, Bordeaux’s popularity does not end with en primeur, as we prove with results of the last quarter’s trading volumes.
Wine Lister uses figures collated by the Wine Market Journal from sales at the world’s major auction houses to calculate incremental increases in four-quarter trading volumes – in this case, January-December 2017 versus April 2017-March 2018. Auction volumes contribute towards Wine Lister Economics scores, allowing us to measure the liquidity of each wine.
The five wines showing the biggest increases in trading volumes between these two periods all hail from Bordeaux. Indeed, such is the case for the top 20 auction volume increases, with the exception of brand royalty, Dom Perignon (in 10th place).
The wine experiencing the biggest increase in trading volumes is Mouton Rothschild, with 778 additional bottles traded. It has the highest Economics score of the five (956) and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3%. Kicking off the first growth releases of 2017 vintages this week, Mouton Rothschild’s 2017 UK release price sits 17% below last year’s at £360 per bottle.
In second place is right bank powerhouse, Cheval Blanc, whose trading volume increased by 685 bottles with the addition of the most recent quarter’s figures. Though second for incremental change, its total trading volume is at least 30% smaller than any of the left bank first growths.
Latour and Haut-Brion come in third and fourth place, both with 12% trading increases of 614 and 529 respectively.
Finally, trades of Pape Clément keep the Pessac-Léognan property’s red in the top five for trade increases for a consecutive quarter, with 506 more bottles traded in the current period. Despite dropping four places since last quarter’s auction volume results, Pape Clément still achieves the highest proportional change of all five wines at the top, with a 27% trading volume increase.