2015 was a phenomenal vintage for reds in Burgundy. However, parts of the Côte de Beaune were affected by frost, and the quality of 2015 whites is therefore less consistent. Below we examine the top five white Burgundy 2015s by overall Wine Lister score.
Domaine Leflaive takes two of the five top spots. Its Chevalier-Montrachet has the highest overall Wine Lister score of all white Burgundies in 2015 (963). This is thanks to a Quality score of 962 (four points higher than the wine’s average across the last fifteen vintages) and an impressive Economics score of 991.
Domaine Leflaive’s Bâtard-Montrachet comes in third place. Both wines benefit from Domaine Leflaive’s position as a superstar white Burgundy brand. Indeed, five of the 10 highest white Burgundy Brand scores are held by wines from Domaine Leflaive.
The second highest overall scorer of white Burgundy 2015 is Domaine Bonneau du Martray’s Corton-Charlemagne (958). It is both the highest Quality scorer (977, 10% above its average) and the lowest priced (£106 per bottle) of the five, presenting an interesting value opportunity. It is also to be found in 36% of the world’s top restaurants, the most prestigious count of this week’s top five.
Chablis is represented by Vincent Dauvissat’s Grand Cru Les Clos. Identified as one of only three Chablis Buzz Brands on Wine Lister, Dauvissat’s Cru Les Clos is present in 23% of the world’s top restaurants, helping it to a Brand score of 907. Its overall Wine Lister score of 938 for the 2015 vintage is completed by a Quality score of 947 and its second strongest ever Economics score of 969.
Finally, Maison Joseph Drouhin’s Montrachet Grand Cru Marquis de Laguiche has the fifth highest Wine Lister score for white Burgundy 2015s (917). Though it has the lowest global restaurant presence, it is more present than the other four wines in top restaurants in Asia.
The 2015 vintage was widely hailed as one of the Northern Rhône’s best ever. This is reflected in the vintage’s outstanding Quality scores, with the top two wines – Guigal’s La Turque and La Mouline – both achieving exceptional scores of 993, their best on record. However, neither makes it into the top five by overall Wine Lister score.
With the vintage’s outstanding quality not in doubt, this week we throw brand and economics into the mix too, looking at 2015’s overall top-scoring Northern Rhônes. It is interesting to note that Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle is the only one of the overall top five whose 2015 Quality score (985) is also one of the top five Quality scores for the vintage.
Jaboulet La Chapelle’s outstanding 2015 Quality score – its best since the fabled 1989 vintage – helps it to top the table here with an excellent overall Wine Lister score of 976, 35 points ahead of any other wine. It backs up its excellent quality with the Northern Rhône’s best Brand score (985), and the vintage’s third-best Economics score (941).
In second spot is Clape’s Cornas. Its appearance in the top five is thanks to its 2015 Quality score being 105 points (13%) above its average (937 vs 832). Despite being by far the cheapest of the group, it also achieves the Northern Rhône’s second-best Economics score for the vintage (944) – the result of having added 16.6% to its price over the past six months.
In joint third place with 901 points – just making into the “strongest” band of the Wine Lister 1,000-point scale – are Rostaing’s Côte Rôtie Côte Blonde and Chapoutier’s Ermitage Le Pavillon. Whilst they achieve very similar Quality scores (963 and 975 respectively), their profiles differ elsewhere. Chapoutier’s Le Pavillon possesses a stronger brand (891 vs 849), but interestingly its 2015 Economics score can’t keep pace (752), 19% below its average Economics score (931), and over 100 points below Rostaing Côte Blonde’s score (854).
In fifth place is Delas Frères Hermitage Les Bessards (885). It earns its spot in the group thanks to currently achieving the Northern Rhône’s best Economics score for the vintage (970), thanks to formidable short-term price performance – it has added 26.3% to its price over the past six months alone.
The Bordeaux 2015 vintage broke a more lacklustre run since the formidable 2010, and seemed to prove the wine trade legend of vintages ending in 5. En primeur tastings took place at the crest of “Bordeaux Bashing”, with some journalists reluctant to praise the vintage too highly, and there was talk of inconsistency between appellations. Saint-Estèphe was said to have suffered from more rain than its southerly neighbours, for example. Meanwhile in Saint-Emilion, a lack of homogeneity allowed each wine to express its terroir and its identity to the utmost.
Now that the wines have been bottled, it seems a suitable time to revisit the vintage. Our CEO, Ella Lister, has just got back from tasting over 200 wines from across the two banks with Wine Lister’s partner critics Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve. She reports Saint-Estèphe as “exceptional and wrongly dismissed as rained-out”, and names Figeac and Canon as two highlights, both “stunning”. The two Saint-Emilion wines are among the top five Quality scores for the vintage on Wine Lister.
Figeac and Canon both also feature in this week’s top 5: Saint-Emilion 2015 Economics scores, showing that the market recognises their worth. Coming in second and fourth place, both hold premier grand cru classé B status since the reclassification of Saint-Emilion in 2012. Château Figeac 2015 achieves its best Economics score to date with an impressive six-month price performance of 18%.
However, Château Canon is the real surprise here. One of the most talked-about wines by the fine wine trade, its Wine Lister scores are improving from vintage to vintage, with its Economics scores, in particular, soaring. It comes in second place among all Bordeaux wines for Economics score in the 2016 vintage. Both Figeac and Canon are Buzz Brands and also Investment Staples (two of the four Wine Lister Indicators), and so is number one on the list…
Beating both of these is premier grand cru classé A, Château Ausone, with an Economics score of 991 – a record high for this producer, even against the strong 2005 vintage. The château also gains the number one spot across all Saint-Emilion 2015s in Quality, with a score of 990. In the context of overall Wine Lister scores, Ausone is just behind Petrus and Margaux as the third highest-scoring Bordeaux of 2015.
Magrez-Fombrauge and Péby Faugères are the ‘underdog’ entries among Saint-Emilion Economics performers. With Quality and Brand scores ranging from average to strong, the overall score of both wines is “strong” according to the Wine Lister 1,000-point scale (the other three entries sit comfortably in the “strongest” category, with overall scores significantly above 900).
In contrast, one might expect some bigger names, such as Cheval Blanc (a Wine Lister Buzz Brand) to appear higher up the list. Its Economics score of 946 puts it in seventh place, with slower price growth (3% over the last six months). Its price per bottle currently stands at around £500, over five times higher than that of Péby Faugères, and seven times more than Magrez-Fombrauge.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti has released its 2015 prices this morning. Below we summarise key points of its La Tâche 2015, UK RRP of £1000 per bottle.
You can download this slide here: Wine Lister Fact Sheet DRC La Tache 2015