This week, our listed section journeys to the most northerly Burgundy appellation to look at Wine Lister’s top five Chablis by Quality score. Wine Lister’s Quality score comprises the average rating of our four partner critics, as well as a wine’s ageing potential.
In fifth place is Hidden Gem, Domaine Gérard Duplessis Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos. Producing only 1,500 bottles a year, this wine is present in just 2% of the world’s top restaurants, but receives a very strong rating from Jancis Robinson, setting its Quality score at 910.
Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos is fourth-highest with a Quality score of 927. Whilst Jeannie Cho Lee doesn’t score the wine as highly as our other critics, at £55 it still represents a lot of bang for your buck.
Bronze goes to Domaine Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Valmur, with a Quality score of 946. The only wine of the group not from the Les Clos climat, it has a predicted drinking window of 10 years – higher than the rest of its peer group, which averages eight years.
Vincent Dauvissat Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos has the second-highest Quality score (952) and also has the biggest variance in ratings from our partner critics, receiving an outstanding score from Jeannie Cho Lee, but a far more modest one from UK critic Jancis Robinson.
Winning the Quality score crown by a narrow two-point difference (954) is the second wine of the group from Raveneau – the domaine’s Les Clos offering. Enjoying uniformly excellent scores from each of our partner critics, it’s one of the most talked-about wines in the fine wine trade and unsurprisingly holds Wine Lister Buzz Brand status.
For this week’s top five, the spotlight is on our highest ranked Spanish red wines. All achieve a total Wine Lister score of over 913, yet there is a significant price difference between the lowest and highest priced bottle (over £500).
Vega-Sicilia Unico wins the Spanish sprint to the top spot with an applaudable Wine Lister score of 971. With impressive restaurant presence (47%) and over 17,000 average monthly searches, the wine’s Brand score is a big contributor to its number one spot.
Next, scoring 47 points less (923) though more than double the price (£573), is Pingus. With consistently high ratings from Jancis Robinson, Jeannie Cho Lee and Antonio Galloni, it has a very strong Quality score of 936 – identical to its Brand score.
A second wine from Spain’s most prestigious wine estate, the Vega-Sicilia Unico Reserva Especial, comes in third place with the highest Quality score of the group (983). However, similar to all the other top five’s, its price has been decreasing since August.
The most affordable wine of the group is the René Barbier Clos Mogador, at £57 per bottle on average. It’s the only wine of the five not to hold Buzz Brand status, though it scores five out of five for liquidity, with 300 bottles of its top five vintages traded in the past year.
Joint fourth is Alvaro Palacios L’Ermita, matching Clos Mogador’s Wine Lister score of 913. Its three-month average price scores four out of five — an improvement on its six-month price performance of two out of five. It’s the rarest in its peer group, producing just 1,350 bottles per year on average, though it still manages to achieve 19% restaurant presence.
With the recent addition of Jeannie Cho Lee MW as Wine Lister’s fourth partner critic, now seems a good opportunity to elucidate our approach to calculating Quality scores.
Wine Lister’s Quality scoring algorithm takes into account each critic’s rating scale and the relative generosity or severity of their scoring.
Vinous and Jeannie Cho Lee rate on a 100-point scale, whereas Jancis Robinson and Bettane+Desseauve rate on a 20-point scale. But we also know that the former pair never (or very rarely) give a rating less than 70, while the latter never (or very rarely) give a rating less than 10.
The first step in our scoring algorithm is to put all ratings on a level playing field by rebasing them. We take each critic’s minimum and maximum wine ratings and spread these back out over our entire 100-point scale. The result is that, for example, a Bettane+Desseauve rating of 15 and a Jeannie Cho Lee rating of 85 both score 50 out of 100.
But it’s not quite that simple! We also know that the way the critics score is different. For example, we find that Jeannie Cho Lee tends to give fewer high scores than Vinous. Our algorithm takes into consideration these tendencies towards more or less generous ratings, and adjusts scores as necessary for a fair outcome. This is our score normalisation process.
Using nonparametric statistical techniques, for the same wine-vintages that the critics have rated, we look at each critic’s probability of awarding each score, and use the difference in probabilities to make necessary adjustments.
For example, we looked at the set of wine-vintages rated by both Jancis Robinson and Bettane+Desseauve, and found that wines are around 5% more likely to achieve a rating of 17 or higher from Bettane+Desseauve. Once normalised, this means that a wine such as Château Beauregard 2009, rated 17 by both Bettane+Desseauve and Jancis Robinson, achieves Wine Lister critic scores of 73 and 76 respectively. In other words, 17 is harder to get from Jancis Robinson than from Bettane+Desseauve. This is illustrated in the image above.
Once we’ve rebased and normalised the critics’ scores, we simply take an average of those scores, giving an equal rating to each of our four partner critics, each of whom represents one of the world’s key fine wine markets.
There’s still more… The Wine Lister Quality score also takes into consideration a wine’s ageing potential as defined by critics’ drinking windows – watch this space for a further explanation of how that works!
We are thrilled to announce the addition of Jeannie Cho Lee MW as Wine Lister’s fourth partner critic, representing the Asian market.
Wine Lister gathers data from multiple sources to assess thousands of wines on a truly holistic basis. Scores are made up of three main categories: Quality, Brand, and Economics. Critic ratings form a vital part of the Quality category, providing reliable scores and drinking window information.
Jeannie Cho Lee is an independent wine critic, a university professor, and an award-winning author who in 2008 was the first Asian to become a Master of Wine. Based in Hong Kong, she writes about wine on her website, www.jeanniecholee.com, and has also published several books, including Asian Palate.
Adding to our unique collaborations with three of the most reputable wine critics in the world’s major fine wine markets – Jancis Robinson (UK), Antonio Galloni (Vinous) (USA), and Bettane+Desseauve (France) – we are delighted to welcome Jeannie Cho Lee to represent the key Asian fine wine market. This careful addition will help us in our goal of providing ever more reliable and accurate ratings and analysis, while crucially maintaining the high standards of this elite pool of critics. Jeannie Cho Lee’s scores have been added to those of our existing partner critics, and fed into Wine Lister’s bespoke algorithm to produce a Quality score out of 1,000 points. Wine Lister takes each critic’s minimum and maximum wine ratings and spreads these back out over the entire scale. As each wine critic scores differently (not just on a different scale), we also account for the frequency of ratings and normalise scores for fair comparison. Each critic is weighted equally.
You may notice that some scores have changed for wines that have not been rated by Jeannie. In order to meet our goal of having the most comprehensive and up-to-date information, and the most rigorous rating algorithm, we have increased the sample set of scores upon which we carry out the normalisation between critics. This now includes the 18 months’ worth of new critic scores since our launch.