Wine Lister’s UK partner critic Jancis Robinson has released her scores for Bordeaux 2016 over a series of tasting articles, and these can now be found on Wine Lister’s individual wine pages.
While 2016 has been hailed by some as a left bank vintage, Robinson found much to enjoy across both sides of the Gironde. In Pomerol, she praised “those who waited and managed the difficult business of judging picking times correctly”, and more 19-point wines came from this appellation than any other. She singled out Vieux Château Certan 2016 for setting “the standard for the appellation” and noted its “lovely ripeness and nobility.” In Saint-Emilion, 19-point Figeac 2016 was “Zesty and confident and of the place”, while Canon 2016 had “real lift and drive.”
On the left bank, three of the first growths were among Robinson’s top scorers. As Wine Lister has already noted, 2016 was a tricky growing season, and Robinson reports that at Haut-Brion, Jean-Philippe Delmas “pointed out that the vintage was saved by the cool nights that retained the grapes’ and therefore wines’ freshness.”
From Pauillac, Latour 2016 significantly had “much more finesse than traditional Latour”, while Robinson described Mouton Rothschild 2016 as “bone dry and utterly embryonic compared with most of the 2016s (with the notable exception of Las Cases).” Léoville Las Cases 2016 also received 19 points from Robinson.
Notably, amongst Robinson’s top scorers there are no dry whites – a category she described as “the least exciting section of the Bordeaux 2016 vintage” – and only one sweet white (Yquem 2016), a group for which Bordeaux 2016 “won’t go down in history.”
As we know, the quality of a wine is not set in stone. Just like our Brand and Economics scores, Wine Lister’s Quality scores are also updated over time as wines evolve and new vintages are released.
Our algorithm analyses Quality by aggregating ratings from our three partner critics: Jancis Robinson, Bettane+Desseauve and Vinous (Antonio Galloni). It also comprises a small weighting for a wine’s longevity, based on the critics’ combined drinking windows, with the drink-by date updated regularly as our partner critics retaste and reevaluate.
In this post we look at the 10 biggest gainers in Quality over the course of 2016:
Huet’s Le Mont Moelleux improved the most last year, adding over 20% to its score, taking it to 917. This is down to a score of 18/20 for the 2015 vintage from our UK partner critic JancisRobinson.com.
Also partly thanks to a new score of 18 from the same critic, in second place is the fortified Ramos Pinto Quinta do Bom Retiro 20 Year Old Tawny Port. The wine was also deemed to be eight years longer-lived than had been previously thought, contributing considerably to its Quality score surge.
Château Simone’s Palette Rouge received a higher-than-average score from Bettane+Desseauve for its 2012 vintage, making it the third-highest gainer for the year.
Improvements were also enjoyed across a wide range of other regions, from Bordeaux to Champagne, and in the New World.
Who will be 2017’s biggest Quality gainers? Only time (and tastings) will tell.
The Wine Lister Brand score algorithm has two components: Distribution and Popularity. The former criterion measures a wine’s presence in the world’s top restaurant wine lists. The latter measures the number of searches for each wine on the world’s most visited wine website Wine-Searcher, our Popularity Partner. We look at the number of times the wine is searched for over a rolling three-month period, and compare this to search frequencies of all other wines. The higher the relative search frequency, the higher the Popularity score.
Our latest score update includes updated Wine-Searcher data for October. The chart below shows the impact of new search data on Brand scores, showing the five biggest gainers:
Rioja and the Rhône come out top. The largest gain in Brand score is for Remelluri Rioja Gran Reserva which has seen a considerable surge in user searches (322 monthly searches compared to 172 before the update), as has fellow Rioja, Viñedos Sierra Cantabria Finca El Bosque. In third and fourth place are two wines from the Rhône Valley: Domaine Yann Chave Hermitage and Domaine Font de Michelle Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Etienne Gonnet. The fifth biggest gainer in Brand terms is Californian adventurer, L’Aventure Estate Cuvée.