Trading volumes are a key measure of a wine’s success in the marketplace. To evaluate these, Wine Lister uses figures collated by Wine Market Journal from sales at the world’s major auction houses, looking at the total number of bottles sold of the top five vintages traded for each wine over the past four quarters.
With the first quarter data now in, we look at which wines saw the greatest incremental increase in bottles traded. Although the list is dominated by French wines, top of the table is a Tuscan, Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. The producer was recently highlighted as one to watch in a survey of Wine Lister’s Founding Members. The rise in auction sales for this wine has had a significant impact on its Economics score, boosting it from 911 to 945/1000. Volume is just one of the five criteria that feed into a wine’s Economics score, along with four different price-related metrics.
The wine seeing the second largest gain in trading volumes, Domaine du Pegau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée, also has the lowest Economics score of the table, at 789. Nonetheless, its overall Wine Lister score is very strong at 846 (lifted by a high score for Brand), and with the latest data in from Wine Market Journal its Economics score is on the rise.
The final three wines of the table – two Bordeaux first growths and a prestigious Champagne (Taittinger Comtes de Champagne) – also benefitted from increased trades in the last quarter. All three enjoy very high Economics scores, with Lafite Rothschild the highest, at 955/1000. Meanwhile it seems that 2017 has been a positive year so far for Latour, which was also among the top five wines that saw its number of searches increase significantly in March.
Château Cos d’Estournel took everyone by surprise this morning when it released its 2016 vintage en primeur sooner than expected, at €120 per bottle ex-négociant, the same price as its 2015. Intelligence gathered by Wine Lister suggested that châteaux considered to have made “mistakes” with the release of their 2015 vintage en primeur might release early and at the same price as last year.
However, even the Place de Bordeaux was not expecting a second growth to release its wine the day after the first round of the French presidential elections, and just four days after the terrorist attack in Paris.
Cos d’Estournel is considered to have had a mediocre 2015 en primeur campaign compared to some of its peers, not necessarily pricing too high, but releasing too early. However, reports are that stocks did sell through later in year. Today’s move is bold, but could pay off, if Cos d’Estournel 2016 can harness the excitement that is growing around the Bordeaux 2016 vintage before it has too much competition.
© Château Cos d’Estournel
By sticking to last year’s price, Cos is keeping the Bordeaux trade happy, and early reports are that négociants are wholeheartedly getting behind the release. The weak pound means that Cos d’Estournel 2016 is being offered to consumers in the UK at £117 per bottle, a 10% premium on the 2015 price of £106 per bottle. This might well be palatable given the quality of the wine this year and the goodwill shown by the château in not increasing its euro release price. UK merchants certainly seem to be enthusiastic in terms of their messages to consumers so far.
Wine Lister’s UK partner critic Jancis Robinson awarded the Cos d’Estournel 2016 18 points (compared to 18.5 for the 2015). Our French partner critics Bettane+Desseauve, and our US partner critic, Vinous, will release their Bordeaux 2016 scores later this week.
The latest price data is in, enabling Wine Lister’s algorithm to award new Value Pick status to those wines that achieve 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, the new Value Picks include a Champagne, a Port, and a sweet white Bordeaux, but it is Piedmont that dominates, with three of its wines achieving Value Pick status: Poderi Luigi Einaudi Barolo Costa Grimaldi 2008, Luigi Pira Barolo Marenca 2007 and Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba Cascina Francia 2010.
Each wine is priced at £44 per bottle or less – with half under £30 – and all have impressive Quality scores (based on ratings from our three partner critics) of 845 or above.
Prices per bottle 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.
In the latest of our blogs on the findings from Wine Lister’s Tuscany Market Study – following on from a look at the region’s global standing, and the popularity of its appellations – we turn our attention to its individual wines. Here, we have carried out an in-depth survey with our Founding Members (the key fine wine trade players from across the globe, between them representing more than one third of global fine wine revenues), for insight into their confidence in Tuscany’s individual wines.
First, we asked respondents which producers are due to see the largest gain in brand recognition in the next two years. More than half those cited are producers whose flagship wines are Super Tuscans / Tuscany IGT: Tenuta Tignanello (Tignanello and Solaia), Masseto, Montevertine (Le Pergole Torte) and Tua Rita (Redigaffi).
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG is home to two contenders, Biondi Santi and Casanova di Neri, while the final producer, Le Macchiole, makes mainly Bolgheri DOC wines.
We also asked the trade which individual Tuscan wines they consider to be hidden gems: wines that they rate highly but which they perceive as underappreciated elsewhere. Two of these wines are made by rising star producers above: Tignanello, and Le Macchiole’s Paleo Rosso, suggesting that these wines may not stay underappreciated for long.
Apart from Soldera Case Basse, all of the wines cited have average prices per bottle of £75 and under, combined with strong average Quality scores that vary between 814 (Castello del Terriccio Tassinaia) and 919 (Tignanello).
To take a look at the rest of the survey’s findings – including which Tuscan wines have seen the sharpest rise in demand, which consistently sell out, and which the trade have most confidence in – please log in to Wine Lister and download the report from the Analysis page.
In the second blog exploring some of the findings from Wine Lister’s Tuscany Market Study – following on from our look at how the region ranks globally – we take a look at the popularity of Tuscany’s appellations. The chart below plots the average number of online searches received each month by the 50 wines in this study (based on data from Wine-Searcher), filtered by appellation.
Wines from Bolgheri DOC are by far the most popular amongst consumers, with, on average, more than twice the number of searches than their nearest competitor, Tuscany IGT. They are boosted by internationally established Super Tuscan brands such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia, which have stolen the limelight from more traditional neighbouring DOCGs such as Brunello and Chianti.
However, perception of each appellation’s popularity tells a different story. At the end of 2016, Wine Lister asked key members of the international fine wine trade about the relative popularity of Tuscan appellations amongst their clientele. Brunello di Montalcino – the third most searched for appellation – came out on top, with nearly 60% of respondents stating that it was very popular with their customers, followed by Chianti Classico.
Tuscany IGT and Bolgheri DOC trail slightly behind, emphasising that it has been the wines themselves, rather than the appellations, that have achieved fame.
In our final blog post on the Tuscany Market study we will focus in on the individual wines themselves: the trade’s view on which are the region’s consistent sellers and which are its rising stars. Wine Lister subscribers can read the full 35-page report here.
Wine Lister has produced its second in-depth regional study, this time on Tuscany – a many-faceted fine wine region that is fast-building its position on the global fine wine stage. We will be revealing some of the findings on the blog in the next few weeks, but the full 35-page report is available for subscribers on the Analysis page.
The study focuses on 50 top Tuscan wines, which we have compared below with 50 wines from Piedmont, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and California. Using the three categories that comprise an overall Wine Lister score – Quality, Brand, and Economics – we can put the region’s global positioning in context.
Although Tuscany comes fourth overall – just ahead of Piedmont – its Quality score is bettered only by Burgundy, scoring 883 points to Burgundy’s 917. Quality scores are derived from Wine Lister’s partner critics’ scores and a wine’s ageing potential, and Tuscany’s excellence in this category may be one explanation for its rising appeal.
Tuscany’s Brand score is the fourth best of the group, suggesting that after a handful of top brands such as the Super Tuscans, the rest of the top 50 do not confer the same level of prestige as wines in Bordeaux, Burgundy, or even California. Meanwhile, the region’s commercial clout is the weakest of the group, scoring one point less than Piedmont in the Economics category.
In upcoming posts, we will delve into the trade’s view on Tuscany’s foremost appellations and which are the wines to watch.
“Which producers will see the largest gain in brand recognition in the next two years?” That was one of the questions Wine Lister asked its Founding Members, in its latest survey of 49 of the world’s key wine trade players, between them representing well over one third of global fine wine revenues.
Of the producers expected to gain in brand recognition, the largest number were Burgundian (44 votes). Perhaps surprisingly – considering that the region already dominates the market – Bordeaux was only just behind (43 votes), suggesting that the trade still sees lots of room for brand growth in Bordeaux.
With Champagne in third place, France represents well over two-thirds of the strongest predicted gainers in brand recognition, while Italy followed with names from both Piedmont and Tuscany.
Bordeaux boasts four contenders in the top 10 producers cited. Canon garnered the most votes, and along with Figeac was already cited as a brand having risen significantly in demand. Canon’s Margaux sister, Rauzan-Ségla, also features here, as does the trade’s darling, Grand-Puy-Lacoste.
Burgundy features with three producers, showing that demand for the region’s top wines shows no signs of abating, while the Rhône and Champagne also make an appearance.