Tuscan popularity: wines achieve fame over appellations

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.

Tuscany - search frequency by appellation

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.

Tuscany - appellation popularity according to the trade

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.

Tuscany: a global contender

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.

Tuscany Wine Lister Report - regional scores

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.

Rising stars: trade backs Bordeaux

“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.

Rising Stars_Region Recognition

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.

Rising Stars_Brand Recognition

Latour 2005 and Les Forts de Latour 2011 released

This morning sees the ex-château release of Latour 2005, along with second wine, Les Forts de Latour 2011. We have put together two factsheets bringing together all the most important information about these two formidable wines, both approaching their drinking windows.

The 2005 Grand Vin has the third-highest Wine Lister Quality score of the last three decades, and looks reasonable value next to the 2009 and 2010:

Latour 2005 thumbnail

The 2011 vintage of Château Latour’s second wine, Les Forts de Latour, is an economic powerhouse, with impressive price growth since its release:

Forts de Latour 2011 thumbnail

You can download the slides here: Wine Lister Factsheet Latour 2005 / Wine Lister Factsheet Les Forts de Latour 2011

Online searches soar for major wine regions

Measuring the number of searches on the world’s most visited wine site, Wine-Searcher, provides a unique insight into an individual wine’s overall popularity. Following on from last week’s blog on wine searches we have aggregated two years’ worth of this data at region level, to put popularity in perspective and map fine wine market trends over time.

Wine Search Frequency

Above, we have taken the 50 most searched-for wines from the leading fine wine regions in France and Italy and tracked their changes in search frequency over two years. Despite natural peaks and troughs – including large spikes for Champagne during the festive season – the last six months show an acceleration in searches for wines of every region.

Several wine regions have seen searches more than double in the last two years, with Tuscany, Piedmont and Burgundy as the stand-out performers. Meanwhile, Bordeaux – the most searched-for region in real terms – has struggled to engage new audiences at the same rate as its counterparts. For more on Tuscany’s rising global clout, see our in-depth regional study, available to subscribers on the Analysis page.

To view the popularity of individual wines, simply search for your wine of choice on Wine Lister and explore the Brand score sub-criteria.

Wine brands hotting up in February

The latest Wine-Searcher search frequency data is in, allowing us to update our Brand scores with changes to each wine’s popularity (one of the two criteria contributing to the Wine Lister Brand score, the other being a wine’s presence in the world’s top restaurants).

This month we’ve taken a look at the biggest movers in terms of incremental search increases (rather than percentage changes), comparing average monthly searches in the three-month period up to the end of January with those up to the end of February. While no region dominates, Bordeaux boasts two wines in the month’s top five: Ausone and Calon Ségur. It may be no coincidence that the latter attracted considerable attention in February: the heart adorning its label ensures that Calon Ségur regularly finds a place in St Valentine’s Day wine lists.

Increases in wine searches

Bordeaux is not the only region whose top wines are on the rise. Two of the leading lights from Spain and California also make this month’s top five. In February, Screaming Eagle featured in Sotheby’s first Finest and Rarest New York wine auction of 2017 – a sale that brought $3.3 million. Vega Sicilia Unico has also made headlines recently with the long-awaited release of its 2005 in December, scored 18/20 by our partner critic Jancis Robinson. With an impressive overall score of 971/1000 from Wine Lister, Vega Sicilia Unico is the table’s highest-scoring wine.

Gaining most in terms of online searches is Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Cros Parantoux, which has seen average monthly searches increase from 3,114 to 5,121. In January, the wines changed US importer for the first time in 30 years.

Find the best wine facts in an instant

The latest development on wine-lister.com enables you to see the four most interesting nuggets of information about more than 2,000 of the world’s finest wines at a single glance. Simply search for and click on the wine you want to explore, such as Yquem or Ornellaia, and scroll down to Data Driven Analytics.

An algorithm sifts through Wine Lister’s vast database, asking 37 different types of question for each wine in order to identify its most remarkable facts. These are split into four groups: first production data, and then each of the three Wine Lister rating categories – Quality, Brand, and Economics.

chateau-dyquem

The range of questions asked produces different data nuggets for each wine. For example, the Quality analytics for Château d’Yquem references its longevity, whereas for Tenuta dell’Ornellaia the result relates to the average critics’ score.

ornellaia-snippet-screenshot

Explore this feature at wine-lister.com (and look up the most remarkable facts on one of your favourite wines, or see if you can find the top three most sought-after wines, for example).