Like Buzz Brands, which we explored last week, Value Picks are one of the four Wine Lister indicators, designed to highlight particularly interesting wines for our subscribers by isolating sub-sets of data. The Value Pick indicator helpfully identifies the wines and vintages which have 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, five of our eight new Value Picks are from France – but with a Sauternes, Riesling and left bank Bordeaux to choose from the options are still diverse. Most affordable is Domaine Cauhapé La Canopée Sec 2011, from Jurançon, at just £16 per bottle and with a Quality score of 733.
The most expensive wine – but still at only £34 per bottle – is one of the two Italians that feature this month: Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Maté 2004, which has an exceptional Quality score of 971. The other wine in the table with a Quality score above 900 is Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Clos Windsbuhl Pinot Gris 2007, from Alsace, priced at under £30 and with a Quality score of 906.
Please see our previous Value Pick blog for a note on prices.
We have updated our scoring algorithm to remove the impact of very old vintages on wine-level attributes and scores. Our wine-level score is an overall score for a wine computed from both wine attributes such as search frequency for a cru (regardless of vintage), and its individual vintage data, e.g. critic ratings or price performance.
For data that exists by vintage, the equivalent wine-level attribute is calculated by taking an average across vintages, which is then used to compute a score at wine level.
Prior to the update, data from all vintages of a wine would be incorporated into the wine level average and, although vintages were weighted such that more recent vintages had a greater influence (recency weighting), we still found that very old vintages were disproportionately impacting our results.
Château d’Yquem serves as an extreme illustration of this phenomenon:
Prior to the update, Château d’Yquem’s average price (incorporating all vintages) was £712 per bottle, which was heavily skewed by very old vintages with very high prices. These vintages are rarely traded or tasted, and as such should not influence the wine-level average and corresponding wine scores.
As of today, we have updated our recency weighting across all criteria to exclude vintages over 30 years old from the wine-level average. Following the update, our average price for Château d’Yquem is £170 per bottle – a considerable reduction, and a much fairer representation of actual trade price expectations.