Tag: Brand Score

Listed: top 5 sweet Alsace whites by Wine Lister score

As we edge ever closer to Christmas, it feels appropriate to take a look at sweet wines. Here we consider Alsace’s top 5 sweet whites by overall Wine Lister score. Produced in a thin sliver of land in the far East of France, Alsace’s top sweet whites are separated by just nine points (less than one hundredth of Wine Lister’s 1,000-point scale!). The five wines display very similar profiles, all outperforming in the Quality category, achieiving middling Brand scores, and trailing economically.

Four break the 900-point boundary in terms of Quality scores, putting them amongst the very top quality wines on Wine Lister. Hugel et Fils Riesling Vendange Tardive (VT) falls just short with 881 points, still a very strong Quality score (thanks to 17/20 from both Jancis Robinson and Bettane+Desseauve, and 92.5/100 from Vinous). The same producer’s Gewürtzraminer VT scores even higher for quality (910) thanks to a 95/100 from Jeannie Cho Lee:

Hugel Gewurz

Moving categories, scores drop sharply from an average Quality score of 915 to 550 for Brand – still above the average for all wines on Wine Lister:

Hugel Gewurz brand

Economics scores trail even further behind, averaging 338, hindered by low liquidity. For example, Hugel’s Gewürtzraminer VT failed to trade a single bottle at auction over the past four quarters (as measured by Wine Market Journal). The chart below shows Economics score in the context of all the wines on Wine Lister – its is well below the average, with a score below 400 putting in the “weak” score band:

Hugel Gewurz Econ

Other wines making the top five are Zind-Humbrecht Jebsal Pinot Gris VT (675) and Trimbach Gewürztraminer VT, which achieves the best restaurant presence of the group. However, featuring on just 6% of the world’s best restaurant lists, this suggests that Alsace’s sweet whites are not every sommelier’s must-list bracket, even when produced by the region’s most famous producer. Incidentally, Trimbach’s Clos Sainte Hune appears in 34% of wine lists (compared to 69% for Sauternes’ Château d’Yquem).

The last wine making it into this week’s Listed section is Marcel Deiss Altenberg de Bergheim Grand Cru. The only non-single varietal wine of the group, it is a blend of 13 different varietals planted in the same plot, and is by far Bettane+Desseauve’s preferred wine of the group – the French duo award it an average score of 19/20. It is also the most popular wine of the group. However, its modest average search frequency (380 per month on Wine-Searcher) confirms that Alsace’s sweet whites currently fly well under the radar.

So, when you’re stocking up your cellar for Christmas, give Alsace’s sweet whites a go. They might not be the most prestigious, but the quality is there and prices are pleasing.

Battle of the Brand scores

The latest three-month average search frequency data is in, and with it we can see which wines’ increase in popularity has boosted their Brand score. Here we focus on the five wines that saw the largest increase. All saw at least a 29-point rise in their Brand score.

Château Montviel saw the greatest increase, gaining 60 Brand points and taking its overall Wine Lister score to 523. Its average monthly search frequency of 1,085 remains its strongest criterion score, as its three-month average price (£31) and liquidity hold it back — it has failed to trade a single bottle at auction over the past year.

The second-highest increase was Campo Eliseo, whose Brand score rose 37 points to 453. Although it holds the lowest overall Wine Lister score of the group (490), it had the greatest surge in online surge frequency (+64%).

08_11_17 Oct search frequency blog image

Following a drop in its price over the last six months, Domaine de la Charbonnière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes also saw a welcome increase in search frequency (+51%) and a subsequent Brand score increase of 33 points to 437, pushing its overall score towards the ‘Strong’ band on the overall Wine Lister scale (now just 17 points short at 583).

The fourth-highest increase, though still the with the lowest overall search frequency of the five (172 searches), is Maison Louis Jadot Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru. Currently holding Hidden Gem status, is this an early sign that this wine won’t be under the radar for much longer?

Finally, Fratelli Brovia Barolo Rocche dei Brovia saw an increase of 29 Brand points to 654, following a 45% increase in search frequency. US partner critic Antonio Galloni rates it very highly, with the result that it achieves the highest overall Wine Lister score of the group (702).

So, with an impressive 10% increase in its Brand score this month, Château Montviel is the one to watch as we move in to the winter months.

Listed: the top five Spanish reds

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.

Top 5 Spanish Wines

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.

Usher in autumn with Piedmont’s strongest brands

With the days quickly shortening and misty mornings become the norm, we bid farewell to rosé for the year and welcome back old favourites. Autumn is the perfect season for Piedmontese reds, which are not only so redolent of mist-covered hills, but also pair perfectly with the region’s food at this time of year. With that in mind, this week’s Listed section features Piedmont’s top five wines by Brand score.

Listed - Top 5 Piedmont Brand Scores

Whilst Barolo might be the region’s most famous appellation, it is Gaja Barbaresco that tops the table with an outstanding Brand score of 976. It performs extremely well across both of Wine Lister’s Brand criteria – restaurant presence and online popularity – coming first and second respectively. It is visible in 33% of the most prestigious establishments worldwide, and attracts more than 8,400 searches on Wine-Searcher each month.

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino Riserva comes next (968). The first of three Wine Lister Buzz Brands in the group, it is by far the most expensive. Receiving on average 9,358 searches each month on Wine-Searcher, it is also the most popular wine in the group. Interestingly, despite experiencing the lowest restaurant presence (23%), it enjoys the greatest depth in terms of number of vintages and formats listed (4.4) – testament to its extraordinary ageing potential of over 24 years.

Bartolo Mascarello Barolo (of “no barrique, no Berlusconi” fame) fills the third spot. This staunchly traditional producer enjoys its best scores in the Brand category, with its excellent search frequency of over 7,000 searches each month helping it to a score of 960.

The last two spots are filled by another wine each from Giacomo Conterno and Gaja – Barolo Francia (formerly Casina Francia) and  Sperss (now labelled as Barolo again from the 2013 vintage after 17 years declassified to Langhe Nebbiolo) [Friday fun fact – Gaja now labels wines under the Europe-wide DOP classification rather than the strictly Italian DOC status]. Both wines have strong restaurant presence, at 30% and 31% respectively. Either would be a perfect accompaniment to Alba’s famous white truffles, which will be starting to appear in some of those restaurants now.

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2006

Analysis of Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2006, which has been released today in the UK at £100 per bottle, with a Wine Lister Quality score of 983 – its best ever:

Wine Lister Fact Sheet Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill 2006

You can download the slide here: Wine Lister Fact Sheet Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2006

 

The regions creating a buzz

Wine Lister’s Brand category measures a wine’s performance across two criteria: popularity and distribution. In conjunction with its Quality and Economic performance, this allows a holistic assessment of a fine wine. It also enables a comparison of the performance of entire fine wine regions. Below we look at the average scores over both Brand criteria of the top 50 wines in Bordeaux, Burgundy, California, Italy, and the USA.

Wine Lister Buzz Regions

Bordeaux dominates, with powerhouses Yquem and Mouton demonstrating the success of its classification system and the centuries-old global repute of its top crus. Its best wines are by far the most popular with consumers – searched for nearly four times more frequently on average than second-placed Italy. They are also the best distributed in the world’s most prestigious restaurants, present in 31% on average, and with 5 references per list.

Whilst Champagne comes second in terms of breadth of presence in restaurants, its top wines don’t achieve much depth in terms of vintages or formats listed – presumably because many of them are non-vintage.

Burgundy competes well in terms of restaurant presence, with the likes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru enjoying a strong showing in top restaurants. Meanwhile the region is fourth most popular in terms of searches each month on Wine-Searcher.

Italy is unique in that Sassicaia is both its most popular wine and also its best distributed. However, whilst its top wines are the second most popular overall, they also experience the second lowest level of distribution.

Finally, the USA’s best wines achieve a strong level of vertical restaurant presence, but come last in terms of both horizontal presence and popularity, suggesting the New World still has a way to go in terms of brand strength.

Download a PDF version here.

First published in French in En Magnum.

Top 5 rosés by Quality score – clinging on to summer

In an attempt to squeeze every last drop out of summer, this week’s Listed section features Wine Lister’s top 5 rosés by Quality score. Whilst the Côte d’Azur might seem a long way away, these five Provençal wines serve as a reminder of warmer climes and long sunny days.

Wine Lister’s Quality score measures a wine’s performance across two criteria – critics’ scores and ageing potential. Whilst these wines perform relatively well with the critics, they are not built with longevity in mind, and have an average predicted drinking window of just three years – compared to 17 and 16 years respectively for the top five whites and reds for Quality.

Listed - Top Roses by Quality Image

Domaines Ott Château de Selle Rosé Coeur de Grain tops the table with a very strong Quality score of 764. Currently priced at around £21 per bottle (depending on the retailer), it is the second-cheapest of the five, and represents excellent value for money.

Garrus, the first of three wines from Château d’Esclans, comes next with a Quality score of 743. At £74 it is by far the most expensive of the group – over twice as expensive as is its close relative Les Clans, with a Quality score of 696. Both these wines divide the critics, performing well with Antonio Galloni and Jancis Robinson, but less favoured by Bettane+Desseauve.

In fact, the French duo are considerably less enamoured with these five rosés than Jancis Robinson in general. Perhaps still rosé has a way to go before it is considered a serious vinous offering in France.

Château Simone Palette Rosé fills the fourth spot with a score of 657, followed by a third wine from Château d’ Esclans – Whispering Angel. Whilst it has a modest Quality score of 506, and is by far the least expensive of the group, it has by far the best Brand score (805). Proof that formidable branding can propel a wine beyond where its intrinsic quality level might suggest (though we certainly wouldn’t turn our noses up at a chilled glass of Whispering Angel on a sunny day like today).