In today’s blog, we’ve taken a look at the relationship between price and quality for seven leading wine regions. The chart below compares the regions’ average three-month market prices to their Quality scores, with the data calculated from each region’s 50 best-scoring wines (in terms of overall Wine Lister score).
While six regions are clustered relatively close to each other, Burgundy finds itself at the extreme top end of the scale: its wines outperform on quality and have the prices to match. The top 50-scoring wines in Burgundy average a whopping £1,330 per bottle, driven by the likes of DRC La Romanée-Conti at £10,776 and Domaine Leroy Musigny at £7,805.
The Rhône’s wines have the lowest average Quality score but not the lowest prices: at £188 per bottle on average, they are the fourth most expensive of the group. California and Bordeaux display a very similar profile, appearing just above the trendline, indicating that these wines command high prices not simply on account of quality – brand also plays a part.
Champagne and Piedmont, meanwhile, fall below the line, suggesting that as regions they tend to offer value for money. Piedmont’s ranking is particularly impressive: second only to Burgundy in terms of average Quality score, its wines are available for a tenth of the price on average.
Measuring the number of searches on the world’s most visited wine site, Wine-Searcher, provides a unique insight into a wine’s real consumer demand. With the latest online search data now in, we can determine whether there are any new “Buzz Brands”: one of the four Wine Lister Indicators, which were developed to isolate sub-sections of search criteria for our users. A Buzz Brand is a wine with strong distribution, showing high online search frequency or demonstrating a recent growth in popularity, and identified by the fine wine trade as trending or especially prestigious.
As shown in the chart below, three new wines achieved Buzz Brand status in June. To qualify, a wine must either be among the 20% most searched-for wines, or a wine whose search growth has significantly exceeded the rest of the group over the last six months. Domaine Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru saw an impressive 27% increase in average monthly searches over the last six months and also excels in terms of quality, with an average Quality score of 948.
The other two wines, Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Luchets and Domaine Ponsot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, saw their search frequency increase by 18% and 16% respectively over the latest six-month period. The latter has the highest overall Wine Lister score of the three, with 879/1000, and is the most expensive: £201 per bottle on average. Noticeably, all three wines are from Burgundy, a region whose online searches have been on the rise for some time.
With the latest online search frequency data in from Wine-Searcher we can now see which wines caught the public’s attention in May. Results demonstrate the effect of the 2016 en primeur campaign – now coming to a close – with Bordeaux brands taking four of the five top spots.
Cos d’Estournel saw online searches rise the most last month: the brand was one of the first out of the blocks with its 2016 release, which came in late April, maintaining the same price as its 2015. Exactly one month later, Lynch-Bages released its 2016 for €96 ex-négociant. Despite a 14% increase on 2015, the release went down well on the Place de Bordeaux, perhaps due to the wine achieving the highest Quality score of the century.
Montrose, which saw the third largest increase in searches in May, released its 2016 mid-month. With its Quality score up on 2009, 2010 and 2015, but, like neighbour Cos, releasing at the same price as 2015, Montrose 2016 looked like one of the vintage’s better buys. Figeac also saw searches soar in May but is something of an anomaly in this table – it only released its 2016 on Tuesday 13th June, too late to influence May’s search statistics. Nonetheless, the brand may well be garnering interest due to its exceptional Quality score, as rated by our three partner critics (Jancis Robinson in the UK, Bettane + Desseauve in France and Antonio Galloni in the US).
The final wine of the table, providing some respite from Bordeaux, is a heavyweight from Burgundy: DRC La Tâche. Two auctions in May – one from Sotheby’s and one from iDealwine – saw a number of bottles of La Tâche for sale, which may explain the boost in searches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A change in trading volumes impacts a wine’s Economics score. The chart below pulls out the biggest gainers in the last quarter of 2016, comparing auction data from the 12 months leading up to the end of Q3 2016 to data for the calendar year.
Wines from a variety of regions saw their Economics scores boosted by auction sales in the final quarter of 2016, suggesting a healthy broadening of interest in addition to the usual suspects.
Gaining most was Artadi Rioja Viñas de Gain, which saw trading volumes from January-December 2016 increase tenfold. Its Economics score remains relatively low, at 420/1000.
Australia and the Loire also made an appearance. Domaine Huet Cuvée Constance enjoys a very strong Economics score of 796/1000, and also excels in terms of Quality and Brand, leaving it with a very strong overall Wine Lister rating of 856/1000.
Burgundy is still on the rise at auction, and was the only region to feature twice, with Maison Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Lavaux Saint-Jacques and Domaine Hudelot-Noëllat Chambolle-Musigny.
Here’s the latest instalment of our monthly series on biggest Brand gainers.
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).
The chart below gives us a breakdown of the five wines which improved their Wine Lister Brand score most during December:
The top five Brand gainers are not concentrated in any one country or region, with Italy, Australia, and three different French regions all represented.
As in November, Barolo is again represented. With a percentage increase of 28% in Brand score, Marengo’s Barolo Bricco Viole saw a surge in monthly online searches, increasing from an average of 103 to 342.
The second biggest gainer is Magnien’s Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, whose average monthly searches have doubled, helping raise its overall Brand score above the Wine Lister average to 545/1000.
We’ll be back next month with an update on January’s biggest Brand changers.
We’re always adding new features to Wine Lister, and in direct response to your feedback, we are pleased to introduce our new wine comparison tool. Released late in 2016 (it wasn’t all bad!), this is a valuable, visual device for comparing up to three wines of your choice.
Whether you want to look at three vintages of the same iconic wine, three cuvées from the same producer or three completely different wines, our comparison tool allows for an instant side-by-side analysis of each of the 11 criteria (across three main categories) that make up Wine Lister’s overall score.
Let’s look at it in practice. Below you will see Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair’s Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Les Suchots:
By simply clicking “Compare“, you can add up to two more wines to the analysis:
In this instance, we have chosen to analyse three different producers’ wines from the lieu-dit of Les Suchots in Vosne-Romanée, at wine-level rather than in a specific vintage. We can quickly see that these three Les Suchots wines score similarly well in Quality, but in Brand and Economics there are greater differences. Grivot’s Les Suchots scores highest in Brand, while that from Bouchard scores lowest. It is the outstanding Economics score from Comte Liger-Belair’s example that brings it out on top in the overall Wine Lister score.
In-depth wine comparison has never been quicker or easier! Try it for yourself (subscription or free trial required).
Which producers will see the largest gain in brand recognition in the next two years? That is one of the many questions we asked in a unique survey of our 42 Founding Members – the majority of the world’s largest merchants, top international wine auctioneers, and several high-end retailers, together representing well over one third of global fine wine revenues.
The chart above shows the top 10 brands expected by Founding Members to see their brand recognition increase in the next two years. Unsurprisingly, Burgundy takes the lead, making up six of the ten places. The trade’s picks included rising stars such as Arnaud Ente and Jean-Marc Roulot. Wine Lister’s Founding Members also believe that superstars such as Armand Rousseau will grow even further in brand recognition.
Penfolds also already possesses a brand so strong it is hard to comprehend how it will grow much further, as the trade predict it will. The appearance of three Bordeaux wines also comes as a surpise, given the preeminent position already occupied by brand Bordeaux in the fine wine market. Our Founding Members see room for burgeoning brand power for Châteaux Figeac, Haut-Brion, and Lynch-Bages. Why?
Figeac is causing a stir and is widely held to be on the path to regaining greatness. Haut-Brion is perhaps viewed as having less renown relative to its fellow first growths in the Médoc, in spite of Samuel Pepys fame (“a good and most particular taste”). However, Lynch-Bages is already so many leagues ahead of its peers in terms of brand recognition (check out its impressive distribution in top restaurants and online search frequency on the site), that it’s hard to see where it can go next. Have our Founding Members got it right?
To access more findings from our Founding Member survey, read the complete study, “Bordeaux – Reasons to Hope“. If you are not a subscriber yet, why not try a 14-day free trial!