Tag: Quality

Piedmont dominates new Value Picks

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).

Wine Lister Value Picks April 2017

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.

Bordeaux 2016 en primeur part I: the vintage

The Wine Lister team is back from a week in Bordeaux tasting the 2016 vintage, and we can’t curb our enthusiasm. While the growing season was fraught with difficulty, a series of mini miracles allowed appellations across the board to make their finest wines since 2010. Most crucially, heavy spring rainfall was punctuated by a dry window during flowering, and intense summer drought was broken just in time by a dramatic rainstorm on 13th September, witnessed first-hand by Wine Lister’s Founder, Ella Lister, at Château Smith Haut Lafitte.

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A sculpture at Château Smith Haut Lafitte as the storm brewed on 13th September 2016. Photo © Ella Lister

This vintage of extreme conditions has paradoxically resulted in the most balanced of wines, full of freshness. These are wines which, like the 1982 vintage in Bordeaux, will be approachable relatively early – possibly sooner than the 2010s – and will keep on going. Cheval Blanc’s Chef de Culture, Nicolas Corporandy, said that compared to the 2015, “the 2016 is fresher and more tannic”, adding, “they are very different vintages, a bit like the 2009 and 2010.”

However, apart from the odd reference to the 2009-2010 duo, 2016 was not likened to any existing vintage. Olivier Bernard, owner of Domaine de Chevalier and President of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, declared, “This is another expression – not a 2009 or 2010; we are working at a different level than a few years ago.” Many producers are touting 2016 as their best ever wine, and for once, they might not be exaggerating. “I really think honestly that it’s the most accomplished of all Pontet-Canets,” avowed Alfred Tesseron, owner of Château Pontet-Canet.

We were consistently impressed and delighted by the quality and harmony of the wines on left bank and right. In Lister’s words:

“Saint-Estèphe is driven, Pauillac poised, Pomerol blue-blooded, Saint-Emilion alluring, Saint-Julien classy, Margaux pure, and Pessac-Léognan seductive”.

Many wines exceeded our expectations, and we were especially delighted to return to Smith Haut Lafitte to taste the flawless range of wines and find them entirely unscathed by September’s hail.

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The excellent range of red and white wines tasted by the Wine Lister team at Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Pessac-Léognan. Photo © Wine Lister Limited

The even better news is that in general yields are higher than average (though with several exceptions, such as Châteaux Palmer, l’Evangile, and Léoville Poyferré). “With quality we have quantity and I love quantity,” quipped Bernard.

Why do yields matter? In theory, it should allow the producers to maintain reasonable prices if they have more wine to sell. As Nicolas Audebert, General Manager of Châteaux Canon and Rauzan-Ségla, put it, “Anyone who is intelligent will make their margins on the volume not on the prices; if the prices stay more or less the same when the quality is even better, everyone will be content”.

This could be wishful thinking. In the second instalment of this en primeur round-up we will explore the dynamics of the upcoming campaign, complete with the inside track from top producers and members of the trade regarding timing, pricing, and volumes, coming soon.

Check www.wine-lister.com for our partner critics’ scores over the coming weeks, and a new Bordeaux study, due for release here in early May.

Tuscany: the trade’s view on the producers and wines to watch

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.

Wine Lister - Tuscany - rising stars

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).

Wine Lister - Tuscany - hidden gems

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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).