As Wine Lister’s holistic rating system demonstrates, there are many factors (nine criteria, in all) to take into account when calculating a wine’s greatness. One of these is distribution in the world’s top restaurants, our measure of a wine’s prestige and clout on the international market. In order to identify the restaurants that count – not just for the food but for the wine – we have created a matrix of global restaurants with Michelin stars, 50 Best Restaurants, World of Fine Wine Best Wine List awards, and more. We take the most formidable combination of these as the basis for our painstaking analysis.
We are expanding our coverage constantly, and the latest instalment is now in. This year alone has seen an increase of 50%, to 150 restaurants analysed. New entrants come from across the globe, from New York’s Balthazar to Paris’s Carré des Feuillants.
The table below shows the 20 wines to have seen their restaurant presence increase the most since the last update in April:
The top three wines are Champagnes: Salon Le Mesnil, Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé, and Dom Pérignon Oenothèque (the last all the more impressive since the wine was re-branded a few years ago). None of them, however, is the wine with the largest restaurant presence. That accolade falls to Yquem, which saw its presence increase by 7.3% in the latest update, appearing on 69% of the world’s top wine lists – including Boulud in New York and Sketch in London.
Second most popular of the wines above is Mouton Rothschild, whose restaurant presence increased by 5.7%, and which overall features on 58% of the best restaurants, from The French Laundry in California to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong.
It is also interesting to note the wines that have relatively low overall restaurant presence but saw a significant increase in the latest update, suggesting that their stars are on the rise. These include Bordeaux Saint Pierre and Champagne Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Millésimé, which appeared on 2% of the previous restaurant lists but are now at 8% and 9% respectively. Meanwhile, Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge found its restaurant presence tip from 9% to 15% in the latest update.
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.
What makes the perfect wine?
Using the entirety of a 1,000-point scale, Wine Lister’s scores are calculated using nine criteria that define iconic wines. These fall into the categories of Quality, Brand and Economics, giving a 360° view of the finest wines in the world.
Unlike wine critics’ scores, which sporadically feature a perfect 100/100, a perfect Wine Lister score of 1,000/1,000 is practically, though not theoretically, impossible. The perfect wine would have to be the best in the world across every single criterion – a magical combination of ingredients.
The perfect wine does not belong to any one region. In terms of quality, it has the perfect critic score of Sauterne’s unsurpassed Château d’Yquem (1), and the ageing potential of Cockburn’s Vintage Port (2). Its brand is legendary: like Dom Pérignon, it is found throughout the world’s top restaurants (3), and its online monthly searches rival those of Lafite (4).
The perfect wine outperforms on price. Already with a price per bottle to match that of Romanée-Conti (5), its vintages see price increases in both the short- (6) and long-term (7), without undue fluctuation (8). Finally, like Mouton, the perfect wine is traded in large volumes (9).
Download a PDF version here.
First published in French in En Magnum.
Wouldn’t it be brilliant if there was a tool to help you work out which wines represent the best value for money? Well look no further; our Value Pick indicator algorithm puts that knowledge at your fingertips.
Analysing the very latest price data and reviews from our partner critics, Wine Lister’s algorithm awards 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). Crucially, Value Picks are awarded at vintage not wine level.
Here are Wine Lister’s newest Value Picks:
Wine Lister’s 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. Wine Owners believe lower retail prices will sell first, hence their price may be below the Wine-Searcher average in some instances. As you can see, using this method, each of the new Value Picks is priced at £25 or under, with the cheapest costing just £11 (excluding tax).
Furthermore, other than William Fèvre Chablis (64/100), all of these wines have an average critic score of 74-77/100 on Wine Lister’s rebased, calibrated scale (where any score above the average of 40-60/100 is strong). Underlining their appellations’ reputation for excellent value, two sweet white Bordeaux feature in the list: Coutet Premier Cru 2007, from Barsac, and Rayne-Vigneau Premier Cru 2013, from Sauternes. Each earning an average critic score of 77 and with plenty of life still in them, these represent remarkable value for money.
Yesterday, Monday 19th September, saw the release of Château d’Yquem 2014 – the vintage with the highest Quality score in 10 years.
Drawing on the wealth of information in the Wine Lister database, as well as the views of some of the trade’s key players, we put together a collection of extraordinary facts and figures about this iconic sweet wine:
You can download the slide here: yquem-2014-slide