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Burgundy superstars and Italian improvers drive interest at Wine Lister

Published:  01 December, 2021

Burgundy superstars and Italian quality improvers have been highlighted as important categories in the second annual report from auction site Wine Lister, called 2021 Wine Leagues.

The publication celebrates the top performing wines and producers within a series of categories over the past year. It found that Italy takes up five spots in the list of top 20 wines whose quality score has improved most over the last two years, including three rapid risers from Brunello di Montalcino. The top improver in the category was highlighted as Isole e Olena Chianti Classico.

The report also takes a look at the Burgundy Superstars, analysing the top 20 Burgundy wines whose popularity has increased by online searches over the past two years. It found that the top 10 spots were occupied by Arnoux-Lachaux with its Vosne-Romanee Les Hautes Maizieres in the top slot.

The trade survey also looked at the most compelling wines and producers on the market today which it said included Bibi Graetz, Berthaut-Gerbet, Pedro Parra, and Rhys Vineyards.

As part of the report, Wine Lister asked founding members what factors were the most important when considering how compelling a producer is.

Over 50% of respondents said that wine quality was the most important factor. One top tier UK merchant told the report: “As much as other factors must be included, we all know that these are entirely ancillary to how good the actual wine is.”

Consistency was also highlighted as important with another merchant noting “Consistently high quality, particularly when faced with challenging conditions” is key.

Another 40% of respondents said that the producer’s story was an important factor while the remaining 10% focused on business outcomes, naming consumer demand as the most compelling factor when buying a wine.

The report also revealed that multiple comments references “authenticity” as a particularly compelling aspect of a producers’ brand.

Interestingly, despite the importance of social media in many marketing strategies, respondents did not feel that these platforms are particularly important in creating a compelling wine brand. Nearly 50% actually placed it as the least important factor while 30% placed it second last.

According to the survey, the trade favoured a more personal approach to brand promotion with one Place de Bordeaux member stating that engaging face-to-face with the trade and consumer at events around the world was the more “effective” and “desirable” way to promote a brand.

The report also highlighted a range of value picks including Californian wine The Hilt Vineyard Pinot Noir and French Huet Le Mont Sec. Meanwhile, its top 10 list of hidden gems to watch included Alsace-based Schlumberger Riesling Kessler and Burgundy wines including Henri Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin ‘4 Carat Terres’ and Thomas Morey Chassagne-montrachet ‘Vide Bourse.’

In the report, Wine Lister said: “After a year of disruption due to the global health crisis, fine wine is booming. Collectors took refuge in their cellars during lockdowns, and show no signs of curbing their appetite for wine with the resumption of ‘normal’ life.”