2016 was a year marked by huge changes to the status quo and for some, a terribly sad time to be walking this earth. The uncertainty of the global economy and political upheavals the past year weighed on the minds of many people. The passing of music greats like David Bowie, Prince and George Michael, icons whose music most of us wine loving pre-millennials grew up with, added to the gloom of 2016.

It was against this backdrop that we compiled our best performing wines of 2016. The methodology we used to create this list was the same as 2015’s, the first year we started publishing our best performers. We considered how well each wine sold this year, the number of repeat purchases, and the retail price vis-a-vis other comparable wines. We also tracked the sales pattern of each wine and adjusted for seasonal variations.

At the beginning of 2016, we looked into our crystal ball and predicted wine labels in lower price brackets to dominate this year’s list and champagnes to do badly following expected cuts in corporate discretionary spending. But if the results below are an indicator of the economic outlook and our prowess as fortune tellers, we have reasons to feel optimistic about the first and absolute rubbish about the second.

 Rank   Wine  Vintage   Price
1  Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne NV $79.00 
2  Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne NV $74.00 
3  Billecart-Salmon Rose Champagne NV $117.00 
4  Dom Perignon Champagne NV $257.00 
5  Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve Champagne NV Sold Out 
6  Ostler Caroline's Pinot Noir 2011 $78.00 
7  Pol Roger Brut Champagne NV $94.00 
8  Galena 2010 $62.00 
9  Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Sold Out 
10  Rust en Vrede Syrah 2013 $60.00 
11  Domaine Belle Crozes Hermitage Cuvee Louis Belle 2012 $56.00 
12  Coriole Estate Grown Shiraz 2013 $52.00 
13  Lenton Brae Cabernet Merlot 2015 $49.00 
14  Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $48.00 
15  Schild Estate Barossa Valley Shiraz 2013 $52.00 
16  Cims de Porrera Vi de Vila Porrera 2008 $54.00 
17  Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2013 $94.00 
18  Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella DOC Superiore 2012 $64.00 
19  Muller Catoir Mussbach Riesling Kabinett Feinfruchtig 2014 $55.00 
20  Whispering Angel Cotes de Provence Rose 2015 $53.00 
21  Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva 2012 $60.00 
22  Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose 2014 $49.00 
23  Domaine Regis Minet Vieilles Vignes Pouilly Fume 2013 $50.00 
24  AIX Provence Rose 2015 $44.00 
25  Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes Hermitage 2011 $67.00 
26  3 Associates Four Score Grenache 2012 $55.00 
27  Gran Crossos 2011 $56.00 
28  Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $42.00 
29  Achaval Ferrer Mendoza Malbec 2014 $54.00 
30  Borthwick Point Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $39.00 
31  Clos Galena 2009 $84.00 
32  Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2014 $59.00 
33  Coriole Sangiovese 2015 $45.00 
34  Domaine Belle Crozes Hermitage Roche Pierre 2012 $68.00 
35  Sumarroca Cava Brut Nature Cuvee Gran Reserva 2012 $49.00 
36  Ostler Waitaki Valley Pinot Gris 2015 $44.00 
37  Lake Chalice Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $39.00 
38  Coriole Redstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $40.00 
39  Lenton Brae Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $95.00 
40  Casa Primicia Julian Madrid Reserva 2009 $57.00 

 

There are 2 observations worth pointing out from the above list.

For a start, the Grandes Marques of Champagne made a totally unexpected clean sweep of the top 5 spots. Despite our early pessimistic projections, it seemed our customers found many things to say cheers to throughout the year, and toasting them with only the best champagnes. Prosecco just would not do it for them. In fact, other than the Sumarroca Cava Brut Nature Cuvee Gran Reserva 2012, a very good cava from an exceptional producer by the way, no other sparkling wines made the list this year.

Secondly, more wine labels priced above S$50 appeared in this year’s Top 40 Wines compared to last year’s. 7 out of 10 wines in this year's list were S$50 and above, compared to only 4 in 10 last year. As we have adjusted our computation to take into account outlier events, like the guy who bought 36 bottles of Krug champagne at one go, this meant that a significant number of people were actually drinking more expensive stuff on a regular basis in 2016. Our expectations were again way off the mark on this count.

So now, if you are still feeling down because of all the negative news, take heart from our Top 40 Wines of 2016. This is one positive economic barometer you can drink to. In the meantime, we are trading in our crystal ball for a crystal glass decanter. We wish you all the very best of 2017!

Prices shown in this table are correct as at the date of this article and may change subsequent to this date.

Kenny Wong Written by Kenny Wong

I'm the founder and chief wine drinker of Wines Online. As my title suggests, my job is to drink every wine that is placed on my table before we decide if it goes onto our website. This is the best quality control job anyone can ask for. I should know... I was an auditor in my previous profession.

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