Bordeaux 2019: Saturnalia scores

Saturnalia is a service designed to monitor vineyards and wine production by combining measures from space and ground. The team behind Saturnalia, at Ticinum Aerospace, provide wine quality predictions, scores and price trends.

Saturnalia collects and analyses satellite images of vineyards throughout the growing season. They use a proprietary algorithm that combines these images with weather data, vine growing periods and vigour estimate. The algorithm classifies the vineyards in terms of vigour, from very low to very high. High vigour is typically connected to lower quality. However, as there is no simple linear correlation between vigour and quality, the algorithm also takes into account other data: the amount of rain in different periods of the year, the amount of heat available for growth, diurnal temperature differences, aspect, altitude, etc.

Following their vintage report, which Liv-ex members can access in full, today we take a look at the top-scoring Bordeaux 2019 wines based on their calculations. The Saturnalia vintage predictions also come in light of the recent UGC announcement that Bordeaux En Primeur week, during which critics and trade taste the new vintage, has been suspended.

Saturnalia uses a 100-point scoring scale for each vintage. A vine’s vigour is calculated for the whole vineyard and is represented by an SVI (Saturnalia Vigour Index). The index is based on the content of chlorophyll in the vines and is the result of continuous monitoring of the vineyard during the growing season. The table below shows Saturnalia’s top-scoring wines based on these estimates.

The example of Lafite Rothschild, which received 97.6 points, illustrates how their calculations work in practice. The graphs below show the different classes of vigour. The entire SVI distribution of each vintage and each vineyard is compared to show the difference in style and quality.

Elevation, slope and aspect are measured from satellite observers. Weather data is plotted against growing phases for more detailed understanding of vintage variation and estimates of rain and monthly diurnal variation are also taken into consideration to establish how the new vintage compares to previous years.

For further details, Liv-ex members can email their Account Manager. For more information on how to obtain the Saturnalia reports if you are not a Liv-ex member, click here.

Liv-ex is publishing its annual En Primeur report next week. Fill the form below to reserve your copy and read the latest analysis on the Bordeaux market and the outlook for the 2019 vintage.