Scoring wines is such a contentious notion, with everyone having an opinion on it one way or another. Some people hate points, deciding that a single number hardly sums up a wine. But I still choose to score wines, as it serves as a personal reference point, something quantifiable about a certain wine, at a certain time, that helps give me something to hold on to.
So my advice is to read the notes first, treating the score as an addendum. I use the Australian Wine Show Scoring System, mainly as this is the format that I have been trained to use. Unlike judges, however, I have the luxury of tasting with the label in front of me, often over a several day period – giving the benefit of context and giving some young wines the time they deserve.
This scale appeared in its original form in ‘The World of Fine Wine’ Magazine (Issue 18, 2007), which was then modified by Steve Webber (De Bortoli) and hence by me (I’m actually the most generous of the lot).
Australian Wine Review Scoring System:
I also translate very roughly into the 100 point system:19.1-20 = 96-100
18.1-19.0 = 93-95
17.1-18.0 = 90-92
16.1-17.0 = 87-89
15.1-16.0 = 84-86
14.1-15.0 = 80-83
13.1-14.0 = 73-79 12.1-13.0=67-72 11.1-11.8=59-66 10.0-11.0=50-58 Below 10=Failure
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