Scoring wines is such a contentious notion, and I can respect that the argument strikes at the heart of the point of wine reviewing.
The negatives are well known – how can an ever-evolving, multi-faceted wine be summed up with a single number? But still, I prefer to score as it serves as a personal reference point – something quantifiable about a particular wine at a specific time.
When approaching my reviews, I advise reading the notes first and treating the score as an addendum. Seriously. Also, I like the Australian Wine Show Scoring System mainly that’s what I was trained to use. Unlike when judging in shows, 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, particularly for young wines, which might need more time (or to watch ‘great’ wines fall over).
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). I’ve then adapted it to my scoring bands (I’m the most generous of the lot).
So the first score is out of 20, then converted to a score out of 100, with an equivalent wine show medal. I judge according to benchmarks for style, and value doesn’t affect the scores (but it does affect whether I’d buy it).
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