(click wine names for full reviews)
|WOTW Date||Vintage||Wine||Pure Grade||Value Grade||Find It|
|24 Jun 2010||2008||Romolo Buccellato Nero d'Avola||85||B||$14|
|10 Jun 2010||2008||Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha||90||A||$15|
|03 Jun 2010||2009||Tarima Monastrell||87||A-||$9|
|20 May 2010||2009||Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc||87||B||$20|
|13 May 2010||2007||Flechas de los Andes Gran Malbec||92||A||$17|
|29 Apr 2010||2008||Villa Wolf Rose de Pinot Noir||88||B+||$13|
|22 Apr 2010||2008||J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay||90||A-||$14|
|08 Apr 2010||2008||Giesen Sauvignon Blanc||86||B+||$13|
|01 Apr 2010||2008||Angeline Pinot Noir||89||A+||$15|
|25 Mar 2010||2009||La Playa Chardonnay Un-Oaked||85||A-||$8|
|18 Mar 2010||2007||Erath Pinot Noir||88||A-||$18|
|11 Mar 2010||2007||Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon||91||A+||$17|
|04 Mar 2010||2007||Passopisciaro||93||A||$45|
|25 Feb 2010||2007||Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon||90||A-||$20|
|18 Feb 2010||2007||Chateau de Pennautier Cabardes||87||B+||$12|
|11 Feb 2010||2007||Vina Gormaz Tempranillo||87||A-||$10|
|04 Feb 2010||2008||Toscolo Chianti||87||A||$12|
|28 Jan 2010||2008||Mackenzie Pinot Noir||90||A||$18|
|21 Jan 2010||2008||Vignabaldo Sangiovese Dell'Umbria||86||B||$14|
|14 Jan 2010||2007||Torre Quarto Bottaccia Uva di Troia||89||A-||$15|
First and foremost, I make tasting notes for me. I am always looking for a better bottle, a richer wine, a better value. There is so much out there that I can't hope to keep it all straight by memory. The written notes are the most important part of wine's overall grade, but for easier references I do also score wines with both a "Pure Grade" and "Value Grade".
A 100-point scale is commonly used now by many major publications, and with good reason: we all got graded in school, and it is easy to see that a 93 point wine is better than an 87 point wine. But where does that really leave you? So a wine got 87 points. Does that mean you shouldn't drink it? And with so many wines are grouped in the 88-93 point range: how do you choose?
Value is incredibly important. How can you get the most wine for your dollar?
To help answer this question, I give every wine two scores. The first is based off the 100-point scale, which is very user friendly. I am rather critical when tasting wines in an effort to avoid creating a glut of wines in the 90 point range. Underestimating a wine is less disastrous than overstating its quality. For this reason I tend to be a bit more conservative in my scoring than many of the current major publications. I try to use the entire range of the 100-point scale, but as in school anything under 60 points is a failing grade, so I don't bother getting specific with those numbers.
This numerical score is a strict reference to the quality of the wine, regardless of price. I base this score on the following criteria: color and general appearance; aroma and bouquet; flavor and finish; overall quality of the wine.
This score is meant as a guideline, and only references the quality that one particular bottle of wine showed on one particular day. The description of the wine is always much more important than the score.
The second score I give a wine is the Value Score. This rating is even more subjective. I assign each wine a score based on the value it presents to a consumer for the average retail price of the bottle at the time I publish the grade. This score is represented in the form of a letter grade from 'A+' being the highest, to 'F' being the lowest. To sum it all up, an 88 point Napa Cabernet that costs $120.00 may get a 'B', while an 88 point Napa Cabernet that costs $11.00 may get an 'A'.
|Pure Grade||Value Grade|
|96-100: Outstanding quality wine||A- to A+: Can't beat this wine for the price|
|90-95: Very high quality wine||B- to B+: Worth just about every penny|
|86-89: Good to High quality wine||C+: You get a little more than you pay for|
|80-85: Decent quality wine||C: You get exactly what you pay for, no more, no less|
|70-79: Adequate, not complex||D- to C-: Your money is better spent elsewhere|
|60-69: Some minor flaws, not pleasing||F: Drink a beer instead|
|Below 60: Major flaws, not drinkable|
I leave you with this final thought:
All wine grading is subjective, and individual preferences will always exist. The best way to learn is to get a bottle, drink it with friends, and talk about what you do and don't like about it!