What do the points mean?

Often, you'll find points in these wine descriptions. The only intention I have is to quickly assess the overall wine quality.

As most wine writers warn, the points are meaningless without description.

Second, assessing a wine's qualities is no hard science. It depends on the taster, the bottle, the circumstances how "good" you find a certain wine.

Does that mean that trying to find objective criteria is meaningless? Of course not! That's what this page serves for. It tries to give my criteria (though still vague) for a certain point range.

I do not believe in assessing "pieces" of a wine: finish, colour, aroma, taste,... A wine is a whole (or is supposed to be). A wine can have a magnificent colour, yet no taste at all. Another example are standard wines from very expressive grape varieties: they might have a magnificent bouquet, yet fall back in the mouth.

So I think it's better to rate a wine as a whole. My criteria are stated below. Of course, you might have another opinion. Friends-tasters say that my points are often too high. That might be true, but again: the points are meaningless without description. Compare it to two university professor who rated two different exams:

Professor 1: "Terrific exam! That will be a 12 out of 20!".

Professor 2: "That's not so good. I find several flaws in your argument. It'll be only a 14 out of 20 this time".

Note: With some points, more than 1 wine type can be associated. In that case, you'll find the types indicated with numbers like 1) first type 2) second type. When more than one criterium must be met, they are stated on separate lines without numbers.

Points   Description
1-5   Very serious shortcomings; vinegar

6-9   Serious shortcomings, clearly errors made by the wine maker

No serious flaws are allowed above 9.

10   1) Standard wine with no shortcomings; just drinkable

2) Wine of level 11-12 with small shortcomings

11   1) Prototypical wine, drinkable, very small shortcomings allowed

2) Standard wine with better aroma either taste than average

From 12 on, no shortcomings are allowed.

12   1) Good wine, prototypical for its genre

2) Wine with personality either in taste or in aroma

13   Wine which shows some personality both in taste and aroma

14   Good wine with personality in aroma as well as in taste

15   Good wine with strong personality

Balance must be good

Finish normal to very long

From 16 on, we reach the (sub-)top; only best wines from best producers

16   Balance must be nearly perfect

Wine shows character, both in aroma and taste

Finish must be very good

Eiher good vintage years either less but with a very good winemaker

17   Perfect balance either perfect finish

Only good vintage years reach this level

Strong personality required; no standard wines

18   Perfect balance as well as perfect finish

Best vintage years; best producers

Very strong personality

Technically perfect

19   Same as 18

But has to have special characteristics next to technical perfection

20   Wine consumes the taster instead of taster drinks the wine

Tip: the left pane works like windows explorer!
Please send your comments to Peter Doomen.
This document was updated 27/05/00.