Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

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Mattstolz
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#1 Post by Mattstolz » November 5th, 2017, 7:40 am

Like the title asks. A wine is totally undrinkable. you hate it. everyone else hates it. what do you rate it?

also the flip side. whats it take to be a 100 point, 20/20 wine to you? does it have to be a WOTY? wine of a lifetime? best wine ever made?

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Drew Goin
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#2 Post by Drew Goin » November 5th, 2017, 3:35 pm

Good question. I will have to get back to you on that.

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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#3 Post by Steve Slatcher » November 9th, 2017, 2:35 am

My scale is totally subjective. The number of stars indicates how much I enjoyed a wine at the time. No more, no less. Assume wines are not tasted blind unless I say otherwise.
* Avoid
** Just about acceptable, but I’d prefer to drink something else
*** Perfectly acceptable to good. Most wines I drink are at this level
**** Has that little something extra, e.g. intensity of flavour, complexity
***** Has a lot of something extra – a wow factor
****** Exceptionally good. Difficult to imagine how it could be improved
I don't think I have used 1* in the last few years, partly because I would often call wines to be avoided "faulty", and not score them. Most wines fall between 3* and 5*, with 2* and 6* being pulled out occasionally. Sometime I worry about personal grade inflation, but in my defence if I am going to bother writing a tasting note the wine usually has to be pretty decent anyway.

I think it is a misconception that the top score indicates perfection. if you imagine quality is infinitely variable but you have an integer scoring system, surely 100 means anything better than 99.5? In my case it is a lot more finger-in-the-air stuff, and the top scoring wines probably just hit the spot on a particular occasion. But IMO the mere fact that they are ABLE to do that is important in itself.

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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#4 Post by Brian Tuite » November 9th, 2017, 4:29 am

Apothic Red is the dregs

100pt wine? I’d like to try some 15-20yrs down the road to compare. Never personally rated anything that high. Stopped giving points years ago.
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#5 Post by Ian Sutton » November 10th, 2017, 11:57 am

DNPIM (do not put in mouth)

More difficult for me, as I don't like scoring wines, so don't.

The only scale I ever felt moderately comfortable with was the £ (but you could substitute $) scale. Literally how much you think the wine is worth to you. Inspired by our original tasting group, where we used to say that after writing a TN. Linked to price paid, it's a rather informative scale e.g. 17.5/12 is a wine I found really good value, and 12/20 is the reverse. The lowest score is also easy on this scale : 0
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#6 Post by F o s t e r B. » November 10th, 2017, 6:53 pm

So I've taken a non-numeric approach to my personal wine ratings. I've taken things back to elementary school and as such, I assign a letter grade to each wine. Most earn a B rating, either B+, B, or B- but some reach the A category, and a more common wine will receive a C rating. D's are reserved for those special patheic gems and F, well, that answers your question. An undrinkable wine receives this score. It may be rudimentary, but it works for me.
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#7 Post by J.Vizuete » November 11th, 2017, 10:47 pm

I love this question - lots of different ways to go with it. I still use points if only for a relative mark for how much I enjoyed something against other wines in the past. My scale runs from 75-100. I suppose if I just hated a wine and it wasn’t flawed, it gets a 75 or no rating from me. Most of my notes on CT follow a tighter bell curve around 88-94. For me, 90 means good, drinkable, without technical flaws, but doesn’t imply anything special at all. Scores in the 90s are more or less how much I remember liking a wine. Obviously, that’s a moving target, and I’m starting to fill in more scores in the upper 90s as my experience (and budget) grow. A 100 is the best wine I’ve tasted. It’s got to be a wow experience, with interest, complexity, technically flawless, memory imprinting, captivating - something you’ll be thinking about tomorrow and next week, like a great meal at Alinea or something. 100s should be hard to come by and those characteristics must be all from the juice itself i.e. not driven by company or setting. I remember drinking a Copain Pinot at Per Se. it’s a 91-92 point wine when I’m at home, but with good food, friends and a special occasion, felt like a 96. It’s hard to divide the two but I keep that in mind . Some folks drink a lot of exceptional wine, and may taste (and rate) 100s all the time. For me, I suppose it’s maybe an annual experience. To me, WOTY means simply, the best tasting grape juice I’ve put in my mouth this year (rather than best value or a producer with a story etc)

Btw it’s interesting that the burgundy scale (or Pinot in general?) is shifted back a great deal. Somehow it’s a lot harder for a Pinot to come by a 100 (even/especially from devoted enthusiasts). Hell, if Meadows gives it an 89, that may be a 94-95 in some folks’ book. Whereas If Parker gives it a 99, you never know....
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#8 Post by Ian Sutton » November 12th, 2017, 11:49 am

Very important for people to use a scale they are comfortable with, or no score at all as many of us do. No benefit at all in trying to apply a score when you don't like the scale or the concept of scoring.

I always found it interesting that the Italians never seemed to care for anything other than a simple scale, be it 0-3 glasses, 0-5 grapes or Veronelli who never much liked to concept at all. Only in recent years have we seen some using the 100 point scale (e.g. Luca Maroni, albeit I found the book of his I bought utterly useless, so maybe not the best example!).
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#9 Post by Steven Brown » November 13th, 2017, 1:56 pm

For me 80 seems to be about as low as I expect to go. Looking at Cellartracker the lowest score I’ve given to a wine is 84 points (non-vintage Breaux Vineyards Serenity and to a Boen Pinot Noir). Anything under 87 is a wine that I would not buy again, one that has no real value to my palate.

I can foresee giving less than 80 points to a wine, but it wouldn’t be a “serious” wine that's regularly discussed in forums like this one. The gawd-awful Mondavi Private Selections Cabernet Sauvignon comes to mind, which a friend recently brought for dinner and I had to force down.

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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#10 Post by Jay $$ Winton » November 13th, 2017, 1:59 pm

I just can't say a wine is 88 or 89 points so I use letter grades.
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#11 Post by Mattstolz » November 14th, 2017, 6:35 am

Steve Slatcher wrote: My scale is totally subjective. The number of stars indicates how much I enjoyed a wine at the time. No more, no less. Assume wines are not tasted blind unless I say otherwise.
* Avoid
** Just about acceptable, but I’d prefer to drink something else
*** Perfectly acceptable to good. Most wines I drink are at this level
**** Has that little something extra, e.g. intensity of flavour, complexity
***** Has a lot of something extra – a wow factor
****** Exceptionally good. Difficult to imagine how it could be improved
i personally like this scale. it acknowledges that its subjective and allows for the fact that tasting variation happens.
Ian Sutton wrote:DNPIM (do not put in mouth)

More difficult for me, as I don't like scoring wines, so don't.

The only scale I ever felt moderately comfortable with was the £ (but you could substitute $) scale. Literally how much you think the wine is worth to you. Inspired by our original tasting group, where we used to say that after writing a TN. Linked to price paid, it's a rather informative scale e.g. 17.5/12 is a wine I found really good value, and 12/20 is the reverse. The lowest score is also easy on this scale : 0
love the value/price ratio scale. thats a really helpful way to figure out the perceived value of a wine that gives somewhat of a sliding scale. i might start using this one more often.
J.Vizuete wrote:I love this question - lots of different ways to go with it. I still use points if only for a relative mark for how much I enjoyed something against other wines in the past. My scale runs from 75-100. I suppose if I just hated a wine and it wasn’t flawed, it gets a 75 or no rating from me. Most of my notes on CT follow a tighter bell curve around 88-94. For me, 90 means good, drinkable, without technical flaws, but doesn’t imply anything special at all. Scores in the 90s are more or less how much I remember liking a wine. Obviously, that’s a moving target, and I’m starting to fill in more scores in the upper 90s as my experience (and budget) grow. A 100 is the best wine I’ve tasted. It’s got to be a wow experience, with interest, complexity, technically flawless, memory imprinting, captivating - something you’ll be thinking about tomorrow and next week, like a great meal at Alinea or something. 100s should be hard to come by and those characteristics must be all from the juice itself i.e. not driven by company or setting. I remember drinking a Copain Pinot at Per Se. it’s a 91-92 point wine when I’m at home, but with good food, friends and a special occasion, felt like a 96. It’s hard to divide the two but I keep that in mind . Some folks drink a lot of exceptional wine, and may taste (and rate) 100s all the time. For me, I suppose it’s maybe an annual experience. To me, WOTY means simply, the best tasting grape juice I’ve put in my mouth this year (rather than best value or a producer with a story etc)

Btw it’s interesting that the burgundy scale (or Pinot in general?) is shifted back a great deal. Somehow it’s a lot harder for a Pinot to come by a 100 (even/especially from devoted enthusiasts). Hell, if Meadows gives it an 89, that may be a 94-95 in some folks’ book. Whereas If Parker gives it a 99, you never know....
I always wondered about this. compared to other rating apps I use, CT scores seem to be the hardest to get a feel for. a fantastic wine can be rated an 88+. I rarely ever see a wine rated over 92. wheras an app like Vivino seems pretty liberal with the 4+ scores.
Steven Brown wrote:For me 80 seems to be about as low as I expect to go. Looking at Cellartracker the lowest score I’ve given to a wine is 84 points (non-vintage Breaux Vineyards Serenity and to a Boen Pinot Noir). Anything under 87 is a wine that I would not buy again, one that has no real value to my palate.

I can foresee giving less than 80 points to a wine, but it wouldn’t be a “serious” wine that's regularly discussed in forums like this one. The gawd-awful Mondavi Private Selections Cabernet Sauvignon comes to mind, which a friend recently brought for dinner and I had to force down.
that was kind of the other thing I was wondering. do you think your lowest CT score recently was an 84 because you just select much better wines now, or did you just really hate the Boen? eg: if you were rating an Apothic red, would it still fall in that mid 80s range?

Personally, I think my rating system is based on what percentile of wine i think that bottle is. if i think it is a 99th percentile wine, then it gets a 99. If i think it is a 5th percentile, i wouldnt hesitate to rate that low. with that in mind, a 100 would be very hard to come by, as would a 1.

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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#12 Post by AndrewH » November 14th, 2017, 2:15 pm

Steve Slatcher wrote:
My scale is totally subjective. The number of stars indicates how much I enjoyed a wine at the time. No more, no less. Assume wines are not tasted blind unless I say otherwise.
* Avoid
** Just about acceptable, but I’d prefer to drink something else
*** Perfectly acceptable to good. Most wines I drink are at this level
**** Has that little something extra, e.g. intensity of flavour, complexity
***** Has a lot of something extra – a wow factor
****** Exceptionally good. Difficult to imagine how it could be improved
I don't think I have used 1* in the last few years, partly because I would often call wines to be avoided "faulty", and not score them. Most wines fall between 3* and 5*, with 2* and 6* being pulled out occasionally. Sometime I worry about personal grade inflation, but in my defence if I am going to bother writing a tasting note the wine usually has to be pretty decent anyway.

I think it is a misconception that the top score indicates perfection. if you imagine quality is infinitely variable but you have an integer scoring system, surely 100 means anything better than 99.5? In my case it is a lot more finger-in-the-air stuff, and the top scoring wines probably just hit the spot on a particular occasion. But IMO the mere fact that they are ABLE to do that is important in itself.
All very good points, and a sensible system.

That said, in the world of 100 point scales (or at least CellarTracker) I probably wouldn't go below an 80. At that point it's an NR wine - i.e., likely spoiled or so bad it doesn't deserve a rating (and really, I think I could make a more principled distinction between a 93 and a 94 than between a 75 and a 55.)
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Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#13 Post by RichardFlack » November 14th, 2017, 2:56 pm

At the risk of a bit of thread drift...
I really wonder how credible twenty five point systems are (75-100). I'd say it's tough enough to, for example, differentiate between 92 and 93 say at a single tasting. But how certain is it that 93 is better than a 92 when tasted a few months apart under probably different circumstances.

My personal favourite is the Johnson system (no, its not what you think). Extracted from former edition of his invauable Pocket Wine Guide
One Sniff: Minimum score, Emphatically, No Thanks.
One Sip: A step up
Two Sips: Faint interest - or disbelief
A Half Glass: Slight hesitation
One glass: Tolerance, even general approval
...
Two glasses: You quite like it, or there is nothing else to drink
Three glasses: More than accceptable
Four: : It tickles your fancy
One bottle: : More than satisfaction
Second bottle. : Is the real thumbs up
...
A full case. : You are not going to miss out on this one
...
And ultimately
The Whole Vineyard
(Which is a bit of an inside joke)

To answer the OP, I dont usually score but when. I do its 0 to 4 *, 0 for major fault, for minor but noticeable flaw and or seriously uninteresting, or truly awful style, theoretically drinkable but why bother.

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#14 Post by Mattstolz » November 15th, 2017, 11:36 am

AndrewH wrote:
Steve Slatcher wrote: I don't think I have used 1* in the last few years, partly because I would often call wines to be avoided "faulty", and not score them. Most wines fall between 3* and 5*, with 2* and 6* being pulled out occasionally. Sometime I worry about personal grade inflation, but in my defence if I am going to bother writing a tasting note the wine usually has to be pretty decent anyway.

I think it is a misconception that the top score indicates perfection. if you imagine quality is infinitely variable but you have an integer scoring system, surely 100 means anything better than 99.5? In my case it is a lot more finger-in-the-air stuff, and the top scoring wines probably just hit the spot on a particular occasion. But IMO the mere fact that they are ABLE to do that is important in itself.
All very good points, and a sensible system.

That said, in the world of 100 point scales (or at least CellarTracker) I probably wouldn't go below an 80. At that point it's an NR wine - i.e., likely spoiled or so bad it doesn't deserve a rating (and really, I think I could make a more principled distinction between a 93 and a 94 than between a 75 and a 55.)
so my question on a 75-100 point scale I guess is this: would 75 be a minimum score because even a pretty bad wine gets 75% credit for just not being vinegar? or is it just because when using a 100 point scale tradition says 0=less than 75? maybe the better way to phrase it is, where do those first 75 points in the scoring come from?
RichardFlack wrote:At the risk of a bit of thread drift...
I really wonder how credible twenty five point systems are (75-100). I'd say it's tough enough to, for example, differentiate between 92 and 93 say at a single tasting. But how certain is it that 93 is better than a 92 when tasted a few months apart under probably different circumstances.

My personal favourite is the Johnson system (no, its not what you think). Extracted from former edition of his invauable Pocket Wine Guide
One Sniff: Minimum score, Emphatically, No Thanks.
One Sip: A step up
Two Sips: Faint interest - or disbelief
A Half Glass: Slight hesitation
One glass: Tolerance, even general approval
...
Two glasses: You quite like it, or there is nothing else to drink
Three glasses: More than accceptable
Four: : It tickles your fancy
One bottle: : More than satisfaction
Second bottle. : Is the real thumbs up
...
A full case. : You are not going to miss out on this one
...
And ultimately
The Whole Vineyard
(Which is a bit of an inside joke)

To answer the OP, I dont usually score but when. I do its 0 to 4 *, 0 for major fault, for minor but noticeable flaw and or seriously uninteresting, or truly awful style, theoretically drinkable but why bother.
personally I love the "how much of this wine do I wanna drink?" scale. out of all of them ive seen, I think it is really the most informative for how you feel about it, and assumes that the score is a very personal and subjective thing, which a 100 point scale might not to (since so many people equate that to objectively derived grades on something like a multiple choice test)

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#15 Post by Steve Slatcher » November 19th, 2017, 2:24 pm

BTW the meaning of The Wine Advocate scores is published here https://www.robertparker.com/ratings
Not sure if it is still adhered to - I suspect there has been quite a bit of grade inflation since that was written

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#16 Post by Michael Martin » November 19th, 2017, 2:37 pm

59 is the lowest because I think that is the lowest Cellartracker let’s you go.
To get to 100? Only gave one wine that ever and it was because I couldn’t imagine it being any better.

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#17 Post by Joe Raymond » December 1st, 2017, 7:37 pm

I usually don’t go below 80 if it’s below that there is usually a flaw. I score 100 points maybe 1-2 wines a year. But I like to score wines so I have something to reference on CT when I have multiple bottles and want to know what to expect on the next bottles ability to score good or bad :)
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#18 Post by alan weinberg » December 3rd, 2017, 5:45 pm

I use the Zanotti binary system. 0 is not worth drinking and 1 is worth drinking.

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#19 Post by RichardFlack » December 4th, 2017, 2:21 pm

Or a ternary system:
0 - do not drink
1 - drink sparingly
2 - drink liberally

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#20 Post by RichardFlack » December 4th, 2017, 2:24 pm

I meant to add that my personal favourite description in the Johnson scale (that sounds slightly weird writing it like that) is the
Two sips = faint interest - or disbelief
You can almost picture the puzzled frown, the second sip and then the shrug or grimace.

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#21 Post by Bob Kot » June 18th, 2018, 12:04 pm

I use the Wine Advocate scoring approach which usually bottoms out in the low 80’s for me.

Here’s the breakdown. The number within the parenthesis is the maximum allowable points for each category.
The aggregate of these five (5) categories results in the total score.

• Color (5) - Virtually all wines receive 4 or 5 point unless defective.

• Bouquet (15)
• Extraordinary: 14-15
• Outstanding: 12-13
• Very Good: 10-11
• Average: 10-11
• Below Average: 6-7
• Poor: 1-2

• Taste (20)
• Extraordinary: 18-20
• Outstanding: 16-18
• Very Good: 13-15
• Average: 11-13
• Below Average:8-10
• Poor: 1-2

• Overall (10)
• Extraordinary: 9-10
• Outstanding: 8-9
• Very Good: 6-7
• Average: 5-6
• Below Average:4-5
• Poor: 1-2

• Scores + 50 = Total
• Extraordinary: 96-100
• Outstanding: 90-95
• Very Good: 80-89
• Average: 70-79
• Below Average: 60-69
• Poor: 50-59


Cheers!

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#22 Post by M@tt G. » August 22nd, 2018, 8:48 am

Been actively buying since the 2012 vintage so about 5 years now, and compared to many here I still consider myself a noob. My “training wheels” scoring system is simple:

Excellent - one of the top wines I’ve ever tasted.
Very Good - a “wow” wine. Buy again / load up.
Good - very drinkable and consider buying again.
Fair - tolerable but don’t buy again
Poor - Dump / DNPIM

I mainly do this in CT to simplify buying when mailers come out.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#23 Post by Bryan Carr » August 24th, 2018, 9:51 am

We mostly (and infrequently) use numerical scores because that's what CT is coded for, mostly we just leave simple personal consumption notes when a wine is either above or below average for us, sometimes as simple as "HOLY f*ck SO GOOD", sometimes with a little more specificity ("over the hill, was probably never good", "tasty now but needs 1-3 years", etc.). We have similar tastes and so one note is usually sufficient, but on the off chance our assessments differ we'll note that as well, "Took a long time for the fruit to emerge, very herbaceous out the gate, L did not like".
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#24 Post by Ian Sutton » August 24th, 2018, 3:28 pm

M@tt G. wrote:
August 22nd, 2018, 8:48 am
Been actively buying since the 2012 vintage so about 5 years now, and compared to many here I still consider myself a noob. My “training wheels” scoring system is simple:

Excellent - one of the top wines I’ve ever tasted.
Very Good - a “wow” wine. Buy again / load up.
Good - very drinkable and consider buying again.
Fair - tolerable but don’t buy again
Poor - Dump / DNPIM

I mainly do this in CT to simplify buying when mailers come out.
TBH I think that a far more practical (and realistic) scale to work with. Sometimes there is an awful pressure (often self-inflicted) to 'become better / more professional / more accurate (ugh!)'. Your scale is perfectly good for a lifetime.

Of course an associated tasting note will remind you why you might have rated the wine as you did.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#25 Post by alan weinberg » September 18th, 2018, 7:39 am

I use the Zanotti binary system. 0 is not worth drinking and 1 is.

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#26 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » September 26th, 2018, 11:33 pm

Of all my Cellartracker tasting notes, only 36% have a numerical score entered. And I've grown increasingly fond of "gut impression score" over the past couple years, which tends to be a two or three point range.

That said, of the 36% of my notes that do have scores entered, the highest I've gone is 100 points (once --- it was an OMFG-bring-me-to-my-knees wine), and the lowest I've gone is 69 points (once). Most of my scores fall into the 84 - 93 ten point band. My score distribution is bell-shaped about 90 points.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#27 Post by Sh@n A » September 27th, 2018, 9:26 pm

I am in the gut system...

85 = I told you not to put in your mouth
86 = Don't put in your mouth
87 = Wish you didn't put in your mouth
88 = Wish I didn't put it into my mouth
89 = Would rather not put it into my mouth
90 = Wine is drinkable
91 = Wine is passable
92 = Wine is good
93 = Wine became enjoyable
94 = Wine became quite pleasurable
95 = Wow wine
96 = Stop what I am doing wow
Last edited by Sh@n A on September 28th, 2018, 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#28 Post by Ian Sutton » September 28th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Perhaps you could add
84 = I know how to perform the heimlich maneuver
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#29 Post by M Kopecky » October 10th, 2018, 10:12 am

NR - Flawed

70’s - Is technically alcohol, but isn’t something I want a second glass of - Regardless of price.

80’s - Soundly made, enjoyable wines, with shallow depth.

90’s - Wines that I really wish I owned more of.

I frequently slum it, so I think I probably hand out more 70’s than most. Technically a passing grade, but you’re not going to show the report card to your parents.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#30 Post by Len P » October 10th, 2018, 9:03 pm

50 - dry, bold, grapy
60 - dry, moderate, fruit-like
70 - off-dry, non-bold, fruity
80 - semi-sweet, fruity
90 - sweet, very fruity
100 - 20 year-old tawny port

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#31 Post by Mike Kuller » November 2nd, 2018, 11:42 am

Here is the (KISS) scale I use at our monthly blind tasting of 6 wines to help me separate them before I rate them 1st through 6th:

-- awful
- not good
+- got worse, borderline
+ ok, drinkable
++ pretty good
+++ terrific

Of course, as the wines change over the hour or so, their ratings change as well.
Last edited by Mike Kuller on November 2nd, 2018, 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#32 Post by Jim Stewart » November 2nd, 2018, 12:32 pm

I don’t score wines. However last year, I tasted approximately 50-60 Chianti Classico wines over two days in Castellina in Chianti at a festival in the middle of town. The wines included the “regular” bottlings (I think they call these “del anno”) as well as Riserva and Gran Selezione. To keep track of the wines, I started with the idea of adding a check mark next to the wine on the listing for those that I enjoyed. This quickly evolved into a three grade system of: check-, check, and check+ with the corresponding interpretation of roughly: “I do not want to finish this”, “this is a decent wine”, and “this is a wine I would like a second glass of”, respectively. Influenced perhaps by my wine consumption, I found it necessary to create the final enhancement to my system by creating another category of check++. These were those wines that seemed very special to me and were worth seeking out and making efforts to find and buy. Of the 50-60 wines tasted, only a handful received the check++. I have made use of this system recently at large tastings and even smaller tastings or wine dinners when I occasionally point out that a wine has been given “my coveted check++ rating”. This is often met with puzzled looks, but perhaps this grading system will eventually gain more widespread understanding and acceptance.(apologies for not being able to figure out how to put in the check symbol in this post) [cheers.gif] -Jim

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#33 Post by Yao C » November 3rd, 2018, 8:51 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
August 24th, 2018, 3:28 pm
M@tt G. wrote:
August 22nd, 2018, 8:48 am
Been actively buying since the 2012 vintage so about 5 years now, and compared to many here I still consider myself a noob. My “training wheels” scoring system is simple:

Excellent - one of the top wines I’ve ever tasted.
Very Good - a “wow” wine. Buy again / load up.
Good - very drinkable and consider buying again.
Fair - tolerable but don’t buy again
Poor - Dump / DNPIM

I mainly do this in CT to simplify buying when mailers come out.
TBH I think that a far more practical (and realistic) scale to work with. Sometimes there is an awful pressure (often self-inflicted) to 'become better / more professional / more accurate (ugh!)'. Your scale is perfectly good for a lifetime.
My ratings are the same way - Poor, Decent, Good, Very Good, Excellent (except I've never rated a wine Excellent in practice). I agree that this is as much precision as anyone should ever need
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#34 Post by Otto Forsberg » November 6th, 2018, 12:38 pm

Len P wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 9:03 pm
50 - dry, bold, grapy
60 - dry, moderate, fruit-like
70 - off-dry, non-bold, fruity
80 - semi-sweet, fruity
90 - sweet, very fruity
100 - 20 year-old tawny port
So basically a world-class dry red like Château Latour, Ridge Monte Bello or DRC would never get anything beyond 69 from you? Wow, that's harsh.

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#35 Post by Mattstolz » November 18th, 2018, 8:53 am

Len P wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 9:03 pm
50 - dry, bold, grapy
60 - dry, moderate, fruit-like
70 - off-dry, non-bold, fruity
80 - semi-sweet, fruity
90 - sweet, very fruity
100 - 20 year-old tawny port
I'm with Otto... this is a very strange system.

whats your cellar tracker tag so I can take this into account if i ever see a rating from you on a wine im researching?

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#36 Post by Scott G r u n e r » November 18th, 2018, 9:20 am

No set scoring system here, but “undrinkable” is ultimately the worst.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#37 Post by J a y H a c k » December 28th, 2018, 7:01 pm

96-100 Exceptional and confirms the existence of a Supreme Being.
90-95 Really good to WOW.
86-89 Good, no flaws, acceptable as a Tuesday wine, happy to have in a restaurant or at a non-geek's house.
80-85 Palatable and not bad, acceptable at a wedding, a rubber chicken dinner, or a fundraiser.
76-79 I don't like it, might finish one glass if I am thirsty, but not take a second glass.
70-75 Find a place to hide the glass behind a potted plant.
60-69 Will swallow the first taste but that's it. Smile while leaving the glass on the nearest horizontal surface. In the 68-69 range, may drink the glass if it is provided by a well-paying client who extols its virtue or, as happened to me in 1981, while having dinner with the PRC equivalent of the CIA station chief in Hong Kong and he was telling me how wonderful this Chinese wine was and I knew if I spit it out, I might be dead by morning.
56-59 Will consciously spit out the first taste and seek water to rinse out mouth.
50-55 Will unconsciously expel the wine from mouth as soon as it hits the taste buds. Have difficulty holding onto glass while attempting not to laugh/cry. I have only experienced this once - Blueberry Bliss at Berserkerfest 2.5.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#38 Post by Otto Forsberg » January 9th, 2019, 1:34 am

J a y H a c k wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 7:01 pm
96-100 Exceptional and confirms the existence of a Supreme Being.
90-95 Really good to WOW.
86-89 Good, no flaws, acceptable as a Tuesday wine, happy to have in a restaurant or at a non-geek's house.
80-85 Palatable and not bad, acceptable at a wedding, a rubber chicken dinner, or a fundraiser.
76-79 I don't like it, might finish one glass if I am thirsty, but not take a second glass.
70-75 Find a place to hide the glass behind a potted plant.
60-69 Will swallow the first taste but that's it. Smile while leaving the glass on the nearest horizontal surface. In the 68-69 range, may drink the glass if it is provided by a well-paying client who extols its virtue or, as happened to me in 1981, while having dinner with the PRC equivalent of the CIA station chief in Hong Kong and he was telling me how wonderful this Chinese wine was and I knew if I spit it out, I might be dead by morning.
56-59 Will consciously spit out the first taste and seek water to rinse out mouth.
50-55 Will unconsciously expel the wine from mouth as soon as it hits the taste buds. Have difficulty holding onto glass while attempting not to laugh/cry. I have only experienced this once - Blueberry Bliss at Berserkerfest 2.5.
Although I haven't had the honor of tasting Blueberry Bliss, I've still had a few handfuls of 50-55ers and can confirm the reaction.

Overall this is a great description and pretty much sums up how I rate wines in Cellartracker.

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#39 Post by Anton D » January 27th, 2019, 2:49 pm

I don't use a scale, it's binary: enjoyed it, or didn't.

As for a numerical scale, if I did one, it would use a normal distribution, such that Y = { 1/[ σ * sqrt(2π) ] } * e-(x - μ)2/2σ2, so as to keep the system as simple and comprehensible as possible.

Currently, the most popular scoring systems use a standard deviation that I find too narrow to really allow for comparison of wine ratings.

I think we should pool data and when we find a wine critic or publication with a standard score deviation that is too narrow, out they go.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#40 Post by Dave McCloskey » January 28th, 2019, 2:38 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
November 5th, 2017, 7:40 am
Like the title asks. A wine is totally undrinkable. you hate it. everyone else hates it. what do you rate it?

also the flip side. whats it take to be a 100 point, 20/20 wine to you? does it have to be a WOTY? wine of a lifetime? best wine ever made?
I'll try and run through your questions in order. Note: I rate wines for benchmarking purposes and future references only. I don't rate every wine I drink - far from it.

My rating system bottoms out at 75, however IMO anything below an 80 is undrinkable for me. I'm rarely exposed to wines that poor in quality. Low to Mid-80's are typically monochromatic - one dimensional. They offer up little in the way of bouquet, are unbalanced on the palate with little discernible fruit and they have no secondary or tertiary notes. Wines in the upper 80's have more discernible characteristics both on the nose and palate, with a bit more complexity, but they may exhibit flaws that hold them back. 90-94 are well made wines that have good balance, character, aging capability and offer interesting bouquets and complexity with lingering finishes. 95-97 are classics with very high levels of expression for the varietal or blend. They are wines you will remember and bring something unique to the table. Once I get past 97 it gets tough, because history enters the picture and I start comparing to other wines I've had at this rare level.

I try not to let others influence me when I'm evaluating a wine. I know what I like and what I don't.

To me 100 point wines are as rare as they are subjective. Having said that, to be a 100 point wine it must represent the fullest expression of the varietal or blend (ex. Bordeaux, CdP etc.). It must be in perfect harmony and balance and the structure has to be near perfect. On the nose I have to discern primary, secondary and tertiary notes and be able to explain them. On the palate it has to drive the same level of complexity, bring something unique in texture (mouth feel) and have a long memorable finish. The wine has to take you on a journey with each sample providing new hidden treasures. A 100 point wine should be an epiphany and something you never forget. It does not have to be WOTY, because one may be exposed to more than one 100 point wine in a year.

In 2015 I was exposed to a Northern Rhone Syrah that I'll never forget. I'll be chasing that experience for the rest of my life.

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#41 Post by Anton D » January 29th, 2019, 3:39 pm

Dave McCloskey wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 2:38 pm
Mattstolz wrote:
November 5th, 2017, 7:40 am
Like the title asks. A wine is totally undrinkable. you hate it. everyone else hates it. what do you rate it?

also the flip side. whats it take to be a 100 point, 20/20 wine to you? does it have to be a WOTY? wine of a lifetime? best wine ever made?
I'll try and run through your questions in order. Note: I rate wines for benchmarking purposes and future references only. I don't rate every wine I drink - far from it.

My rating system bottoms out at 75, however IMO anything below an 80 is undrinkable for me. I'm rarely exposed to wines that poor in quality. Low to Mid-80's are typically monochromatic - one dimensional. They offer up little in the way of bouquet, are unbalanced on the palate with little discernible fruit and they have no secondary or tertiary notes. Wines in the upper 80's have more discernible characteristics both on the nose and palate, with a bit more complexity, but they may exhibit flaws that hold them back. 90-94 are well made wines that have good balance, character, aging capability and offer interesting bouquets and complexity with lingering finishes. 95-97 are classics with very high levels of expression for the varietal or blend. They are wines you will remember and bring something unique to the table. Once I get past 97 it gets tough, because history enters the picture and I start comparing to other wines I've had at this rare level.

I try not to let others influence me when I'm evaluating a wine. I know what I like and what I don't.

To me 100 point wines are as rare as they are subjective. Having said that, to be a 100 point wine it must represent the fullest expression of the varietal or blend (ex. Bordeaux, CdP etc.). It must be in perfect harmony and balance and the structure has to be near perfect. On the nose I have to discern primary, secondary and tertiary notes and be able to explain them. On the palate it has to drive the same level of complexity, bring something unique in texture (mouth feel) and have a long memorable finish. The wine has to take you on a journey with each sample providing new hidden treasures. A 100 point wine should be an epiphany and something you never forget. It does not have to be WOTY, because one may be exposed to more than one 100 point wine in a year.

In 2015 I was exposed to a Northern Rhone Syrah that I'll never forget. I'll be chasing that experience for the rest of my life.
I love this topic, and these questions are not meant adversarily...

Can a grape you don't care for score 100 points on your scale?

Do you think you can step outside your own palate to rate a wine?

Example: Parker never rated a sauvignon blanc 100 points, but he practically sweats 100 point cabernets out his pores. (I think he's '100 pointed' a couple of French Bordeaux Blancs, but they were blends.) So, has there never been a sauvginon blanc that represented the fullest expression of the varietal? Parker would tell us there has not!

One the one hand, I could see where Parker would say that you don't send a Metallica fan to review a Norah Jones concert, hence he rates some varietals lower because he himself can't fully appreciate them. On the other hand, is that fair? Shouldn't we expect these critics to be better able to judge more varieties of wine than what exists in their wheelhouse? If not, why bother to allow their ratings for other wines to be published?

I don't typically like Austrailian Shiraz. How would I score a 'perfect' one properly?

It's all so personal, I guess. That's the tough part about these rating scales, for me.

Again, not being disagreeable, just chatting about the process. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#42 Post by Dave McCloskey » January 31st, 2019, 10:12 am

Anton D wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 3:39 pm
Dave McCloskey wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 2:38 pm
Mattstolz wrote:
November 5th, 2017, 7:40 am
Like the title asks. A wine is totally undrinkable. you hate it. everyone else hates it. what do you rate it?

also the flip side. whats it take to be a 100 point, 20/20 wine to you? does it have to be a WOTY? wine of a lifetime? best wine ever made?
I'll try and run through your questions in order. Note: I rate wines for benchmarking purposes and future references only. I don't rate every wine I drink - far from it.

My rating system bottoms out at 75, however IMO anything below an 80 is undrinkable for me. I'm rarely exposed to wines that poor in quality. Low to Mid-80's are typically monochromatic - one dimensional. They offer up little in the way of bouquet, are unbalanced on the palate with little discernible fruit and they have no secondary or tertiary notes. Wines in the upper 80's have more discernible characteristics both on the nose and palate, with a bit more complexity, but they may exhibit flaws that hold them back. 90-94 are well made wines that have good balance, character, aging capability and offer interesting bouquets and complexity with lingering finishes. 95-97 are classics with very high levels of expression for the varietal or blend. They are wines you will remember and bring something unique to the table. Once I get past 97 it gets tough, because history enters the picture and I start comparing to other wines I've had at this rare level.

I try not to let others influence me when I'm evaluating a wine. I know what I like and what I don't.

To me 100 point wines are as rare as they are subjective. Having said that, to be a 100 point wine it must represent the fullest expression of the varietal or blend (ex. Bordeaux, CdP etc.). It must be in perfect harmony and balance and the structure has to be near perfect. On the nose I have to discern primary, secondary and tertiary notes and be able to explain them. On the palate it has to drive the same level of complexity, bring something unique in texture (mouth feel) and have a long memorable finish. The wine has to take you on a journey with each sample providing new hidden treasures. A 100 point wine should be an epiphany and something you never forget. It does not have to be WOTY, because one may be exposed to more than one 100 point wine in a year.

In 2015 I was exposed to a Northern Rhone Syrah that I'll never forget. I'll be chasing that experience for the rest of my life.
I love this topic, and these questions are not meant adversarily...

Can a grape you don't care for score 100 points on your scale?

Do you think you can step outside your own palate to rate a wine?

Example: Parker never rated a sauvignon blanc 100 points, but he practically sweats 100 point cabernets out his pores. (I think he's '100 pointed' a couple of French Bordeaux Blancs, but they were blends.) So, has there never been a sauvginon blanc that represented the fullest expression of the varietal? Parker would tell us there has not!

One the one hand, I could see where Parker would say that you don't send a Metallica fan to review a Norah Jones concert, hence he rates some varietals lower because he himself can't fully appreciate them. On the other hand, is that fair? Shouldn't we expect these critics to be better able to judge more varieties of wine than what exists in their wheelhouse? If not, why bother to allow their ratings for other wines to be published?

I don't typically like Austrailian Shiraz. How would I score a 'perfect' one properly?

It's all so personal, I guess. That's the tough part about these rating scales, for me.

Again, not being disagreeable, just chatting about the process. [cheers.gif]
Can a grape you don't care for score 100 points on your scale?

>> My scale goes from 75-100 points, which is not out of the wine enthusiasts norm. If I'm not familiar with a varietal, blend, region or don't like something, I simply wouldn't rate it. For example I like dry Rieslings, but I have limited exposure to them. Therefore, I wouldn't rate the wine only give my general impressions.

Do you think you can step outside your own palate to rate a wine?

>> In general I think one's palate will always imprint some type of impression of a wine. Having said that somebody who does this for a living may be able to pull it off.

So, has there never been a sauvginon blanc that represented the fullest expression of the varietal?

>> I don't believe there has and it's a shame. I'm not experienced enough in Sav Blancs to determine whether one deserves a 98-100 score.

Shouldn't we expect these critics to be better able to judge more varieties of wine than what exists in their wheelhouse?

>> I think too much is made of wine critics. They serve a limited purpose and one should leverage their experiences in conjunction with other sources of information.

I don't typically like Austrailian Shiraz. How would I score a 'perfect' one properly?

>> I don't imagine you would score it properly if A., you don't like it and B., you haven't been broadly exposed to them.

Shouldn't we expect these critics to be better able to judge more varieties of wine than what exists in their wheelhouse?

>> I'm not sure... I'm not a professional wine critic.

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#43 Post by Karl K » July 11th, 2019, 8:31 pm

I am with Jay and Otto on the 50-100 scale.
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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#44 Post by Mike Grammer » July 29th, 2019, 11:36 am

Gotta page Bruce Leiserowitz to get on here. His "yum-plus", "wow wine" and "ay carumba" is part of my personal favourite scoring system. I like Shon's here too, especially "I told you not to put it in your mouth".

I rarely score unless prompted to it as an extra TN descriptor. I do think I've given a 64 or so to something once. Mercifully, forgot what it was. I have only scored--and ever had---one perfect wine in all my time, that being my first taste of 2001 D'Yquem (a subsequent taste was 99+). I did and do believe it may get even better, but was perfect over the 4 nights I tasted it.

I do consider myself a pretty strict grader and if I'm prompted to give something a 90 or above, it truly is an outstanding wine. As reference, the top point score I've given this year is a 97 to the 2015 Meo Camuzet Corton Charlie. If I'd added a point descriptor to the 2004 Dagueneau Pur Sang I had in February, it would probably be a 95. I guess in answer to the OP question, a 100-pointer would have to be something that mesmerizes me and takes me to the time, place, smell, taste and feel of it years later when I think of it. That is the case with that first halfsie of 01 D'Yquem.

For the bottom end, my own personal descriptor is "yuck with face".

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Re: Where does your personal rating system bottom out?

#45 Post by Bruce Beaudin » September 9th, 2019, 4:15 pm

I think it has a lot to do with what you can afford. When I first got interested in wine, about 1977, I was living in the Virginia suburbs of D.C. and Robert Parker was the wine writer for the Washington Post. Every week he would write his article with recommendations rated (as a budget analyst or bean counter--take your pick--I was hooked). Many of the wine stores would then have followup ads in the Post with many of those rated wines on sale (think they got advance notice of the wines rated). I would head downtown maybe once every two months and buy a mixed case or two on my meager budget. At that time 82 was my lower limit and 84 was my expectation. I didn't even dream about 90. Times have changed--the quality of wine has improved almost beyond measure. I give Parker much of the credit for that improvement. You won't find too many 84 point wines rated today. Today I shop in the 90-93 range but the wine market is less efficient than the stock market--there are very good 88s out there if you can close your eyes and try them. I am thinking there are very many overpriced 95s out there too.

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