Next GJE Tasting

For those who follow up our tastings, we have 2 tastings to be held at Laurent restaurant in Paris where Wilfred and Kevin will be there.

The first one (december 1st) will be a full blind vertical tasting : no other information given to the 15 Tasters.

The second one (december 2d) is a kind of “revenge” after the so stupid comments we had in France about the tasting where Reignac did beat some first growths.

Some bloggers say that Mr Vatelot has put the Petrus inside a microwave in order to destroy it (yes, yes !!!) while some other say he put an other wine inside the bottles of Reignac. Unbelievable the imagination of some amateurs who simply cannot accept that, at a specific moment, a wine like Reignac may beat some classified !!!

So, this time, we did buy directly ourselves, the wines and the great crus are gifts from our GJE Members in Italy : Roberto, Christian and Orazio. Very generous friends, mama mia !

These are the wines, among others, who will be tasted, and this time in the vintage 1998 since nobody may say, about this vintage, that the first growths are still closed ( a regular comment we had about the 2001 tasting).

Latour-Margaux-Lafite-Mouton-Ht Brion-Cheval Blanc-Ausone-Mouton-Pavie-Angelus-Trotanoy-Ducru Beaucaillou-Cos d’Estournel-LLC-LMHB-Pichon Baron-Reignac-Rollan de By-Ht Condissas-Valandraud-Ht Bailly-Le Bon Pasteur and some other to reach 26/28 wines. Maximum 30.

For the first time, we will try our new way of scoring wines (repeated hereunder) which I deeply think as a real future in scoring wine. Of course, it will be - maybe - more difficult to readers to compare with the usual 100 points system.

Thank to Mr Greathouse, here are the actual definition of the seven levels we will try :

7 = R for Reference Point: A wine almost perfect which provides a real emotion and offers an anthology of length and shows a clear potential. The wine’s balance is impeccable.

6 = E for Excellent: Immediate qualities, great balance and length, remarkable natural class. Above the rest with potential, sensitivity; a beautiful landmark wine.

5 = VG for Very Good: No defects. Beautiful obvious qualities. Great length and Balance. One is in love with the wine. An international class wine.

4 = B for Good : The qualities are superior to any small defects that are evident but only moderately alter real pleasure. A wine to share with friends.

3 = MO for Middle : The defects are sensitive (or evident) but do not hide some qualities that could display or evolve better if more care were made in the vineyard and / or winemaking.

2 = Poor for Poor : The defects are dominant, obvious and suggest a wine that should not be bottled.

1 = D for Failure : a technical failuresuch as: corked, TCA, bad taste, oxidation, acidity… “We should try another bottle”.

Considering myself as a simple amateur, I trust that such shorter classification gives me more usefull informations about a wine than to really choose between a 94 and a 91 points.

Of course, this tasting is a semi-blind. It would have been just impossible to make a full blind tasting in such a short period after the last one since, obviously, my Tasters who are smart guys would have understood the trick.

I really think they will take more time in scoring between these 7 grades for a wine than with the usual 100 points where, finally, you may put behind so many thinks. Now, they are obliged to consider the definitions as written here.

Maybe Kevin will bring a ringer from California : will see.

And, of course, we will have a QPR classification too. I will record the debriefing for a dailymotion or youtube.

I know : this is hard work ! But, friends lovers from Burgundy, be aware that we will have with our Romanéens Group, an evening at Mr Fréchon restaurant*** (Le Bristol) an evening with a vertical of Romanée-Saint-Vivant. We have to indulge ourselves, no ? :slight_smile:

It will be very interesting to see how all the '98s play out.

How many wines in the vertical tasting?

Sounds great Francois. Consider me a member of the GJE fan club!

I don’t have any problems with any of the descriptors except below:

5 = VG for Very Good: No defects. Beautiful obvious qualities. Great length and Balance. One is in love with the wine. An international class wine.

4 = B for Good : The qualities are superior to any small defects that are evident but only moderately alter real pleasure. A wine to share with friends.

Regarding #5–to me, “An international class wine” could be confused with the concept of an international style wine (not what you mean, but some people might misunderstand. How about “a wine that can compete on an international level.” ?

Regarding #4–how about “a wine to share among friends” (instead of “with friends”). At first, I took it as meaning a wine you might give to someone as a gift–and I would not give a regular or good wine to a friend as a gift–usually I would give a wine of slightly higher…anyway…the wording at first confused me a bit.

None of them is major and even if unchanged, would be fine. Just my thoughts.

Dear François, sorry to say so but I find the new rating scorecard to be much more confusing. I think the 100 point scale is much more understandable (BTW, we use a 20 point scale in elmundovino), although I get a point in the reasons for changing it

I fully agree it will be sometimes confusing for those who read fast and want just basic hierarchy.

But for those who will read each time the definition of the category, then they have - IMO - a better information than a score 94 against a 92 which may be easily the reserve the next day for multiple reaons.

Also keep in mind we do not have any economic model, we are not there to make money with our results so, we do not care too much about the quantity of those who will read us, but more important by the quality of those interested in our new approach.

Last point : we taste only around 1000 wines per year : nothing versus all the critics.

I like it. Please remember to post the key with the notes though. I prefer the coarser granularity of this than trying to figure out if the 91 was really better than the 90 pointer.

One thing to keep in mind though is that there is no way to go back and translate previous session’s scores. So you are essentially starting over in some respects.

Yes Cris : we are fully aware that we start a brand new approach of scoring wines, at least at our level inside GJE.

I am sure it will be fascinating. Be a taster yourself just one second : it is easy for you to put 90 or 92 while your frien is doing the reverse. But when you will have to choose between 7 définitions, it si certainly different, no ?

Indeed Francois, very different but I do like that. I think it makes for better evaluations. I do not care who is doing the scoring, there is some guess work going on when you decide to write down a 91 for instance. Is it really that or is it something in the 89-93 range? Can you really know? Can the reader know? But that’s digging up very worn out discussions.
deadhorse [wink.gif]

Interested indeed, and looking forward to your results.


I am glad that you are starting to think of a more sensible way to measure wines. Based on this activity on another BB, it seems there is more and more questioning of the current 100 point systems:" onclick=";return false;

One of my concerns is that “the measurement criteria must match the sample” In other words- if you have a tasting of 5 Premier Crus,and nothing else, they may all wind up with the same (#7 or excellent) rating.
One must always consider the reason one is rating wines and create the appropriate measurent system.

a bientot,


In fact, scoring wine has a significance only if it is on a comparison basis. To score a wine alone, by itself is far too much linked to the subjective opinion of the taster, who ever may be.

But when a taster compare 2 or more wines, then it is far easier for anyone to check this hierarchy by himself and then to see if yes or no he is in phase with the taster.

At least, this is how I see the stuff.

Parker score on Bordeaux, Napa and Rhône wine is like a second label glued on the back of the bottle. Higher is the score (like higher is the classification), better is your “respect” for the wine. The biais is there, no doubt.

Just imagine a GJE tasting where, with each wine (always served blind) I put the score of Mr Parker : what will be the influence of my GJE men ? Those who love Bob will certainly “study” the wine with positive biais while some who do not like too much the guru will act in the reverse mode.

So, scores are a good introduction to wines, provided they are established during a comparison.

Always look forward to the GJE results. Glad to see the Pavie in there. My experience with Pavie and blind tastings is that it does not stick out like a sore thumb and is just as BDX-like as any other right-banker (with the exception of the 2003). Maybe it will give ANOTHER counterpoint to those that believe that Pavie is an anomaly in BDX.

My two cents on the scoring system…you’ll probably get lots of 4’s, 5’s and 6’s and few of the other numbers. It would be interesting if you did a score on both the 100 pt system and the new system at the same time (raters giving both scores for each wine) and see how they correspond and which scoring system the raters preferred. A lot of work, but it would be interesting to see.

You are right about the previsible results. But then, you have that in all classifications : a gauss curve.

I do not know if we will get just one “7” (Reference Wine). But then, when this will happen, it will be something interesting to study.


I can believe Reignac won, but then I am a cynical guy. I still think there is a natural tendency to rate the softer, more accessible wines more highly (by some at least).

Not everybody does so even blind–I am proud to say that I rated the “perfect” 2002 Shafer Hillside Select lower than some other wines in the tasting, mostly older and/or more tannic/structured wines. Not to mention rating it lower than any number of older Bordeaux when I accessed my memory banks.

Anyway, looking forward to the results of your tastings. I hope you put it on YouTube again–I loved that session you filmed in Bordeaux–best film footage I have seen in quite a while (well, with the exception of “New Moon”)…

It is so strange how we behave in this matter (blind tastings). If the results do not fit what we have in mind, we blame the style of the winner (Reignac) or our tendency to prefer “easy” wines.

This time, since it is a semi-blind, and with the new scoring system, I expect really interesting results. Yes, it will be recorded and since Wilfred and Kevin will be there, you will get a proper report !

Some surprises too : grant me for that :slight_smile:

Well, I never had this Reignac, but earlier ones like the 2000, which were also highly praised, had no business competing with First Growths. A mostly monolithic wine (the 2000 again), bordering on over-extraction IMO. But perhaps the 2001 Reignac is substantially better?

Anyway, for some reason when you see the dynamics of the tasting in the video, this or that judgment seems to fall in to place and make sense in terms of the overall tasting…