Ever Wonder How Wines are Scored?
I'm sure everybody is just as curious as I am: how are wines scored? Different critics do it differently, some score on a 20-point scale and some do it on a 100-point scale, which is more popular here in the U.S., with the Spectator and Parker widely using it. Looking at Parker's 100-point system, I've always wondered how one can possibly objectively evaluate a wine... but I've never found a sure standard that can crack Parker's code. The only standard that is publicly known is that Total points = Base + Nose + Palate + Longevity = 50 + 5 + 15 +20 +10 = 100. But what goes into each category and how exactly can you accurately assess each component?
Well, first of all, there's no such thing as "accurate" in wine-tasting. Each taster's opinion is strickly subjective. As much as people try and objectify everything, it is simply not possible. So, to answer my previous question, I'm sure different people interpret each score category differently. Due to my profession of being an accountant, I've always liked quantifying everything. In my mind, the only way to objectify something is to quantify it on a rational basis. Therefore, I dug further into each of the tasting category and assigned sub-scores to each element based on my research and evaluation. Again, this is also subjective. Where I allocated large portion of the score, you might not agree. Thought I'd share some of my findings and personal experience in the chart below, and please give me some of your feedbacks on what you agree or disagree, and what else you think is important in wine tasting as to how you evaluate a wine objectively.
A quick note though... I'm only posting this so we can all discuss and share wine tasting experience. Please do not use this scoring system for commercial purposes. Thanks!
Complete Wine Scoring System - Based on R.P. Method
by David Pian
* Base = 50
o Base points assigned to all wines according to Robert Parker
* Color = 5
o Hue = 3 of 5
- How does the color hue look like? Is it appealing? Look for elegant and finesse.
o Depth = 1 of 5
- Is the color deep or shallow? Does it fade and exhibit unattractive pattern?
o Clarity = 1 of 5
- If the color is impure and/or cloudy, take 1 point off.
* Nose = 15
o Aroma = 6 of 15
- Primary smell (4): varietal characters
- Secondary smell (2): effect of fermentation
o Bouquet = 1 of 15
- Tertiary smell (1): effect of aging
o Balance = 5 of 15
- Are all the aroma and bouquet in good harmony? Does the alcohol overpower? Is there any unpleasant smell?
o Complexity = 3 of 15
- Is the smell simple, one-dimensional or are there layers of complex components?
* Palate = 20
o Attack = 6 of 20
- Fruit level (4): how well does it reflect varietal characters?
- Balance of acidity and sweetness with fruit (2)
o Mid-palate = 5 of 20
- Body (2): light, medium or full? Does it seem watered down or does it seem appropriate?
- Structure (3): How's the tannin? Bring in the acidity again, does it seem like a balanced structure? Is the alcohol over-powering or just right?
o Finish = 9 of 20
- Length of finish (2)
- Overall balance of components (3): fruit, acidity and tannin.
- Overall depth and complexity (4)
* Longevity = 10
o Ageability (10): the capability of the wine to age in the cellar judged by its color, nose and palate.
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