Abbreviations for wine scores:
WS - Wine Spectator
WA - Robert M. Parker, Jr. (Wine Advocate)
ST - Steven Tanzer (International Wine Cellar)
BH - Allen Meadows (Burghound.com)
MB - Michael Broadbent
CC - Clive Coates
Aabalat's wine listings will include various wine ratings to give you an idea
of the quality of a wine according to well-known critics. Provided below are
guides to help you understand the rating systems of many of the individual
The prevailing rating system
is the 100-point scale used by Wine Spectator and many other authorities
such as Robert M. Parker, Jr. of Wine Advocate, Stephen
Tanzer of International Wine Cellar and Allen Meadows of
Burghound.com, although you'll notice that each of them have
unique point breakdowns.
WS - WINE SPECTATOR
According to Wine Spectator:
"Wines are always tasted blind. Bottles are bagged and coded. Tasters are told
only the general type of wine (varietal or region) and vintage. Price is not
taken into account." Ratings are based on "potential quality, on how
good the wines will be when they are at their peaks."
- 95-100: Classic, a
- 90-94: Outstanding, a
wine of superior character and style
- 80-89: Good to very good, a wine with special
- 70-79: Average, a drinkable wine that may have
- 60-69: Below average, drinkable but not
- 50-59: Poor, undrinkable, not recommended
WA - ROBERT M. PARKER, JR. (WINE ADVOCATE)
One of the most well-known
and respected wine critics, Parker's rating scale is based on "peer-group,
single-blind conditions meaning that the same types of wines are tasted against
each other and the producers' names are not known." "Every wine is given a base
score of 50 points. The wine's general color and appearance merit up to 5
points. The aroma and bouquet merit up to 15 points, depending on the intensity
level and dimension of the aroma and bouquet as well as the cleanliness of the
wine. The flavor and finish merit up to 20 points, and again, intensity of
flavor, balance, cleanliness, and depth and length on the palate are all
important considerations. Finally, the overall quality level or potential for
further evolution and improvement -aging- merits up to 10 points."
- 96-100: An extraordinary wine of profound and
complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine
of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find,
purchase and consume.
- 90-94: An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity
and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
- 80-89: A barely above average to very good wine
displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with
no noticeable flaws.
- 70-79: An average wine with little distinction
except that it is soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous
- 60-69: A below average wine containing
noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an
absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.
- 50-59: A wine deemed to be unacceptable.
ST - STEPHEN TANZER (INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR)
Stephen Tanzer's rating scale
is described as such: "Wines are scored relative to their peer group based on
their expected quality during their period of peak drinkability. A `+' after a
score denotes a wine that is likely to merit a higher rating in the future.
Precise scores are provided only for wines in bottle; ranges are offered for
- 85-89: Very good to excellent
BH - ALLEN MEADOWS (Burghound.com)
Meadows' scale is based on a
wine's "expected quality at peak drinkability" and "are evaluated within the
context of their appellations." Further, "finished, bottled wines are assigned
specific scores as these wines are market-ready. Wines tasted from barrel are
scored within a range. This reflects the reality that a wine tasted from barrel
is not a finished, market-ready product."
- 95-100: Truly incomparable and emotionally
thrilling. A wine so rated is as good as Burgundy gets. By definition, it is reference standard
for its appellation.
- 90-94: Outstanding. Worth a special effort to
purchase and cellar and will provide memorable drinking experiences.
- 85-89: Good to high quality. Burgundies that
offer solid quality in every respect and generally very good typicity.
"Good Value" wines will often fall into this category. Worth your
- 80-84: Average to good quality. The wine is
"correct," displays no noticeable flaws and will provide pleasing, if
- 75-79: Barely acceptable quality. The wine is not
worth your attention nor is it good value.
- 75 and below: Don't bother. A wine with
noticeable, irremediable flaws.
Other rating systems include
the 5-star scale used by Michael Broadbent and Clive Coates'
20-point scale, both of which you can see below.
MB - MICHAEL BROADBENT
Another well-respected wine
authority and author of many books including Wine Tasting and Vintage Wine,
Broadbent popularized a 5-star scale in his 1980 book, The Great Vintage Wine Book.
- 1 star: Not very good, but not bad
CC - CLIVE COATES
Clive Coates, author of many
wine books and another very influential wine critic, uses a 20-point scale that
awards points in the context of the overall quality of the vintage. For
example, an 18.0 out of 20.00 wine in a 14.0 out of 20.0 vintage would be the
same as a 14.0 out of 20.0 wine in an 18.0 out of 20.0 vintage.
- 19.0-20.0: Excellent, the best
- 16.5-18.5: Very good to very fine indeed
- 15.0-16.0: Good to very good
- 12.0-13.0: Not bad, average
- 10.0-11.5: Disappointing, if not poor
- Less than 10.0: Somewhat disagreeable, if not