In 2003, when I began developing Piedmont Report, I experimented with several different scales for
rating wines before adopting the 100-point scale as published in the very first
Piedmont Report. As a critic, I like
the 100-point scale because I feel it forces me to take a firm stance I will be
accountable for in the future. Of course wine (nor the analysis of wine) is not
an exact science, but I believe there is something definitive and therefore
important about deciding whether a wine receives 89 or 90 points, or higher up
in the scale, 95 or 96 points. Other broader scales like the various 3 and 5
star systems (and their derivatives) that are out there make it too easy for a
critic to avoid taking hard positions. The 20-point scale that is common in
some parts of Europe isn’t intuitive to me, so I could hardly expect you, the
reader, to understand my views.
We spend just as much, if not more, time writing the text
for each review and the accompanying producer commentaries than we do assigning
numerical ratings. The written descriptions will tell you much more about a
wine, its qualities, capacity to age and the style in which it is made than a
number alone ever will. Ultimately, there is no greater satisfaction than learning
to trust your own palate. Our mission is to help you find wines you will enjoy.
The Antonio Galloni/Vinous
A profound and emotionally moving wine that exemplifies the very best
attributes of its kind. These are the
world’s great, iconic wines
A wine of remarkable personality and breed that is well worth seeking out.
A strong wine with true character that provides highly enjoyable drinking. This
is the sweet spot for values and everyday wines that won’t break the bank
A wine with no flaws, but no distinction
Average. A wine with at least one noticeable flaw
Below 75 Not worth your time
How We Taste
Each year I spend at least 6 months on the road visiting
wineries all over the world. My goal is to provide Vinous readers with the most
insightful, first-hand commentary on the regions I cover as is possible.
All wines are tasted in a combination of settings, including
at individual wineries and in private comparative tastings, often more than
once. Each year we also buy a significant amount of wines to taste. We are guided
by the desire to answer the questions readers most commonly ask. These include
how does a wine compare to its peers; how does a wine compare to the other
wines in a producer’s range, to what extent does a wine reflect its origin, and
what is the optimal time to drink a wine? The conditions under which wines were
tasted are indicated within each article.