back

CRITICS & RATINGS

Wine is by nature extremely difficult to uniformly describe and rate. Therefore, famous wine critics have designed various evaluation methods to get to the closest estimation of a wine’s quality. Here are presented their distinct systems of rating.

ALLEN MEADOWS

Allen Meadows is a renowned American critic and Burgundy specialist, founder of the website Burghound.com, he was the first of his kind to offer such exhaustive coverage of Burgundy. Passionate about this region, he chose to retire in 1999 from his position in Finance to devote himself to tasting, rating and understanding the wines of Burgundy. In 2010, he released “the Pearl of the Cote” a major publication about the finest wines of Vosne Romanee.

Rating system
95 - 100
Truly incomparable and emotionally thrilling. It is reference standard for its appellation. Represents less than 1% of fine wines.
90 - 94
Outstanding. Worth a special effort to purchase and will provide memorable drinking experiences.
85 - 89
Very good to high quality. Wines that offer superior quality, some flair and generally very good typicity. “Good Value” wines will often fall into this category. Worth your attention.
80 - 84
Average to good quality. Fine wine, but solid rather than exciting.
70 - 79
Good wines, acceptable. But personally I find life too short to waste on boring wines.
60 - 69
Not faulty, but plain and low quality fruit, e.g. dilute. Or crass winemaking, e.g. dolled up with oak chips. These points yet with no redeeming features.

ROBERT PARKER

Robert Parker is an american wine critic, who is now regarded as the most influential in the world, his ratings impacting on price settings, and to a certain extent on winemaking practices around the world. He became famous after his exceptional evaluation of 1982 Bordeaux. Parker’s taste and preferences lean toward deep coloured, rich, lavish, sweet, well-extracted wines. His favourite regions being Chateauneuf du Pape and Bordeaux.

Rating system
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 - 95
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 a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
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.

JANCIS ROBINSON

Jancis Robinson is a British wine critic and Master of Wine, she writes a weekly column for the Financial Times and works as a consultant for the Queen’s Cellars.

As a Master of Wine, she wrote several publications on wine knowledge and education such as The Oxford Companion To Wine or the World Atlas of wine, books that are acknowledged as standard references worldwide.

Rating system
12 - 13
Unbalanced or faulty.
13 - 14
Deadly dull or borderline unbalanced.
14 - 15
Average but distinguished.
16 - 17
Superior.
17 - 18
A cut above superior.
18 - 19
A humdinger.
19 - 20
Truly exceptional.

PETER LIEM

Peter Liem is an American wine critic, specialized in Champagne and Sherry, he currently work as a correspondent for Wine & Spirits.

He is the publisher of the online Champagne guide, where he rates an exhaustive list of Champagnes, especially focused on grower Champagnes.

Rating system
*
One Star
One star denotes a wine of particular quality and distinctiveness of character, one that stands out among its peers in some significant way.
* *
Two Stars
Two stars means that this wine is outstanding in its class, showing a marked quality, expression and refinement of character.
* * *
Three Stars
Three stars indicate a champagne of the highest class, demonstrating a completeness and expression of character that places it among the very finest wines within its context. Needless to say, these wines are uncommon.

(*) Indicates the possibility of potential development for the future. Note also that while not all wines are marked with a rating, just because a wine receives no stars does not necessarily mean that it’s not worth buying. The text of the note should indicate how he feels about the wine, and stars are there simply to designate the truly exceptional examples.

JEANNIE CHO LEE

Jeannie Cho Lee is a Hong Kong based wine critic, author, journalist, consultant, wine educator and Master of Wine, the first ethnic Asian to achieve this accreditation. She is the CEO of LPM Communications Limited, part of the Goldin Group, and the publisher of LE PAN, a fine wine and lifestyle magazine launching in the summer of 2015.

DEBRA MEIBURG

Debra Meiburg is an award-winning multi-media wine journalist, wine educator, wine judge and recipient of the Master of Wine title in Asia. She is also founding director, along with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. Debra was formerly an accountant at Price Waterhouse Coopers Hong Kong, but she switched to wine education and journalism, and later worked in vineyards and wineries in Chile, Bordeaux, South Africa and New York. Born in Sonoma County, she is a long-time and permanent resident of Hong Kong.