Wow, what a score! It’s not often you find 93 rating on any $20 wine albeit a white wine! 

I’m often asked about wine ratings – the “subjective” discipline of scoring wines. Does 95 points from an unknown critic have same value as 95 rating from professionals such as Antonio Galloni (Vinous Media) or Robert Parker (formerly Wine Advocate)? Of course not, so the rating is only as good as its source.

Unfortunately, there is no vetting for ratings and scores from UN-reliable sources can be misleading. Wine industry professionals would probably agree the following are reliable sources: Vinous Media (Antonio Galloni, Stephen Tanzer, etc), Wine Advocate (formerly Robert Parker now retired), Wine Spectator and James Suckling. Suckling scores are frequently used because he is liberal (higher scores than others). While visiting Tuscany last year, a winemaker said ” James is a cheerleader. He gives great scores so everyone loves him – winery is happy, retailer is happy, consumers are happy.”

Vivino and Cellar Tracker are apps which use input from non-professionals to generate a numeric rating. Vivino uses 5 point rating system but 100 point system is more universal.

The bottom line – no one can tell you what you like or dislike. Find a rating source that matches your palate and use it as a guide since you won’t always agree.

Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino Radici 2017

Campania, Italy $20
Vinous Media 93 rating says “Pale straw-green. Clean, piercing aromas of green apple, white peach and minerals, complicated by a hint of diesel fuel. Brightly dense and juicy, with a laser beam of harmonious acidity providing clarity and cut to the enticing flavors of green apple, nectarine and pear. Finishes long, with a dusting of chalk and talcum powder. One of the better Radici wines in years, this is a real knockout. The high-altitude vineyards obviously weathered the heat of 2017 very well.”  Ian D’Agata

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