All competitions are conducted under single-blind conditions (meaning that the same types of wines are tasted against each other and the producers’ names are not known). There are exceptions to this policy with respect to (1) all barrel tastings, (2) all specific appellation tastings where at least 25 of the best estates will not submit samples for group tastings and (3) for all wines judged by price point. The scores reflect an independent, critical look at the wines. Neither price nor the reputation of the producer/grower affect the rating in any manner.
The score given for a specific wine reflects the quality of the wine at its best. Evaluating a wine and assigning a score to a beverage that will change and evolve in many cases for up to 10 or more years is analogous to taking a long distance race . Much can be ascertained but, like a picture of a moving object, the wine will also evolve and change. Wines from obviously badly corked or defective bottles are re-tasted, since a wine from a single bad bottle does not indicate an entirely spoiled batch. Scores, however, do not reveal the important facts about a wine. The written commentary that accompanies the ratings is a better source of information regarding the wine’s style and personality, its relative quality vis-à-vis its peers, and its value and aging potential than any score could ever indicate.
In terms of awarding points, WJCP scoring system gives every wine a base of 50 points. The wine’s general color and appearance merit up to 3 points. The aroma and bouquet merit up to 12 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 25 points, and again, intensity of flavor, balance, cleanliness, and depth and length on the palate are all important considerations when giving out points. Finally, the overall quality level or potential for further evolution and improvement—aging—merits up to 10 points.
Aroma: 12 Points
Appearance: 3 Points
Flavor: 20 Points
Mouthfeel and Finish: 5 Points
Overall Impression: 10 Points