Soteriologist

  • Munich
  • Bavaria
  • Germany
User #326,787
Member Since 1/25/2014
Last Activity: 5/25/2019

Favorites

  • Region:Old World. Favorite grape varieties: Syrah (and SMG, in that order !), Tempranillo, Blaufränkisch, Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Dream wine:The 2010 Henschke "Hill of Grace" Shiraz maybe ?

About Me

°
Total ignoramus, I just throw out tasting notes in order to remind myself and to give pointers to friends with even less expertise - so I don't have to talk so much. Suprisingly some members seem to like what I say, even in this tough crowd of connoisseurs. I think they just enjoy how I am making a fool of myself.

Wine Vlog: Mainly digging up affordable wines acccessible to ordinary people in the area, mostly in the 5 € - 30 € range, with great qpr so that they punch above their price weight. This is one of the themes in my Video-Log of Wine Oddities.

Regarding my ratings: Cellar Tracker seems to be a place of competition for rating low in the hopes that that would make one a greater connoisseur. Hardly anyone seems to rate even his favorite and most exquisite wines with 97 to 99.

I suspect that people avoid the really high ratings for reasons that have nothing to do with wine tasting, that these are psychological and sociological and stem from a fear to appear as newbies and softies. As a consequence ratings are probably on average 3 - 5 points too low. A rule of thumb seems to be: take Parker's standard and subtract a few points for good measure.

Another common error here is that people measure by the standards of their own elite habits whereas originally the ratings arose as a measure of mass standards that were usually way below those of the Cellar Tracker. That means that even the most characterless and uniform extra cheap supermarket wines that no one here would use for anything except cooking would in a country like mine of today have to be considered technically good and no less than an 80. I claim that a wine below the original 80 of the scale inventors usually won't make it even onto a supermarket shelf anymore.

Here's a frequency distribution (click !) of my ratings dated January 2015:

It doesn't look like I am ever going to be in danger of getting too many ratings even close to a 100. So in all fairness, there is no way anyone can reasonably accuse me of overrating wines. One might say that the wines I taste are too cheap, and that if I had the money to taste my way through high end wines, this distribution would have to move to the right. That is certainly true, but I doubt that there is not enough room to the right to accomodate that. Even Luca Maroni gave the 2010 Sessantanni Primitivo a 98 out of a possible 99 based on sound argumentation within his rating system, and I gave it a 96/100 or 19/20 (my top rating thus far). I very much doubt that Maroni doesn't have sufficient experience with high end wines. But if by tasting more expensive wines I one day run out of room to the right, I promise I shall rethink my ratings.

In contrast here is a frequency distribution of another member's ratings:

He called the highest rated wine (92) among these a "quasi perfect wine". You'd think that is what 100 or close to it is for.

Ratings of high Oechsle and noble rot based wines: My basic stance is that high Oechsle and noble rot based wines - if made with good basic craftsmanship - are fundamentally of good quality and deserve a high rating based on that alone. It is for this reason that wines like Sauternes or those that follow the German quality scale for grapes (-> Kabinett -> Spätlese -> Auslese -> Beerenauslese -> Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein) - if technically well made - will have a much narrower rating spectrum that starts higher the higher the grape quality is. I would never give an 80 for a solid Eiswein product, regardless of how simple and characterless it otherwise is. On the other hand, as a consequence, within the category of Eiswein (or of German Kabinett), a 90 (or an 85 respectively) will mean a rating pretty close to the low end of the spectrum. In other words, if you are looking for a relatively impressive example of a Sauternes, then an 88 is a reason to avoid the wine.

Developing notes: Sometimes I write a TN directly after first tasting the wine. But such a note is subject to revision, particularly over the days it takes me to finish the bottle which I usually do alone - perhaps within 3 - 4 days or up to 10 days (vacuum stopper). So if a note is of interest to you, please have a second look after a while. Often as I return to a wine after months or years I might completely rewrite a previous note in a way that reflects my developing perception and experience. While doing so I might wipe out old formulations altogether or integrate them in the new assessment, sometimes indicating the date from which the formulation originated.

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