There are many factors that go into making a great wine, but certainly the matter of quality control, specifically the decision of whether to produce and release a wine, and what its given price will be, are key.
We routinely taste many solid, well-made wines that are not terribly complex, compelling or distinctive. But you can tell the winery thought the wines were special by the pricing.
These wines typically earn scores between 83 to 87 points on our 100-point scale, although they occasionally score higher. But they often have much higher price points than they merit and certainly the price is high enough that consumers can weigh the quality per value quotient themselves. It's easy for us reviewers to see the discrepancy.
Much of pricing is image related to begin with, so it's not uncommon for wineries to push the envelope on pricing based on wine type, appellation or reputation.
Still, many of the wines I'm talking about suffer from what comes down to quality control. That is, someone, somewhere along the line, signed off on a level of quality and a price point that effectively puts the wine in retail limbo—a wine that's good to very good, but nothing special or noteworthy given the price. Conversely, some small-production, limited-supply wines designed to win accolades simply aren't that special. But they're priced like they are.
More wineries would have better success selling their wines if the quality and price were more appropriately aligned. In theory that correction should be taking place in today's market, with demand setting the price based on quality.
John Kmiecik — Chicago, IL — September 24, 2009 4:28pm ET
Jamie Sherman — Sacramento — September 24, 2009 4:32pm ET
Brad Schier — Texas — September 24, 2009 4:57pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — September 24, 2009 5:12pm ET
Brad Schier — Texas — September 24, 2009 5:42pm ET
Steve Shelton — Yuba City, Ca. — September 25, 2009 1:25am ET
Chris A Elerick — Orlando, FL — September 25, 2009 9:17am ET
David A Zajac — Akron, OH — September 25, 2009 10:33am ET
Anthony Dixon — Atlanta, GA — September 25, 2009 12:22pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — September 25, 2009 12:53pm ET
Jason Adkins — Overland Park, KS — September 29, 2009 8:45am ET
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