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Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I have a question about WS ratings. It seems obvious that many wines improve with age. Well, can a wine's rating improve after several years as well, or is this factored into the rating when it is determined? In other words, does WS revisit its ratings and adjust them as the wines improve over the years? Thanks.

—Chase K., Washington, D.C.

Dear Chase,

Wine Spectator attempts to score the wine "at its best," when the tasters believe the wine will be at its peak. Years of blind tasting give the tasters the experience to make these calls.

However, the editors also regularly re-taste benchmark wines—it's part of any good taster's education. The WS tasters are wine geeks like anyone else, and they want to see how the wines are evolving. Sometimes reality turns out different from their original assessments, and you will find new notes that reflect the changes. A lot can happen from barrel to bottle to being cellared for 10 or 20 (or more) years.

—Dr. Vinny

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