Is a 93-point wine from a good vintage the same quality as a 93-point wine from a poor vintage?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Are all scores from year to year weighted the same? Is a score of 93 in a bad vintage year the same as a 93 in an exceptional year?

—Mike, Gladstone, Ore.

Dear Mike,

Our wine ratings are not weighted by vintage. When our tasters sit down to a blind tasting, they are informed of the grape variety and/or region of the wine as well as the vintage. Even though we believe wines should reflect the vintage they hail from, the scores do not change in good vintages or bad ones. In the scenario you describe, a 93-point wine is a 93-point wine, regardless of the overall quality of the vintage.

In exceptional vintages, you should expect more 90+ wines than in weaker vintages. We take this data into account when we are assessing our vintage ratings.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Blind Tasting

More In Dr. Vinny

Is it true that you can clean a red wine stain with white wine? What's the best way to clean a wine stain?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers some tried and true methods and advice for …

Jun 17, 2019

How long will an unopened bottle of Champagne stay good?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how sparkling wine ages.

Jun 14, 2019

Are sulfites added to wines for shipping?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where sulfites come from, and why wines often …

Jun 12, 2019

When is the best time to drink Port?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains which types of Ports are best served after a …

Jun 10, 2019

What is a wine’s "style"?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the broad styles, or types, of wine, and what it …

Jun 5, 2019

Is yeast added to all wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how commercial yeasts are used to make wine, and …

Jun 3, 2019




Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search