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.
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.