Wine Spectator tasters review wines on the following 100-point scale:
- 95-100 Classic: a great wine
- 90-94 Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style
- 85-89 Very good: a wine with special qualities
- 80-84 Good: a solid, well-made wine
- 75-79 Mediocre: a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
- 50-74 Not recommended
Finished wines, reviewed from bottle in blind tastings, are given a single score. A score given as a range (e.g., 90-94) indicates a preliminary score, usually based on a barrel tasting of an unfinished wine. As of March 2008, we switched to rolling four-point spreads for unfinished wines. For example, one wine may be scored 85-88, another 87-90, another 89-92. We believe this better reflects the subtle differences between wines and gives our readers better information for their buying decisions. Most barrel tastings are blind; when they are not blind, this is specifically noted.