I decided to publish this article as I am not quite ready to publish my top wines of 2016 because it is too early. I saw that James Suckling published his list top 100 on 20-October-2016 which is comparable to retailers setting holiday promotion months ahead of an actual holiday.
I have many more wines to taste and I have a long list to go through. I am not the traditionalist wine reviewer that gives a ranking that represents the number one wine is a perfect or 100 point wine. I took off my foot on the gas peddle and I list them alphabetically and I saw that all the wines represent a lot of great wines. One could infer that highest ranking score is the best of the year. I shy away from this because I fell it is too difficult to assign a score and say that say a South African Shiraz at 94 points superior to say a 93 point Mosel Riesling. Well what I do not want to do is have SA Shiraz compete against a Mosel Riesling–they are different varieties and regions and a higher score should not say something against a lowered scored wine.
I also escape from using the word typicity as it picks one style over another — I get the term and the need to sometimes recall it sometimes. If I had 10 Cabernets from around the world typicity is not representative as place does matter. One style is not meant to out rank other types or styles.
I feel that a lot of 100 wines is a more positive way to look at a highly ranked group of wines. I don’t believe in 100 points unlike… well several people and institutions. I am not a perfectionist…. well maybe a little. But I do think that a 100 point wine represents a professed perfection. It is a slippery slope…. it is a near impossibility…. why because if we saw or tasted perfection well not everyone would agree. The problem with perfection is that we truly wouldn’t know what it is…. I want to re-package and re-review what score means.
I struggle to produce my list each year. It is never easy– but that is a good thing. I like to challenge myself. My top 100 is not just an easy exercise of recalling high to low–it is something more meaningful and it represents my whole view of calibration and fairness with respect to scoring.
Stay tuned for my top 100 to be published in December.
James the Wine Guy
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
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