By John ~ November 13th, 2009.
When I read the numbers provided by good friend and excellent researcher, Sean Sullivan, in his Washington Wine Report early last week comparing the Washington wines reviewed by the three major wine publications, I got to thinking that I bet we at Wine Peeps review more Washington wines than any of the three leading subscription publications. Sure enough, when I tallied up the score, we have reviewed 789 Washington State wines from 227 different wineries on Wine Peeps since December 31, 2008, and we’re not yet finished for the year. According to Sean’s numbers, that is slightly higher than the 722 wines from 170+ wineries for Wine Enthusiast, which had much broader Washington State coverage than either Wine Spectator or Wine Advocate.
You may be also interested to note that our scoring is a little tougher, maybe more realistic would be a better choice of words, than any of those three publications. While we are huge believers in the overall quality of Washington wines, I don’t see how any professional reviewer can in good conscience give 90+ point scores to 60% of the wines he reviewed, as did Jay Miller of Wine Advocate. It appears to smack of the same grade inflation we often see in schools today. Of the three leading publications, I believe that Paul Gregutt at Wine Enthusiast was the most realistic in his scoring, at least from looking at the numbers.
Since we at Wine Peeps score on the five-star system rather than the 100-point system, an exact comparison is not possible. However, 226 of the 789 wines we have reviewed garnered four stars or better (28.4%). More importantly, at least to us, is how many of those four-star+ wines also scored four bangs for your buck (out of 5) or more, meaning they have an excellent Quality-to-Price Ratio (QPR).
So far this year, 155 of the 789 Washington wines (19.7%) we have reviewed have a Quality Rating >=4 stars (out of 5) and a QPR >=4 bangs for your buck (out of 5). Those are the kinds of good deal wines I want to buy, and it is this kind of information that we aim to provide our readers each time they visit Wine Peeps.
Next Friday, I will share with you a list of the 70 wineries, out of 227, that produced those 155 wines of excellent quality and high QPR. Those are our “go-to” Washington wineries for 2009. Be sure to stay tuned!
Filed under: American Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Magazines