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5 ⭐ ratings and reviews on the Society site

There’s an annoying tendency across the board with on-line reviews generally where the default “no problem with this” is 5 ***** and anything less implies something wrong. I agree that most reviews offered for a product or service that is fine, adequate, complied with the pre-sale description etc etc should be 3***. 4 if it’s very good and 5 in the very rare instance of something quite exceptional.

The exception of course are my personal ratings on eBay, Booking.com, Vrbo, of course where I command an impeccable 5 star sweep of the board, and rightly so !

Along the same lines I’ve never bought into other wine reviews such as JR’s 20 points; she rarely gives less than 15 and the commentary on such wines is usually pretty damning. I wonder what the point is of there being points less than 15 - what would it take for a wine to be rated 10 / 20 ??


It won’t find it as the name seems to appear as

Bet the search engine can’t find words/names within a long name like this.

I don’t get the lack of poor reviews either, unless the thought is less than 15 is faulty, in which case why do you need a 20 point scale? That’s why I like JLL, at least you can see how his scoring of wines vary between vintages and he isn’t uncomfortable scoring a wine low if deserved.

When I’ve wanted to try something new I’ve bought bottles from TWS which consistently show good reviews from members so they can be helpful.


What price the 100 point scale where nothing gets below 85?

A good reason for the reintroduction of the “Members’ reviews” page.


Yes I saw the spaceless name as soon as I found it. Even appeared that way on my order confirmation. Probably a consequence of the website switch. I thought they might have corrected it but but are probably very busy with bigger issues. (Although I am not sure what is bigger than the longest word in the world).


I’m sure I read somewhere at somepoint that there’s a reason why wines don’t often get below 15 points. I think that there was an attempt to add some objectivity to it (a la WSET criteria) so basically it gets a certain number of points for existing and being a wine.

From the current Jancis website:

20 – Truly exceptional
19 – A humdinger
18 – A cut above superior
17 – Superior
16 – Distinguished
15 – Average, a perfectly nice drink with no faults but not much excitement
14 – Deadly dull
13 – Borderline faulty or unbalanced
12 – Faulty or unbalanced

I’m not sold. I’ve always been a firm believer in using an entire scale, otherwise what’s the point? (when I used to mark undergrad lab books during PhD/postdoc times, I was always everyone’s favourite or least favourite marker because of this!).


I think it was Michael Broadbent who often argued this point - be concise (did he use 4 or 5 stars?). He also believed in concise tasting notes, thinking many modern ones to be blousy.


That is a 9 point scale, end of.

No worse than any other critic’s scale (in fact 9 points used out of 20 is better than 20 points used out of 100), but when more than half your scale is totally redundant, you have to question its use.

Is it just because they don’t want to offend the producer?


I’d imagine it must be. Given that it’s a known thing, surely a producer would be just as pissed off with a 14/“20” as they would be with a 3/9? I know I would be!

Also on the Jancis scale it is very possible to make wine that is awful, but not dull, so having the 14(3) as “dull” seems odd.


I’ve only just noticed, but reviews don’t appear at all if you view the site using Firefox. Has anyone else noticed this?

I tried a site search, including the long thread on the new website, but nothing came up.

Existing is the most objective aspect of a wine, so on that basis I suppose it is worth 15pts or so.


We’re talking cross topics but you are correct.

I guess from a producer point of view, they are never going to rave about a 4/10 score but a 14/20 score can at least be spun to be ‘this wine is considered above average’ and unless the person reading the score knows that the scale stops at 12 they’d probably think 14/20 is an alright score.

The other problem with Jancis is that you can go from a 14/20 which is a deadly dull wine to a 16/20 which is a distinguished wine which means there is not much room for grading wines which are just perfectly nice but you would not think to describe as ‘distinguished’.

You then also get from 17+ into increasingly hyperbolic terms. Does anyone really know what ‘a cut above superior’ really means?

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