Not that long ago there was a lively discussion on here following the decision by Decanter to have a two tier points system , one for cheaper wines and one for ‘fine’ wines on the pretext that poor comparative scores would harm the cheaper wines.
This did not go down well with Decanter readers nor many on here and many suggested it was the other way round with cheaper wines that scored well embarrassing some fine wines, but decanter came out with a wishy washy reply but would not budge on their decision.
For myself I stated I thought Decanter had gone to far already with their DWWA having added extra layers of awards with their Platinum level and best of etc for everything , it added up as a version of the current schools position in exams where all get prizes regardless.
As for points systems, the adoption of Parkers 100 pts as the de facto one was never that good a move as it starts at fifty anyway, yes I am guilty of using it on cellartracker but that is the standard used there as well, but the absurdity of a single point 90 v 91 being arrived at by one critic and the same wine getting 97 under Mr 100pt Suckling makes a farce of the system as the percentage difference if you discount 50% of the score before you start, is huge, and no one has ever to my knowledge ever scored a wine below 75, and it is only really fit as a general guide, I have always preferred the old five star method with the taste notes making the real difference.
But this latest issue of Decanter now goes a step further, this addendum at the bottom of a vintage chart on Burgundy, whereby the way they use a five star or bottle chart is self explaining, I had to cut the piece out and scan as there is no link.
So now as well as having to work out the differential between cheaper and fine wines, for which they never gave a cut-off price and was never explained ? We now have to discard the 100 point system overall and treat all years separately that is if the price is right, I honestly think they have lost the plot !
Wine is quite a simple thing, you like it or you don’t and you drink it, we are in danger of being conditioned into thinking, well I’m not, all this is really necessary when the same critics sometimes give very varied markings from early cask samples to interim reports on wines and what they believe will be the points when it matures in some vague drinking window, all a step to far and the truth is in the latter it is only a qualified guess in the first place, but this latest Decanter vintage variation is simply pointless.