Robert Parker (Wine Advocate) – RP or WA
Robert Parker’s (RP) rating system employs a 50-100 point quality scale (Parker Points®). Robert Parker’s belief is that the various twenty (20) point rating systems do not provide enough flexibility and often result in compressed and inflated wine ratings. The numerical ratings are utilized only to enhance and complement the thorough tasting notes, which are Robert Parker’s primary means of communicating his judgments.
96-100: An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.
90-95: An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
80-89: A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70-79: An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
60-69: A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors
50-59: A wine deemed to be unacceptable.
Wine Spectator – WS
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, WS has switched to rolling four-point spreads for unfinished wines. For example, one wine may be scored 85-88, another 87-90, another 89-92. WS believe this will better reflect the subtle differences between wines, and give their readers better information for their buying decisions. Most barrel tastings are blind; when they are not blind, this is specifically noted.
Decanter – DE
Decanter is a wine magazine that is published in over 90 countries on a monthly basis. The magazine content includes news from the industry, vintage guides and wine recommendations. Annually, they organize the Decanter World Wine Awards. Decanter has a 1 to 5 star wine rating system to assess the quality of wines it reviews. This system was popularized by Michael Broadbent in his Great Vintage Wine Book.
5 stars – Decanter Award, outstanding quality
4 stars- Highly recommended
3 stars- Recommended
2 stars- Quite Good
1 star- Acceptable
Wine Enthusiast came along 10 years later than the Wine Advocate. It has a 100 point scale and is a useful source of information for everyday drinking wines.
96–100- Classic / Highest Recommendation
90–95- Superb / Highly Recommended
85–89- Very Good / Recommended