John Vankat, PhDFounderThe Wine PocketList
I must agree that unless the people judging wines have the same palate as yours or mine, paying the extra money for a 95 point rated wine may be ridiculous if we do not like the grape, style, etc.
I am hooked on the R Wineries Boarding Pass and First Class. The Boarding Pass is an inexpensive wine ($16) that I love to open during the week. The First Class, I tend to enjoy more on the weekends or with guests that appreciate finer wines. The First Class seems to be more structured and balanced with a unique complexity compared to the Boarding Pass. The fruits are well defined and the lingering flavor has the essence of finely layered fruits. First Class and Boarding Pass in my eyes are not just good, but great wines, Bang for the Buck, they are a must have in your wine collection.
At an East Coast Grape of the Night Syrah/Shiraz tasting, a question was asked about the comparison between Molly Dooker Boxer Shiraz and R Winery First Class Shiraz. This is a great comparison of 2 top Australian Wineries. To add another twist to this story, Sarah and Sparky of Molly Dooker and Marquis Philips of R Winery shared a partnership at Marquis Philip Winery before Sarah and Sparky started Molly Dooker. Most of us remember the Marquis Philips Integrity and S9 Shiraz.
For me personally, I could not rate one over the other. Boxer is a syrupy heavily extracted fruit bomb of a wine that has a long lingering taste. A style that Sarah and Sparky at Molly Dooker are notorious for. The Boxer reminded me of the 2006 Molly Dooker Blue Eyed Boy which is also a highly extracted or syrupy wine.
The First Class was more subtle reminding me more of a French style with its slight dryness and complexity with well defined flavors on the palate. One member at our tasting of the First Class and Boxer stated that he would go with the Boxer and a thick steak. After some thought, my opinion was different depending on the situation and mood. I would serve the First Class with a thick steak due to its elegance and have the Boxer while sitting in front of the fireplace on a rainy day. Is either of us right or wrong? Go back to the article by Vankat. IT DEPENDS ON YOUR PALATE. My rating on these 2 wines at the Grape of the Night were both #1. The caveat being the criteria that I already explained above.
What are your opinions? Does the rating system provide the criteria in the selection of your wines? Do you favor a particular judge such as Robert Parker over others? What is your method for judging a good wine?