Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
User avatar
M A T T H A R T L E Y
Posts: 2018
Joined: June 3rd, 2009, 8:54 am

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#51 Post by M A T T H A R T L E Y » January 27th, 2011, 7:41 am

Seriously Suckling needs to just stick to giving points...his personality does not translate well on the written page and it definitely is not doing him any favors in his videos...

If I were him I would just pull a parker and go to pts and tasting notes...no video, no interviews...he is his own worst enemy right now...
___________________________
ITB

User avatar
dave cuneo
Posts: 1546
Joined: November 7th, 2010, 10:58 am
Location: Wilmington, DE

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#52 Post by dave cuneo » January 27th, 2011, 7:52 am

Hank,

Agree, color is a big part of the pleasure of wine drinking for me, but as you noted it is quite subjective, and trying to quantify what the "perfect" color is for any type of wine is absurd, really.

In whites, I love that rare wine that is young and fresh and has a literal green tinge to it, like lime, it always amazes me.

As for Suckling, there is a market for what he does, people want to be told what is good for a variety of reasons. You and I may not need him, but I need advice in other areas, like cars, home repairs, financial etc. where I do not have the passion or experience required to go it alone. dc.
IMO, this is Tony Bennett at his finest, singing Burt Bacharach's "Whoever you Are, I Love You" from "Promises, Promises".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPw5nLeD1NQ

User avatar
Xavier Lavoipierre
Posts: 1166
Joined: January 18th, 2011, 9:26 am

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#53 Post by Xavier Lavoipierre » January 27th, 2011, 8:04 am

This is giving me a headache. Makes me glad I don't score wines.

Seems like the simple solution to the color issue is to simply reserve the right to deduct a point or two for "inappropriate" color, whatever that may mean to the individual scorer. For example, for a wine which is prematurely showing visible signs of oxidation, or a Brunello which is nearly black (not to revive an old subject), etc.

Evan Dawson
Posts: 756
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#54 Post by Evan Dawson » January 27th, 2011, 8:15 am

Xavier Lavoipierre wrote:This is giving me a headache. Makes me glad I don't score wines.

Seems like the simple solution to the color issue is to simply reserve the right to deduct a point or two for "inappropriate" color, whatever that may mean to the individual scorer. For example, for a wine which is prematurely showing visible signs of oxidation, or a Brunello which is nearly black (not to revive an old subject), etc.
Fair enough, but don't you think that a wine showing visible signs of oxidation is going to be, well, oxidized enough to lose points based on aroma and taste? In regards to darkness, I realize Mega Purple is ostensibly indiscernible. But still. A black Pinot probably tastes like a fat, over-extracted, blend, with the Syrah showing its edge.

User avatar
Paul Jaouen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4196
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#55 Post by Paul Jaouen » January 27th, 2011, 8:24 am

He must really like the color of 09 bordeaux -

“The 2009 vintage is the greatest modern vintage of our time for Bordeaux. Believe in the hype.” James Suckling 1/11
Best,
Paul Jaouen

User avatar
Larry P
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6805
Joined: June 21st, 2010, 3:13 pm
Location: Livermore, CA

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#56 Post by Larry P » January 27th, 2011, 8:33 am

K V a s t o l a wrote:
Larry P wrote:
K V a s t o l a wrote:15 points is a lot more. Recall that 50 points is automatic, so it's really a 50-point scale. That means that for Parker, color is 10% of his real score, while for Suckling color is 30% of his real score.
Ken, if you watch the Suckling video on component scoring, he doesn't give 50 free points, it was a 15+25+25+35 so 15 points is 15% of the score.
I did not know that. But has he ever given a wine less than 50 points? I don't recall ever seeing a rating the Spectator less that 50 points.
I don't know if he's ever rated a wine that low, but with a fresher mind this morning I'm not sure I'm buying my own 15% argument. Why? If RP color is 10% (5/50) and JS color is 15% (15/100) then JS 80 must be the same as RP 90, no? Both have won 80% of possible points. Does anyone actually believe that, even if it is statistically true?

You can see application of the JS scoring system in any of his recent blog posts, and it seems that a wine which "has color" (all wines) get 14, here and here and here:
http://www.jamessuckling.com/my-blog-th ... inner.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.jamessuckling.com/my-blog-th ... -wine.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.jamessuckling.com/my-blog-tr ... verge.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
P ! g g ! n s

"You keep me searching for a heart of gold" - Neil Young
"Metal heart, you're not worth a thing" - Cat Power

User avatar
Larry P
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6805
Joined: June 21st, 2010, 3:13 pm
Location: Livermore, CA

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#57 Post by Larry P » January 27th, 2011, 8:34 am

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:Paprika is graded and sold based on a standardized color scale, no?
...and Maple Syrup, eh?
P ! g g ! n s

"You keep me searching for a heart of gold" - Neil Young
"Metal heart, you're not worth a thing" - Cat Power

User avatar
Robert Thornton
Posts: 953
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 11:56 pm
Location: Pasadena, CA

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#58 Post by Robert Thornton » January 27th, 2011, 1:35 pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:Paprika is graded and sold based on a standardized color scale, no?
Yes, because it's related to quality. Color is important is assessing everything from fresh fish to gemstones. I just never understood how color is related to the quality of a wine independent of aroma, body, length, etc.

Cheers,
-Robert

Wes Barton
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3630
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 3:54 am

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#59 Post by Wes Barton » January 27th, 2011, 4:19 pm

Larry P wrote:
K V a s t o l a wrote:
Larry P wrote: Ken, if you watch the Suckling video on component scoring, he doesn't give 50 free points, it was a 15+25+25+35 so 15 points is 15% of the score.
I did not know that. But has he ever given a wine less than 50 points? I don't recall ever seeing a rating the Spectator less that 50 points.
I don't know if he's ever rated a wine that low, but with a fresher mind this morning I'm not sure I'm buying my own 15% argument. Why? If RP color is 10% (5/50) and JS color is 15% (15/100) then JS 80 must be the same as RP 90, no? Both have won 80% of possible points. Does anyone actually believe that, even if it is statistically true?

You can see application of the JS scoring system in any of his recent blog posts, and it seems that a wine which "has color" (all wines) get 14, here and here and here:
http://www.jamessuckling.com/my-blog-th ... inner.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.jamessuckling.com/my-blog-th ... -wine.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.jamessuckling.com/my-blog-tr ... verge.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Well, since he gives a wine 14 points on color, just for showing up, what are his floors for the other components? What is his effective minimum score? Same goes for Parker. He gives a wine 50 points for showing up, but also 4 points on color, and however much for the other components. You need their effective minimum scores to calibrate their point ranges. (Theoretically, a flawed wine would rate below their effective minimums, but they then wouldn't likely scored it.)

Anyway, it seems Suckling is confused by this questioning because it's really over 1 point. Or really, a one point range. It may, in reality, only influence his rating on a fraction of wines. Say, if he's "92.5 on that", it would influence his rounding.
ITB - Useless lackey

"I've acquired enough wine to seduce an elephant." - Jennifer Robin

User avatar
dave cuneo
Posts: 1546
Joined: November 7th, 2010, 10:58 am
Location: Wilmington, DE

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#60 Post by dave cuneo » January 27th, 2011, 5:08 pm

Does he round up or down??? dc.
IMO, this is Tony Bennett at his finest, singing Burt Bacharach's "Whoever you Are, I Love You" from "Promises, Promises".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPw5nLeD1NQ

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#61 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 27th, 2011, 5:09 pm

Glenn L e v i n e wrote:I have no issue with JS and like wine color about as much as he does but how come every time he is challenged about anything we get to hear how he has been tasting wine for 29 years (praise God can this become a nice round thirty soon) as if this is cogent?

I am near 50 and have been tasting for close to 35 years, is that inherently better than 29?
Depends upon how dark you are when you taste...

User avatar
Larry P
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6805
Joined: June 21st, 2010, 3:13 pm
Location: Livermore, CA

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#62 Post by Larry P » January 27th, 2011, 5:23 pm

Wes Barton wrote:Well, since he gives a wine 14 points on color, just for showing up, what are his floors for the other components? What is his effective minimum score?
14+22+22+32 = 90 points
P ! g g ! n s

"You keep me searching for a heart of gold" - Neil Young
"Metal heart, you're not worth a thing" - Cat Power

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#63 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 27th, 2011, 5:27 pm

Evan Dawson wrote: James Suckling
What do you do? Do you have anything better to do today...or is it a slow news day?

Evan Dawson
Just honestly curious. If a wine's color is 15% of its score, why judge in conditions that don't let you see it optimally?

James Suckling
May be you use your daylight flashlight when you visit cellars to taste? Can get one?

Evan Dawson
Ha! That would be great. But perhaps another reminder that assessing color for points is questionable.

Evan Dawson
And yes, I confess that I think it's strange to put so much weight on a wine's color. But your mileage may vary!

James Suckling
But just to be polite and answer your question. I have been tasting for 29 years. I know how to judge color.

Evan Dawson
A wine can go from 92 to 89 pretty easily all because you judged the score in artificial/lesser lighting. That matters!

James Suckling
Giving points for color works for me, UC Davis and lots of people.

>>>>

Given how easily color is manipulated, I'm surprised it's still evaluated for score at all. Am I wrong?

My thanks to writer and critic Thor Iverson for stacking up the conversation.

http://oenologic.blogspot.com/2011/01/c ... rised.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Evan, you should have asked the arrogant little shit what HE does (other than unintentional stand-up comedy videos) since he quit his day job and is currently unemployed, and if HE didn't have anything better to do than tweet insults at you. You asked a legitimate question, and tried to pursue it in a gentlemanly way. You got bullied by the 21st century's leading wine nobody, and a total fraud. All 29 year's worth. And only an idiot would defend his position with "UC Davis too". Given the damage done by UC Davis with color, descriptor wheels and formulae for industrial plonk, it is sort of like citing Rush Limbaugh as the conservative voice of reason in a world gone mad, eh? He is lucky that I don't tweet. I would have taken his frigging head off in your shoes...
Last edited by Bill Klapp (deactivated) on January 27th, 2011, 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
gene keenan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3202
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 12:29 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#64 Post by gene keenan » January 27th, 2011, 5:36 pm

Larry P wrote:
Wes Barton wrote:Well, since he gives a wine 14 points on color, just for showing up, what are his floors for the other components? What is his effective minimum score?
14+22+22+32 = 90 points
that appears to be the minimum score for anyone buying wine so I think that 10 point scale works well.
Jerry loved well aged BV Private Reserve Georges De Latour

User avatar
Jim Brennan
Posts: 4578
Joined: April 17th, 2009, 6:10 pm
Location: People's Republic of Illinois

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#65 Post by Jim Brennan » January 27th, 2011, 5:38 pm

Bill Klapp wrote:You got bullied by the 21st century's leading wine nobody, and a total fraud.
Bill, I thought this thread was about Suckling. [wink.gif]

User avatar
gene keenan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3202
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 12:29 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#66 Post by gene keenan » January 27th, 2011, 5:39 pm

Bill Klapp wrote:
Evan Dawson wrote: James Suckling
What do you do? Do you have anything better to do today...or is it a slow news day?

Evan Dawson
Just honestly curious. If a wine's color is 15% of its score, why judge in conditions that don't let you see it optimally?

James Suckling
May be you use your daylight flashlight when you visit cellars to taste? Can get one?

Evan Dawson
Ha! That would be great. But perhaps another reminder that assessing color for points is questionable.

Evan Dawson
And yes, I confess that I think it's strange to put so much weight on a wine's color. But your mileage may vary!

James Suckling
But just to be polite and answer your question. I have been tasting for 29 years. I know how to judge color.

Evan Dawson
A wine can go from 92 to 89 pretty easily all because you judged the score in artificial/lesser lighting. That matters!

James Suckling
Giving points for color works for me, UC Davis and lots of people.

>>>>

Given how easily color is manipulated, I'm surprised it's still evaluated for score at all. Am I wrong?

My thanks to writer and critic Thor Iverson for stacking up the conversation.

http://oenologic.blogspot.com/2011/01/c ... rised.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Evan, you should have asked the arrogant little shit what HE does (other than stand-up comedy videos) since he quit his day job and is currently unemployed, and if HE didn't have anything better to do than tweet insults at you. You asked a legitimate question, and tried to pursue it in a gentlemanly way. You got bullied by the 21st century's leading wine nobody, and a total fraud. And only an idiot would defend his position with "UC Davis too". Given the damage done by UC Davis with color, descriptor wheels and formulae for industrial plonk, it is sort of like citing Rush Limbaugh as the conservative voice of reason in a world gone mad, eh? He is lucky that I don't tweet. I would have taken his frigging head off in your shoes...



Pretty strong response Bill; tell us how you really feel.

The point of pointing out UC davis or any other scoring system is to show the general idiocy of all the scoring systems and the bigger idiocy of singling out Suckling when he is doing the same stupid thing as all of the other critics do albeit to a larger degree based on his larger proportion to color.
Jerry loved well aged BV Private Reserve Georges De Latour

Evan Dawson
Posts: 756
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#67 Post by Evan Dawson » January 27th, 2011, 6:55 pm

Bill Klapp wrote:
Evan Dawson wrote: James Suckling
What do you do? Do you have anything better to do today...or is it a slow news day?

Evan Dawson
Just honestly curious. If a wine's color is 15% of its score, why judge in conditions that don't let you see it optimally?

James Suckling
May be you use your daylight flashlight when you visit cellars to taste? Can get one?

Evan Dawson
Ha! That would be great. But perhaps another reminder that assessing color for points is questionable.

Evan Dawson
And yes, I confess that I think it's strange to put so much weight on a wine's color. But your mileage may vary!

James Suckling
But just to be polite and answer your question. I have been tasting for 29 years. I know how to judge color.

Evan Dawson
A wine can go from 92 to 89 pretty easily all because you judged the score in artificial/lesser lighting. That matters!

James Suckling
Giving points for color works for me, UC Davis and lots of people.

>>>>

Given how easily color is manipulated, I'm surprised it's still evaluated for score at all. Am I wrong?

My thanks to writer and critic Thor Iverson for stacking up the conversation.

http://oenologic.blogspot.com/2011/01/c ... rised.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Evan, you should have asked the arrogant little shit what HE does (other than unintentional stand-up comedy videos) since he quit his day job and is currently unemployed, and if HE didn't have anything better to do than tweet insults at you. You asked a legitimate question, and tried to pursue it in a gentlemanly way. You got bullied by the 21st century's leading wine nobody, and a total fraud. All 29 year's worth. And only an idiot would defend his position with "UC Davis too". Given the damage done by UC Davis with color, descriptor wheels and formulae for industrial plonk, it is sort of like citing Rush Limbaugh as the conservative voice of reason in a world gone mad, eh? He is lucky that I don't tweet. I would have taken his frigging head off in your shoes...


Some rib me for being a bit of a Suckling scourge, but I try to ask questions in courteous, honest fashion. And he doesn't have to answer them. At least there is an opportunity for dialog, which I appreciate. He could choose to ignore questions.

He is not a nobody, despite what some may wish and despite what seem deserving of karma. So as far as I'm concerned, if he's waxing on about color and judging wines in weird settings and spitting out scores within seconds, it's fair to ask him about it.

But as far as his comments to me, I took them in good-natured humor. They gave me a laugh. And laughter is good for you.

User avatar
Bob Wood
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 19904
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 9:30 am
Location: Duck and Beaver Land

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#68 Post by Bob Wood » January 27th, 2011, 7:05 pm

Bill Klapp wrote: You got bullied by the 21st century's leading wine nobody, and a total fraud.
I'll thank you to take your Leve comments over to the Leve thread, Mr. Bill. [snort.gif]
"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?" - Steve Jobs, 1983

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#69 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 28th, 2011, 5:32 am

K V a s t o l a wrote:
Larry P wrote:
K V a s t o l a wrote:15 points is a lot more. Recall that 50 points is automatic, so it's really a 50-point scale. That means that for Parker, color is 10% of his real score, while for Suckling color is 30% of his real score.
Ken, if you watch the Suckling video on component scoring, he doesn't give 50 free points, it was a 15+25+25+35 so 15 points is 15% of the score.
I did not know that. But has he ever given a wine less than 50 points? I don't recall ever seeing a rating the Spectator less that 50 points.


Me, either, but WS (alas, probably pre-Suckling and by nameless, faceless committee) awarded the 1985 Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano Riserva a 77, the 1990 Barbaresco Gallina and the 1985 Barolo Collina Rionda 86s, the 1989 Barolo Collina Rionda Riserva a 78, the 1990 Barolo Falletto Riserva a 55+ and the 1989 Falletto Riserva an 84, and then finished with what I like to call the Barolo Villero trifecta, giving the 1990 a 78, the 1989 an 81 and the 1988 a 70. Thus, Ken, like the old Mafia "I have no son" when a kid brings dishonor to the family, it is safe to say that "you have no Wine Spectator"! Credibility is far more important to you than it is to that sorry rag...

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#70 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 28th, 2011, 5:40 am

Bob Wood wrote:
Bill Klapp wrote: You got bullied by the 21st century's leading wine nobody, and a total fraud.
I'll thank you to take your Leve comments over to the Leve thread, Mr. Bill. [snort.gif]
Bob, if you go look on the Leve thread (although I am not sure why you would want to at this point), you will see that my pact with the devils that run this board is that I would lay off Leve, but not Suckling. And if I discover that Leve and Suckling are representative of the state of wine knowledge in Los Angeles and not just outlying abberations, I am going after the city next...

User avatar
Paul Jaouen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4196
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 12:48 pm

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#71 Post by Paul Jaouen » January 28th, 2011, 5:56 am

Bill Klapp wrote: Bob, if you go look on the Leve thread (although I am not sure why you would want to at this point), you will see that my pact with the devils that run this board is that I would lay off Leve, but not Suckling.
They got to you, eh! [wow.gif] At least Suckling has some credibility.
Best,
Paul Jaouen

Jeff Lewis
Posts: 649
Joined: November 5th, 2009, 6:47 am

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#72 Post by Jeff Lewis » January 28th, 2011, 6:25 am

I think formulaic scoring can NEVER work for something where there is art involved. I used to be a panelist rating golf course architecture for one of the magazines. They had us fill out a survey for each course with a score for each component they deemed significant. Somehow courses I didn't really like at all kept getting higher overall scores from me from ones I really enjoyed. I now work with a different magazine that simply asks us to tell them which courses we like better. That's it. And when one looks at the lists, one magazine salutes courses that lack charm, quirk or anything unusual. Guess which one?

User avatar
Jim Brennan
Posts: 4578
Joined: April 17th, 2009, 6:10 pm
Location: People's Republic of Illinois

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#73 Post by Jim Brennan » January 28th, 2011, 6:55 am

Bill Klapp wrote:
Bob Wood wrote:
Bill Klapp wrote: You got bullied by the 21st century's leading wine nobody, and a total fraud.
I'll thank you to take your Leve comments over to the Leve thread, Mr. Bill. [snort.gif]
Bob, if you go look on the Leve thread (although I am not sure why you would want to at this point), you will see that my pact with the devils that run this board is that I would lay off Leve, but not Suckling. And if I discover that Leve and Suckling are representative of the state of wine knowledge in Los Angeles and not just outlying abberations, I am going after the city next...

Should Suckling befriend the powers that be?

john holdredge
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2244
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:37 pm

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#74 Post by john holdredge » January 28th, 2011, 9:47 am

"debate"? Really Evan?

Lincoln and Douglas are rolling over in their graves.

neener
Eye Tea Bee

User avatar
Ken V
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 38563
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: Delmar, NY
Contact:

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#75 Post by Ken V » January 28th, 2011, 10:20 am

Bill Klapp wrote:
K V a s t o l a wrote:
Larry P wrote: Ken, if you watch the Suckling video on component scoring, he doesn't give 50 free points, it was a 15+25+25+35 so 15 points is 15% of the score.
I did not know that. But has he ever given a wine less than 50 points? I don't recall ever seeing a rating the Spectator less that 50 points.


Me, either, but WS (alas, probably pre-Suckling and by nameless, faceless committee) awarded the 1985 Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano Riserva a 77, the 1990 Barbaresco Gallina and the 1985 Barolo Collina Rionda 86s, the 1989 Barolo Collina Rionda Riserva a 78, the 1990 Barolo Falletto Riserva a 55+ and the 1989 Falletto Riserva an 84, and then finished with what I like to call the Barolo Villero trifecta, giving the 1990 a 78, the 1989 an 81 and the 1988 a 70. Thus, Ken, like the old Mafia "I have no son" when a kid brings dishonor to the family, it is safe to say that "you have no Wine Spectator"! Credibility is far more important to you than it is to that sorry rag...
I did think of those scores when I wrote that post. The 89 Rionda Riserva is my all-time favorite wine. The only wine to get a score over 100 from me. [bow.gif]
Ken V @ s t o l @
The Fine Wine Geek
Click on the W W W button under my name to see my website.
"Don't be meek, embrace the geek." -Terry Theise
Twitter: @FineWineGeek

User avatar
PaulM
Posts: 701
Joined: April 29th, 2010, 7:30 am
Location: DC

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#76 Post by PaulM » January 28th, 2011, 11:17 am

dave cuneo wrote:Next time please ask him what happens if a wine has a half point in the score, like 89.5. Does it get bumped up or down?

Personally I can't imagine he actually uses that system - the dude sniffs, slurps and spits and "I'm 92 on that", boom. dc.
Yeah. Whereas when I'm asked to score a wine, I break out the calculator, round .500 up but .499 down, and NEVER give more than 12.375 points for color.

So the main point of this thread seems to be that point scales are approximate, not scientific, and they all fall apart when you pick too hard at the purportedly objective methodology. deadhorse
M a r q u a r d t

User avatar
Tim Burnett
Posts: 359
Joined: May 7th, 2010, 9:58 am
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#77 Post by Tim Burnett » January 28th, 2011, 12:39 pm

1. 15% of a score to color? Not what I attach to it but if most wines get 14, not sure whether its worth caring about.

2. So, niche wine writer goes after established wine writer, more news at 11.

3. Really points out the fundamental contradiction in attempting to reduce wine appreciation to a number.

4. Most of all, this is the type of thread someone should send to Christopher Guest, as we currently look more eccentric and absorbed than community theater performers, dog show handlers, or folk musicians. Who would Eugene Levy play in Tasting Notes, the movie?
Tim
'16 WOTY-02 Turley Hayne Zin

User avatar
Reese Ferry
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 74
Joined: May 31st, 2009, 6:43 pm
Location: Vermont

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#78 Post by Reese Ferry » January 28th, 2011, 1:09 pm

Jeff Lewis wrote:I think formulaic scoring can NEVER work for something where there is art involved. I used to be a panelist rating golf course architecture for one of the magazines. They had us fill out a survey for each course with a score for each component they deemed significant. Somehow courses I didn't really like at all kept getting higher overall scores from me from ones I really enjoyed. I now work with a different magazine that simply asks us to tell them which courses we like better. That's it. And when one looks at the lists, one magazine salutes courses that lack charm, quirk or anything unusual. Guess which one?

Golf Course Enthusiast ? newhere

Kyle Schlachter
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 17th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#79 Post by Kyle Schlachter » January 28th, 2011, 2:35 pm

With all the hubbub on this site (and others) surrounding the different wine rating systems and discussion about the extent different factors play a part of them, I’ve decided to update the system. This new system incorporates every aspect of experiencing a wine (price, label, sight, aroma, etc...). This system is a first draft and I urge everyone to please help me renovate and improve the 100-point system.

I tried to copy and paste it from my blog, but it didn't work so well. I don't want to be that guy who is trying to promote his own worthless blog, so please don't rag on me for directing you there. Read it if want. Ignore it if you want. Here it is.
Colorado Wine Press
@COWinePress

Evan Dawson
Posts: 756
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#80 Post by Evan Dawson » January 28th, 2011, 6:05 pm

Tim Burnett wrote:1. 15% of a score to color? Not what I attach to it but if most wines get 14, not sure whether its worth caring about.

2. So, niche wine writer goes after established wine writer, more news at 11.

3. Really points out the fundamental contradiction in attempting to reduce wine appreciation to a number.

4. Most of all, this is the type of thread someone should send to Christopher Guest, as we currently look more eccentric and absorbed than community theater performers, dog show handlers, or folk musicians. Who would Eugene Levy play in Tasting Notes, the movie?
I am, of course, a tad biased. But I think this is less clever than you were hoping.

Wes Barton
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3630
Joined: January 29th, 2009, 3:54 am

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#81 Post by Wes Barton » January 28th, 2011, 7:37 pm

Tim Burnett wrote:3. Really points out the fundamental contradiction in attempting to reduce wine appreciation to a number.
The problem isn't the numbers, it's people giving too much importance to the numbers. It's just a quantification of one person's experience with one bottle, at one time, under one set of conditions. So many variables. Change one and it'll likely get a different rating. Different people sitting around a table drinking the same wine will perceive it differently. The same exact bottle (of some very young wines) under the same exact conditions can taste quite differently a week apart. Two bottles of the same wine, from the same case, opened and served side by side can show quite differently. Etc. etc. etc.

But it's still a useful expression of how much someone enjoyed a wine or assessed its potential.
ITB - Useless lackey

"I've acquired enough wine to seduce an elephant." - Jennifer Robin

Kyle Schlachter
Posts: 1087
Joined: July 17th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#82 Post by Kyle Schlachter » January 29th, 2011, 8:10 am

Wes Barton wrote: The problem isn't the numbers, it's people giving too much importance to the numbers. It's just a quantification of one person's experience with one bottle, at one time, under one set of conditions.
Exactly.And people not understanding personal preferences when it comes to points and taking those points as if they were carved in stone...
Colorado Wine Press
@COWinePress

User avatar
Tim Burnett
Posts: 359
Joined: May 7th, 2010, 9:58 am
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#83 Post by Tim Burnett » January 29th, 2011, 8:47 am

Wes Barton wrote:
Tim Burnett wrote:3. Really points out the fundamental contradiction in attempting to reduce wine appreciation to a number.
The problem isn't the numbers, it's people giving too much importance to the numbers. It's just a quantification of one person's experience with one bottle, at one time, under one set of conditions. So many variables. Change one and it'll likely get a different rating. Different people sitting around a table drinking the same wine will perceive it differently. The same exact bottle (of some very young wines) under the same exact conditions can taste quite differently a week apart. Two bottles of the same wine, from the same case, opened and served side by side can show quite differently. Etc. etc. etc.

But it's still a useful expression of how much someone enjoyed a wine or assessed its potential.
Oh, I agree, and "fundamental contradiction" might have been a bit strong.

The combination of a tasting note, score, and familiarity with the taster's preferences/scoring range can be useful in purchasing decisions, or for recreational reading if it's one's cup of tea. But I think aside from giving a score too much importance, a number still implies a level of precision that is aspirational. The higher the scale, the more distance between reality and the implied precision.

Regardless of bottle variation, I don't think a wine rating is any more reliable or authoritative that a movie or music review, and allowing for bottle variation makes it less so (thought I suppose you could have technology variation as to media). Like you said, "one person's experience with one bottle, at one time, under one set of conditions."
Tim
'16 WOTY-02 Turley Hayne Zin

User avatar
Tim Burnett
Posts: 359
Joined: May 7th, 2010, 9:58 am
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#84 Post by Tim Burnett » January 29th, 2011, 9:09 am

Evan Dawson wrote: I am, of course, a tad biased. But I think this is less clever than you were hoping.
Probably so. But someone had to call BS, and I do think this thread would make a fairly hilarious mockumentary scene in the right actors' hands.

I remember Suckling pondering in a WS blog post whether high end BDX had become a "luxury product." It was the fall of 2006 IIRC, and the trigger was 2005 Petrus futures hitting $3K a bottle. Someone questioned what else $3K for 750 ml of fermented grape juice could be, to which he said something like "I'll have to think about that."

Absurd, but harmless from a wine writer. Suckling can be something of a caricature, but he's been pretty successful. Good writer, adequate palate, and obviously has a lot of experience (when I'm 54, my wine hobby/obsession/addiction will be 29 years old. I will not have the experience he does now). In any case, he's pretty middle of the road as a wine critic, so going after his tasting methodology is a stretch.

So yeah, I don't see a real point to the exchange, other than that for reasons passing understanding he bothered. He'll learn to be less candid when posting on the internets next time.
Tim
'16 WOTY-02 Turley Hayne Zin

User avatar
Chris Blum
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 9266
Joined: October 10th, 2009, 1:40 pm
Location: Home of the Mayo Clinic

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#85 Post by Chris Blum » January 29th, 2011, 9:18 am

Reese Ferry wrote:
Jeff Lewis wrote:I think formulaic scoring can NEVER work for something where there is art involved. I used to be a panelist rating golf course architecture for one of the magazines. They had us fill out a survey for each course with a score for each component they deemed significant. Somehow courses I didn't really like at all kept getting higher overall scores from me from ones I really enjoyed. I now work with a different magazine that simply asks us to tell them which courses we like better. That's it. And when one looks at the lists, one magazine salutes courses that lack charm, quirk or anything unusual. Guess which one?

Golf Course Enthusiast ? newhere
"golf columnist" for Bondage and Discipline Illustrated? [pillow-fight.gif]
"Well, wine only turns into alcohol if you let it sit" -- Lucille Bluth
"The Packers f'n suck" -- Todd French

JBierly
Posts: 445
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:19 pm

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#86 Post by JBierly » January 29th, 2011, 10:50 am

Well if Parker is only 10 pct but Suckling is 15 pct and UCD a whopping 20 pct - sounds like Parker has this correct. 10 pct seems about right IMHO. Color is important but more important is clarity - nothing more off-putting than a cloudy wine.

Here is a quote from RPs scoring system: "The wine's general color and appearance merit up to 5 points. Since most wines today are well made, thanks to modern technology and the increased use of professional oenologists, they tend to receive at least 4, often 5 points."

For me there should be something about appearance in a wine's rating - usually demerits for me are related to turbidity - not color.
Jack

Evan Dawson
Posts: 756
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 5:32 pm
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#87 Post by Evan Dawson » January 29th, 2011, 11:45 am

Tim Burnett wrote:
Evan Dawson wrote: I am, of course, a tad biased. But I think this is less clever than you were hoping.
Probably so. But someone had to call BS, and I do think this thread would make a fairly hilarious mockumentary scene in the right actors' hands.

I remember Suckling pondering in a WS blog post whether high end BDX had become a "luxury product." It was the fall of 2006 IIRC, and the trigger was 2005 Petrus futures hitting $3K a bottle. Someone questioned what else $3K for 750 ml of fermented grape juice could be, to which he said something like "I'll have to think about that."

Absurd, but harmless from a wine writer. Suckling can be something of a caricature, but he's been pretty successful. Good writer, adequate palate, and obviously has a lot of experience (when I'm 54, my wine hobby/obsession/addiction will be 29 years old. I will not have the experience he does now). In any case, he's pretty middle of the road as a wine critic, so going after his tasting methodology is a stretch.

So yeah, I don't see a real point to the exchange, other than that for reasons passing understanding he bothered. He'll learn to be less candid when posting on the internets next time.
I do not mean to be rude, but it's very commonly accepted in wine writing circles that Mr. Suckling is a poor writer. I'm confused as to why you think otherwise. I have no doubt he has other strengths, but writing is not among them. And I tend to doubt he has much editing help at his current site, which is riddled with errors.

Not sure I understand the description of him as "middle of the road" as a critic. His name appears in almost every wine store and he retains a certain amount of power. Discussing his methodology is worthwhile, especially if he is trying to impress that methodology on others. Which he is.

User avatar
Rob Hansult
Posts: 691
Joined: January 6th, 2010, 12:18 am
Location: Lawn Gylan, Nu Yawk

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#88 Post by Rob Hansult » January 29th, 2011, 2:41 pm

Dang,

Almost hate to be adding to this since many here don't have much respect for Sucklings palate, & neither do I.

Color should be part of the scoring of a wine, that's obvious too. How much you allocate, points wise, is the rub.

Color is one of the components of the wine, so . . .

15% is obviously too high . . . obviously. neener

I give ~ 5% to color when reviewing & scoring a wine, along with a written note.

That it needs to be argued that Suckling doesn't have good aptitude as a wine taster, & that he is off-base giving such a high percentage to color alone while judging a wine are good points.

Big surprise here that Suckling is wrong. [basic-smile.gif]

I have never taken his palate seriously.

OK, Show of hands: how many of you here actually thought the Wine Spectator was reviewing wines, & not just "supporting" them?

. . . just sayin', & curious . . .

deadhorse

[cheers.gif]
ITB - Grower/Winemaker

User avatar
gene keenan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3202
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 12:29 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#89 Post by gene keenan » January 29th, 2011, 3:02 pm

Rob Hansult wrote:<snip>
OK, Show of hands: how many of you here actually thought the Wine Spectator was reviewing wines, & not just "supporting" them?

<snip>
For you to say this tells me your not familiar with the way wines are reviewed at Wine Spectator which is always blind. more than you can say for the majority of other "reviewers." Explain to me how they are "supporting" wines when the wines are reviewed in a blind fashion.
Jerry loved well aged BV Private Reserve Georges De Latour

User avatar
Rob Hansult
Posts: 691
Joined: January 6th, 2010, 12:18 am
Location: Lawn Gylan, Nu Yawk

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#90 Post by Rob Hansult » January 29th, 2011, 6:23 pm

gene keenan wrote:
Rob Hansult wrote:<snip>
OK, Show of hands: how many of you here actually thought the Wine Spectator was reviewing wines, & not just "supporting" them?

<snip>
For you to say this tells me your not familiar with the way wines are reviewed at Wine Spectator which is always blind. more than you can say for the majority of other "reviewers." Explain to me how they are "supporting" wines when the wines are reviewed in a blind fashion.
Gene,

I'm quite familiar with what they claim is their tasting regime. In fact it's not usually completely blind, but generally a fairly defined category of vino.

It's obvious to me, someone who both enjoys wine, takes it seriously, & tries to be as objective about it as possible when reviewing & describing it, that the Spectator is a complete joke, with many erroneous & inflated "reviews".
The erroneous, inaccurate review is almost more the rule than the exception in fact.
In the early days of my love of wine I DID use them occasionally for info on a wine I was interested in that they'd reviewed. It didn't take long to realize how poorly they performed as wine critics.

Sure, I have disagreements with Parker, Tanzer, & other critics/reviewers, but those are more of an exception than the Spectator.

Those are simply the facts as I see them.

They are quite good at promoting wine, & I'm all for that!

Well . . . except for the fact that they don't seem to have much of a palate between them, & even if they get a score "right", cannot seem to accurately describe what sort of liquid it is they've tasted.

Just my opinion of course, but as a wine professional, I'd be embarrassed to hawk the promo drivel they do & parade it around as serious critical wine journalism.

I'm hoping you're not gullible enough to use their "criticism" as the basis for purchases?
[stirthepothal.gif]

Cheers in any case. [cheers.gif] and can we please get back to bashing Suckling now? neener
Last edited by Rob Hansult on January 31st, 2011, 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ITB - Grower/Winemaker

JBierly
Posts: 445
Joined: April 28th, 2010, 2:19 pm

Re: Scoring based on color: My debate with James Suckling

#91 Post by JBierly » January 29th, 2011, 6:53 pm

gene keenan wrote:
Rob Hansult wrote:<snip>
OK, Show of hands: how many of you here actually thought the Wine Spectator was reviewing wines, & not just "supporting" them?

<snip>
For you to say this tells me your not familiar with the way wines are reviewed at Wine Spectator which is always blind. more than you can say for the majority of other "reviewers." Explain to me how they are "supporting" wines when the wines are reviewed in a blind fashion.
I actually like Spectator - great photos and lots of nice articles relating to a wine lifestyle. But sometimes the advertising seems just a bit too close to the reviews. And I think I am being gentle in my assertion. Nonetheless, their reviews of wines sometimes have some value to me and other times totally worthless.
Jack

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”