Jasper Morris Inside Burgundy uses a combination of the following two scales to help distinguish a truly successful wine.

 

The 100 Point Scale

Most international publications have taken to this scale. It is much more useful in Bordeaux or for other regions where a producer offers a single wine, but less well in Burgundy or wherever a producer has a wide range of wines which tend broadly to follow a hierarchical pattern – in our case generic Bourgogne, village, lieu-dit, premier cru, grand cru.

There will be occasions when a Bourgogne Rouge stands out as a more successful wine than the same producer’s village wine but this doesn’t happen often. So we need some way to flag up wines which are really fine examples of their category. So step forward… The Five Star Scale

 

The Five Star Scale

An outstanding wine in its category. This accolade will be given very rarely, certainly to less than 10% of wines tasted across the year. A generic Bourgogne might deserve this reward if it merits 89 or 90 points whereas a Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles would need 96 for the same result.

An excellent wine in its category and given the ‘unicorn’ status of the fifth star, any producer receiving 4 stars for a wine should be extremely proud of their achievement.

A wine that meets or exceeds expectations: the producer has done very well in this vintage. These wines are recommended for purchase if they fall within your style and pricing brackets.

Two stars may seem ungenerous, but nonetheless this wine fulfils what the appellation or vineyard should be able to offer. While the little bit extra may not be readily evident, this is still a well-made wine.

A little bit disappointing compared to expectations. We hope that there will not be too many wines in this category, given that most wines tasted come from producers pre-selected for their quality.

Some wines may not gain a star of any sort though these will normally be suffering from a specific fault.

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