RECENT FEATURES




Spade Oak Methode Blanc de Blancs NV and Tempranillo Rosé 2017
Gate 20 Two Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Waitapu Estate ‘Reef View’ Northland Pinotage 2016 and 2015
The Crossings 2017 Sauvignon and Pinot Gris, and 2016 Gruner and Pinot Noir
Whistling Buoy 2016 ‘Kokolo’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and ‘Half Acre’ Pinot Noir
Rossendale 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir
The Luminary 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Gate 20 Two Central Otago 2016 Pinot Gris and 2014 Pinot Noir
Clearview 2017 Blush, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and 2016 Merlot
Urbn Vino Dunedin ‘Reserve’ 2016 Pinot Noir
American and Australian Imports by Procure
Obsidian ‘Estate’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017
Pinot Noir Naturel by Fromm 2017
Te Mania Nelson Riesling 2016 – A Re-Look
The Luminary 2017 Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir
Maori Point Central Otago 2017 Pinot Gris and Riesling
No. 1 Family Estate Rosé and No. 1 Reserve Methodes
Domaine Rewa Central Otago Chardonnay 2016
Spade Oak ‘Voysey’ Le Champ and 2017 Chardonnay, and 2016 ‘HOG’ St Laurent and Tempranillo, and 2016 ‘The Prospect’ Chardonnay
Locharburn 2017 Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc
Saint Clair ‘Wairau Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Clos Henri, Bel Echo and Petit Clos Releases, and New Methode and Late Harvest Wines
Charles Smith Washington State 2015 Riesling, Chardonnay and Syrah
Theory & Practice and Craft Farm Aromatic Wines, 2017, 2016 and 2015
// View More Featured Reviews

How Wines are Reviewed




 Wines Reviewed ‘Open'

Wines are generally reviewed by Raymond Chan with their identity known or ‘open', rather than ‘blind', where the name of the wine is hidden. Often, the wines can be reviewed ‘single-blind', where the category of a group of wines tasted is known, but the identities of the wines within a group are not known.

It is generally accepted that there are both positive and negative aspects to tasting wines for review either ‘open' or ‘blind', and authoritative reviewers use both. Tasting wines with the identity known allows for the background of the wine, such as the production methods of viticulture and vinification, region and ‘terroir' to be taken into account. It also allows the personalities, philosophies, culture and aspirations behind the wine become part of the assessment process, allowing the reviewer to gauge the progress and success of the producer and the wine made in a holistic perspective that ‘blind' tasting does not allow. The ‘open' tasting approach can allow a more useful review and assessment to be made for the wine consumer. As part of the ‘open' tasting approach, information and views will be sought from the producer, in the form of tasting notes and technical data, as well as commentary by other tasters and critics, who may be involved in the tasting and assessment process. However, the review will be the written opinion and assessment of Raymond Chan in the final analysis.

Consumer Friendly Approach

As a wine show judge, a wine retailer and wine writer for over two decades, Raymond approaches wine from a consumers' point of view, looking for the positive features and attributes that provide enjoyment, rather than seeking out technical winemaking faults. Any technical wine faults or imbalances detected will be assessed in the context of a wine as a total expression. This consumer-friendly approach will be manifest in the style of the wine reviews, the descriptions and assessments meaningful for the wine drinker in a practical and easily understandable way for everyday life. They will be on "the bright side” of life!

Wine Ratings

Wines reviewed will be assessed and rated numerically as well as descriptively. The systems employed will be the Star rating system for a general overview and the 20 point scale for a more detailed judgement. Star rating, with a 5 Star maximum is generally the most easily understood and visual of methods conveying quality assessment. The 20 point scale has been the universal rating system in wine judging competitions, though this is changing. The reviews will use half-points and (+) or (-) to provide further differentiation. The 100 point system is very popular in the U.S. and provides even finer distinctions of quality assessment, but it is generally agreed that a 1% distinction in wine quality assessment is near impossible for most people to appreciate. The medal awards from wine judging competitions are extremely useful for consumers and very easy to understand. It is important to realise that all medal-awarded wines are of good to outstanding quality. A bronze medal denotes better than average or ordinary quality. The table below shows how the various rating systems can be compared. Raymond's ratings will be made with a positive and healthy outlook. Only wines with a , 15.5/20 or bronze medal rating and above will have reviews published.

Star Rating

20 Point Scale

100 Point Scale

Medal Award

Description
 
 
20.0 – 18.5
 
93 – 100
 
Gold
Perfect
to
Outstanding
 
 
18.4 – 17.0
 
85 – 92
 
Silver
Excellent
to
Very Good
 
 
16.9 – 15.5
 
78 – 84
 
Bronze
Good
to
Typical
 
 
15.4 – 14.0
 
70 – 77
 
Commercial
Acceptable
to
Ordinary
 
 
13.9 – 12.5
 
63 – 69
Dull
to
Drinkable
 
12.4 – 11.0
 
55 – 62
Unpleasant
to
Faulty
 
10.9 – 9.5
 
48 – 54
Undrinkable
to
D.N.P.I.M.*
* Do Not Put In Mouth
 
 

The ‘Winery of the Year' Award

The ‘Winery of the Year' award is presented to the producer who has submitted the best selection of wines in the year to the end of November for ‘Feature Reviews'. (I exclude wineries that are distributed by ‘Wine2Trade', the company that Raymond Chan Wine Reviews operates under.) The award winner will be announced early December each year, and a commemorative engraved plaque sent to the nominated wine producer. Wines submitted in December will qualify for the award in the following year.

The criteria for the award are based on the qualities and significance of the wines in terms of excellence as seen in my descriptions and ratings, as well has how the wines have appealed to me on a subjective and hedonistic level as a wine enthusiast and consumer. In addition, the award takes into account innovation and style, and the progress the producer has made in making fine New Zealand wine, as well as the setting of standards for this country's industry. Taking these factors into account, I presume that readers who follow Raymond Chan Wine Reviews will find great enjoyment in the wines made by the ‘Winery of the Year' too.

Click on the year for the award winners: 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 
 
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