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Decanter relaunches Buying Guide to include 100-point scale

Decanter is to re-launch its Buying Guide section in a move which will see, for the first time, the magazine including the 100-point scale.

The new-look Buying Guide appears in the next issue of Decanter magazine, out on July 4.

There are a number of key improvements in the way Decanter goes about its panel tastings. The first of these is the size of panel: from now on each panel will comprise just three tasters, each selected for their in-depth knowledge and expertise of the region being judged.

The panel members for the Brunello di Montalcino 2007 tasting in this month’s issue, for example, are Richard Baudains, Jane Hunt MW and Rosemary George MW, all of whom are Decanter World Wine Awards co-chairs for Italy, and who have an unrivalled knowledge of Italian wine.

A maximum of 85 wines will be tasted per day to avoid palate fatigue, and wines continue to be tasted in flights of 8-10 wines, after which judges will discuss any wines on which their scores are markedly apart, and, if necessary, re-taste and re-score.

The aim, says editor Guy Woodward, is to give tasters with particularly strong views on a wine – both positive and negative – the chance to put their case, allowing individual voices to he heard, rather than emerging with a slew of ‘middling’ scores.

In order to make tastings as transparent as possible, as well as the overall Decanter score, each panellists’ individual notes and scores will be published across both magazine and website, ‘allowing you to track the verdicts of individual tasters should you find your palate aligns with one in particular,’ Woodward says.

Wines continue to be tasted blind in Decanter’s state-of-the-art tasting facilities on the tenth floor of the Blue Fin Building on the south bank of the Thames.

Perhaps the most significant new feature is the adoption of the 100-point score, to run alongside Decanter’s 20-point score, while the old five-star system has been dropped.

Introducing the 100-point system is essential as Decanter is now a global magazine with more than half its readership outside the UK, Woodward says in this month’s editorial. Readers can now ‘use whichever [scoring system] they are more familiar with’.

Other important changes are detailed in this month’s magazine and at decanter.com/buyingguide.

Written by Decanter.com staff

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