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One of the biggest differences from other judging panels is that Wine Access does not taste blind.
With each wine, they can see the label, and according to Deller, it’s with good reason.
For example, if you know that a certain producer tends to use whole cluster ferment, then you’ll be more understanding of certain elements in the wine.”The same, he said, goes for a natural wine producer.
The wine may have unusual characteristics that in a blind tasting, would be viewed negatively.
The sighted method essentially gives all wines a fair trial.
Wine Access judges each wine on a 100-point scale, and only wines that receive 90 points and above make the cut.
Sensory science it basically science, but using the palate,” Deller said.
Value is also of the utmost importance, so factored into that score is the wine’s ability to overdeliver at its price.
This means the wine needs to be viewed exceptional at any price, whether it’s or 0. After initial observations and scoring, the next big step is profiling, which is where sensory science comes in.
To say the scene was intimidating, would be a giant understatement.
Founded in 1998, Wine Access was brought under new ownership two years ago and underwent a total rebrand, plus a cross-country move in 2017.
Instead of judging the wines based on their personal taste preferences, the expert judges score based on facts, like a wine’s concentration, complexity, balance, texture and length, to determine if it’s worthy of being offered to Wine Access buyers.