Photo: Painted Rock tasting room
At a recent London tasting of
wines, the eminent British wine writer Jancis Robinson awarded 17 points to the
2013 Painted Rock Chardonnay.
I am assuming she is scoring on a 20 point scale, in which
case 17 points is a respectable score.
You could try converting it to the 100 point scale by
multiplying by five. In my view, that is never a satisfactory conversion. A
score of 85 is an unenthusiastic rating from critics using the 100 point scale.
The explanation is that the 100 point scale effectively is
also a 20 point scale, with most scores clustered between 88 and 92. The only
judges to award less than 80 points when using that scale tend to be judges
from the ranks of amateur winemaking. Those judges usually have a broader range
of quality to account for.
There are 75 point commercial wines, of course, but most
critics simply ignore them. Commercial wineries are expected to do better than
that, and usually do.
Having digressed on wine scoring, I wonder how many points
Ms. Robinson would award to the 2014 Chardonnay from Painted Rock. It is a
spectacular wine that could inspire a new catch phrase: Nothing but Chardonnay.
The wine, bottled six weeks ago, is just being released in the winery’s Okanagan
The winery puts considerable effort into making this wine.
“Our 2014 Chardonnay is a blend of three micro-harvests from
our single estate Chardonnay block,” the winery explains on its website. “Over seven
days we conducted these harvests to capture specific attributes in the fruit. Eighty
per cent was aged 5 ½ months French oak, ½ new and ½ second fill barrels. The
last harvest of 20% was aged in stainless steel and underwent malolactic
fermentation. This process enabled us to embrace the beautiful bright acidity
while building mouthfeel, complexity and aromatics with the final pick.”
Here is my note on the wine.
Chardonnay 2014 ($30.35). The wine has glorious aromas and flavours of
tropical fruit, including peach, mango and passion fruit. The bright acidity
accentuates the refreshing clarity of this fruit-focussed wine. The oak forms a
subtle backdrop and supports the lush texture that emerges as the wine warms in
the glass. The finish lingers and lingers. 93.