We provide ratings for all of our wines. Although it’s simpler to give a single score, we decided to give a number of scores from a selection of wine critics to clearly express any difference or solidarity in opinion. Critics include: Robert Parker, Decanter Magazine, Wine Spectator, Cellar Tracker and Jancis Robinson. This also serves as an aid when you have found that a particular critic's opinion tallied with your own in the past.

The Cardinal’s Rating is given as an easy average of all available scores and is based on the 100 point scoring system. Please see our notes on these systems below.

We hope you will use one of these or your own scoring system to let other customers know your views on the wine you buy from the Cardinal’s Cellar.

The 100 Point Scoring System

The majority of wines available at The Cardinal’s Cellar fall between 89-95 points and offer the best quality to price balance. 

Robert Parker’s Scoring System

Robert Parker created the 100 point scoring system in response to inflated ratings created by wine writers who also sold wine and had a conflict of interest. It has since been adopted by many other critics, writers and websites.

His system ranks wine on a scale from 50 to 100 points based upon the wine's colour and appearance, aroma and bouquet, flavour and finish, and overall quality level or potential.

Parker Points Rating Description
96 - 100 An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. There are few wines that actually make it into this top category because there are few truly great wines.
90 - 95 An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character.  In short, these are very good wines.
80 - 89 An above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavour as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70 - 79 An average wine with little distinction except that it is soundly made.  In essence, this covers straightforward, innocuous wines.
60 - 69 A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavour, or possible dirty aromas or flavours.
50 - 59 A wine deemed to be unacceptable


It is worth noting that Parker commented on his own scoring system “Scores do not reveal the important facts about a wine. The written commentary that accompanies the ratings is a better source of information regarding the wine's style and personality, its relative quality vis-à-vis its peers, and its value and aging potential than any score could ever indicate.

The Wine Spectator Rating System

The Wine Spectator, a commercial wine magazine, has also adopted the 100 point scoring system created by Robert Parker.  It is judged by eight editors, each responsible for a geographical location and who carry out all the tastings for that area.  This maintains a consistency in scoring each area.

Cellar Tracker Scoring System

The Cellar Tracker scoring system also uses the 100 point scoring system.  It is the vote of the people, taking an average of all those who have scored and written notes on any of the wines on the Cellar Tracker website.

20 Point Ratings

Jancis Robinson

Jancis Robinson studied Mathematics at Oxford before becoming a Master of Wine.  She admits that she is not entirely comfortable rating wines with numbers, but sees that there is use in rating systems when buying or selling in a hurry. Jancis likes the five star rating given by Michael Broadbent and Decanter, but feels the 20 point scale allows more precision.

Her ratings are as follows:

J. Robinson Points Rating Description
20 Truly exceptional
19 A humdinger
18 A cut above superior
17 Superior
16 Distinguished
15 Average, a perfectly nice drink with no faults but not much excitement
14 Deadly dull
13 Borderline faulty or unbalanced
12 Faulty or unbalanced


5 Star Ratings

Decanter Rating

Decanter Magazine have tasting panels which are selected to ensure a balance between wine buyers, sommeliers, Masters of Wine and critics, all of whom have expertise in the specific wine or region being tasted.

Decanter panel tastings are judged blind and no price indication is given. Wines are grouped together by region, style and vintage. Each judge tastes and scores the wines (out of 20) individually and is encouraged to reward those wines which are true to their region. Judges’ scores are then grouped into panels of three to ensure a more reliable verdict is reached than a “single palate” score. The panel scores are then averaged out and given a five star rating to create an objective verdict.


Whilst we cite the most recent scores and ratings available, please note that critics’ ratings are likely to change as a wine develops with time. Furthermore, wine rating systems do not offer detailed analysis - they do, however, provide a quick and easy reference to evaluate a wine’s quality. We recommend you purchase wine which is selected on the basis of its tasting notes and descriptions as well as its rating.