Questionable use of wine reviews

The order of ranking on The Real Review for the 2016 shirazes is highly volatile at present, as these wines are still being released and still being tasted. (Photo: Videoblocks website)

The recent use of my review for the amazing AUD $20 Epsilon 2016 Shiraz, by online retailer My Wine Guy, is questionable in several ways.

It gives me a good excuse to explain a few things about how The Real Review works.

However, I do agree with My Wine Guy on one thing: the 2016 Epsilon Shiraz is a terrific bargain.

My Wine Guy’s emailed promotion for this wine states that the Epsilon wine was my “absolute number one ranked shiraz from the Barossa Valley in 2016”, which isn’t true. The wine has appeared third on The Real Review list since April, not first.

The Epsilon rated 95 points, but there are two wines rated above it: Chateau Tanunda Ebenezer and Hayes Family Reserve. Both scored 96 points.

Moreover, there are currently six other 2016 vintage Barossa shirazes on The Real Review which have the same score as the Epsilon: 95 points. The only reason the Epsilon currently appears first among the 95-pointers is that it’s the cheapest of them. We list wines of equal rating in ascending price order, the next in line being Seppeltsfield at AUD $25.

The order of ranking on The Real Review for the 2016 shirazes is highly volatile at present, as these wines are still being released and still being tasted. When the Epsilon was reviewed (January 30) it was one of the first 2016 Barossa shirazes I reviewed. If it was number one then, it wasn’t quite as stunning an achievement as it might be months later, after more of the top wines of that vintage have been released and rated.

I’ve just finished tasting nearly 200 shirazes, the majority of which are 2016 vintage, so the line-up is certain to change when these reviews have been posted in the coming days.

My Wine Guy’s sales pitch mentioned six other top Barossa producers, saying they are ‘also-rans’, according to me. But I have never described them as also-rans: these are their words.

Finally, the ad refers to me as “our man, Huon Hooke”, when I am most certainly not their man!

However, I do agree with My Wine Guy on one thing: the 2016 Epsilon Shiraz is a terrific bargain.

2 thoughts on “Questionable use of wine reviews”

  1. Gillman Ken says:

    Aren’t they basically a supermarket? Woles or Coolworths or whatever?
    Doesn’t anyone who buys their wine from a supermarket deserve what they get? Or at least, know what to expect?

    1. Nigel says:

      Nah, a subsidiary of Cracka Wines…

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