Keeping (sighted) Platter Panelists Honest
15 May 2012 by Jonathan Snashall, Hunter Gatherer Vintner
One of the loudest criticisms levelled at Platter's is that - until they
are nominated for 5 stars - only one (sighted) panelist assesses and
rates a particular wine. This is how Editor Philip van Zyl keeps
1. Calibration Wines: Each year 5 categories of wine - entry level unwooded white, premium level unwooded white, premium wooded white, entry level red and premium red – are tasted double-blind and rated by the panel of tasters. The scores are collated and, prior to the commencement of the tasting cycle, each panelist is sent a sufficient stock of the panel-rated wines as reference.
2. Wines making their debut in the guide or returning after an absence are tasted by a panel in the first year of entry or return.
3. Should a panelist rate a wine one or more stars lower or higher than the previous year, the opinion of at least one other member of the team is sought. It’s worth bearing in mind that vintage variations are less pronounced in the Cape’s climate than much of the old world.
4. A programme of double-blind corroboration tastings runs alongside the sighted tastings. For example, random samples with known scores are sent to panelists to score.
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