Years ago, on a crusade to sell his family’s wine, Christophe Hedges brought a laminated sheet of Hedges’ wine scores to a meeting with a chef in Manhattan. Upon seeing it, the chef became enraged and asked Christophe to leave the restaurant. Stunned, Christophe realized that he had, albeit unwittingly, told the chef that he was unfit to choose wines for his own restaurant. That day marks the birth of ScorREVOLuTion.
There exists an acknowledged relationship between the global influence of wine critics’ numerical wine ratings and the lessening of terroir’s effect on a finished wine’s aromas and flavors; the “sense of place” which differentiates one wine from another is eliminated, or dramatically reduced. Winemakers whose families have been making wine since the Gauls have been forced to chase scores and put aside their desire to make origin–specific wines.
While Hedges Family Estate considers wine critics the lifeblood of the wine industry, we urge them to let their words speak for themselves. We urge them not to undermine their own eloquence with the base and elementary 100–point system. How can you apply a number to any art form? Quantifying a subjective experience is simply not logical. Let us allow winemakers to practice their art with the freedom to let their land speak, allow consumers to make their own decisions and exercise their palates, and allow wine critics to practice their craft and let their words speak for themselves.
We acknowledge the power of scores. Before our epiphany, high scores exposed Hedges to many new wine drinkers and helped build the reputation we have today. It was a difficult decision to stop submitting our wines for scoring years ago. It was one that could have broken a winery at the time, but we believed in our conviction.
ScoREVOLuTion’s sole objective is to eliminate wine scores and does not intend to undermine the importance of wine writers. The wine world is vast and complex, and we all benefit from the expertise of those who have dedicated their lives to its study. Understanding how a wine fits into the context of its geography, culture, and history is crucial, and the wine media, along with others in the trade, are experts on the nuances of a grape, a wine, or a region. The knowledge they have to impart is priceless. However, the final decision—the judgment call—is personal, and belongs to the individual wine drinker alone. Books, magazines, news articles, documentaries, blogs, websites, sommeliers, wine store professionals, tasting room employees etc… are all good resources to help you discover the world of wine. Embark on the adventure, trust your own palate, and be part of the movement.