About and scoring method


Grape Observer is an independent wine journal. It is written by Sean Mitchell DipWSET who on matters of wine is a Wine and Spirits Education Trust certified wine educator and examiner, WSET diploma holder, WSET advanced certificate in wine and spirits holder and a past recipient of international and Australian wine scholarships from Bibendum PLB and Wine Communicators of Australia.


In addition to descriptions of wine, it is useful to offer a rating for consistency. The following rating scale is used:

Outstanding (★★★★★, 95-100) wines sit on top of the quality hierarchy. This may be due to the length on the finish, complexity of expression, intensity of fruit, resounding typicity and harmonious balance.

Very Good (★★★★, 90-94) wines have special attributes. This may include long length, complexity, intensity of fruit, typicity or balance.

Good (★★★, 85-89) wines are of interest and show typicity and balance.

Acceptable (★★, 80-84) wines are sound, everyday and unremarkable wines that are fault free.

Basic (★, 51-79) wines are modest wines in all respects.

Faulty wines are not normally reviewed. Faults encountered include cork taint, brettanomyces, excessive volatile acidity and unintended oxidation.

Trade submissions

Trade submissions are accepted. The terms and conditions set out under “Fine Print” apply. Contact details are below.


Sean Mitchell, Grape Observer
PO Box 3082, Dendy Vic 3186 Australia

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