Over a period of more then 15 years, the Wein‑Plus Wine Guide has established a reputation for its strict and independent wine reviews. Marcus Hofschuster, our head taster and editor in chief, has a precise view at the wines of the leading wine producers in Europe.
Interesting wines off the beaten mainstream path, wines with an unmistakeable character! Our head taster Marcus Hofschuster personally selects these wines from around 12,000 wines tasted each year: objectively, independently and without any trade interests.
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The wines are graded according to the 100-point system. Here, in accordance with international practice, the effectively usable area begins with 50 WP, and goes up to a maximum of 100 WP. The final score is composed of the following individual elements:
Eye: 5 WP
Nose: 15 WP
Palate: 25 WP
Overall impression and potential: 5 WP
Note: Since today it is possible for every producer, to produce beautifully clear, bright wines through filtering, we consider the visual impression to be of only marginal importance. Therefore, every wine that does not show any serious visual fault will receive the maximum 5 WP possible.
The mean scores point
The Wein-Plus wine guide reflects only wines that have achieved a minimum score of 80 WP. Therefore, the range of 50-79 WP is not considered here. Wines that do not reach a minimum of 80 points are also tasted, assessed and described accurately, and the scores are considered as part of the overall winery classification, but are not published individually.
As mentioned, the 100-point rating system originated in the USA, and is based on the school grading system there, and is now widely used internationally. Today there are different views on how strictly this system should be interpreted. In recent years, one can observe there has been a gradual upward shift in the scores awarded, leading to an unnatural compression at the upper end of the system..
In Wein-Plus, the original, strict version is used, and the range of recommended wines starts with 80 WP. Please bear this grading practice constantly in mind if you use our guide, as this is essential for understanding the ratings.
Good: Clean, generally harmonious, at best typical wines with a certain character. In most cases, already a real pleasure to drink. Entry-level wines that appear in this category may already be considered to be well above average, but where wines from top-quality producers appear in this category, this is an indication of certain faults or weaknesses.
Very good: Remarkable wines with personality, expression and certain complexity and depth that deserve the attention of any discerning wine lover.
Excellent: First-class wines that are among the best of their kind. Absolutely clean aromas, harmony, depth and character must be achieved.
Great: World-class wines that maintain their depth, complexity and expression - an unforgettable sensory experience.
Unique: Wines that could be made differently, but cannot be improved upon.
Each wine is described in detail and given a forecast of the likely best drinking period. This information is not a unique shelf life information, but only provide information about the period during which a wine will likely present itself most advantageously under normal storage conditions. An annual statement always means the expectation that a wine is present at least until the end of the year indicated in good shape. Many wines remain well above the specified date also in good shape, but we do not expect that they'll continue to develop positively. Even with the greatest experience these details always remain estimates. Positive and negative surprises we are experiencing at this point again and again, especially since the development is highly dependent on the respective storage conditions. Ongoing done in our house but a test sample of older wines. The findings from this serve us to be able to do in the future even more precise information.
Particularly strict application of the 100-point scheme
Please note that the star rating system for Wein-Plus is applied in a more differentiated and strict manner than is now common in other international publications, as many colleagues tend increasingly to award ever higher point scores. Here, for example, a comparison of all tested wines from Wein-Plus and the Wine Spectator:
Source: own figures and Wine Specator, Issue January / February 2006
Favourite wines are in a category of their own. This is not all about points, ratings or objectivity, but rather about our very own personal recommendations. Favourite wines are those that we personally like best, wines that taste good in our opinion, wines that we ourselves would buy and drink. In all cases, these are the wines that in our opinion are the best and most interesting wines of their relevant style, category and price level. At the same time, these wines make up the pool from which we select the wines for our tasting parcels, always faithful to our motto: we will only include those wines in the parcel that taste best for us!
Classification of Producer
From the representative wine reviews that scored the long run a winery, gives producers classification. It gives the reader at first glance a reliable information about the quality of the producer concerned. These products range from to .
The classification is based on the long-term experience that has made under the strict conditions that apply to the wine guides the wines of our operation Verkosterteam. Base are thus only the wines that were tasted in Erlanger tasting room blind. These must be submitted by each producer adequately classified wines from recent vintages.
Wineries, of which we have so far not try enough or no wine, or those who have presented to us 2 years no more wines, obtained a preliminary classification (), When we have reason to believe that they deserve with regular employment classification. The establishments thus marked are regularly invited by us to make their wines. The tasting of the wines and admission to the Wine Guide is basically free of charge.
One of the best producers of the region The wines keep constant high level and are usually the best in their respective category in the area. Weaknesses, there is little, but can occur in difficult vintages. However, this must be balanced in good years with particularly compelling assortments so that an operation can hold the status. In most cases, you can blindly buy.
One of the best producers of the country Producer of premium wines, which regularly include even in international comparison among the best of its kind. Mediocre wines are rare, real weaknesses there is hardly ever. Arise even in difficult years here regularly superior qualities.
One of the best producer in the world The wines of these establishments count every year to the absolute best of its kind and is almost unrivaled in the top - and that regardless of vintage variations. But the simpler plants are almost invariably excellent. Weaknesses, there are virtually no, and mediocre wines are as good as never before.
Producers classification is constantly revised in accordance with the submitted and tasted wines. We leave us with gradations in principle a little more time than with ascents.
We already have a lot of customers by Wein-Plus won. Very often our review in Wein-Plus used by customers as a reference."
is the chief taster as well as the editor-in-chief at Wein-Plus.
He first showed his intense interest in wine, and in German wine in particular, as a young man when he had the opportunity to taste some mature Riesling wines from the cellar of a friend, in the late 1980‘s.
In the following two decades, he used extensive travel as well as countless tastings to acquire a profound knowledge of the world of wine.
In his time as a wine merchant in Schwabach and in Nuremberg in Germany he developed the idea of producing a comprehensive wine guide to both German and international wines, an idea he implemented in 1999: he gave up his wine business, and since then has concentrated his efforts exclusively on the Wein-Plus wine guide, which he established and expanded, turning it into a fixture in the field of European wine reviews. With its strict rating system, the through and uncompromising tasting practice and his incorruptibility, Marcus Hofschuster has set new standards for serious tastings dedicated to true wine quality.
was born in Nuremberg, and grew up in Eckental-Eschenau in Central Franconia. She trained as a certified hotel clerk and sommelier, and worked in several hotels and top-class restaurants in Bavaria, including the Vue Maximilian, the Tantris and the Rilano No.6 in Munich. More
was basically born with a love of wine. She is half French, and acquired this delightful subject, well, practically with her mother’s milk, and from there it was but a short journey to her love of wine More
In the wine guide you will find currently 126 904 Wines and 23 654 Producers, including 1 305 classified producers.