The latest edition of Platter’s Wine Guide has just been published, together with its ever-growing list of five-star laureates. While the book is certainly no longer the Spoken Word it used to be many years ago, it continues to be a valuable source of rankings and ratings. It is also as much a perpetrator of score devaluation (or point inflation) as most of the industry’s tasting panels.

With 125 five-star awards this year compared with fewer than 40 a decade ago, it’s impossible to ignore the bracket creep. In 2015 there were 63 wines that met the (admittedly vague) criteria for five stars. Wines scoring four stars and above totalled 1,945 out of 7,300 wines reviewed.

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