RatingsWine lovers and writers often debate the validity and usefulness of wine scores. I think they have their place, when taken as a part of a complete review that includes tasting notes and background information.

But then I finally thumbed through the February issue of Wine Spectator and came upon some disturbing scores.

It’s not often that I see many New York wines listed, even in the back. But this was their "ratings roundup" so there were quite a few. Some scary numbers:

Yellow Tail 2003 Reserve Shiraz: 88

Bedell Cellars 2001 Reserve Merlot: 87
Wolffer Estate Vineyards 2001 Estate Selection Merlot: 86

Shinn Estate Vineyards 2002 Young Vines Merlot: 84

Lieb Family Cellars 2001 Merlot Reserve: 78

Now I’m the first to remind people that a wine score/rating is no more than one person’s opinion. But for all four of these wines to be rated lower than anything made by Yellow Tail is simply mind-boggling. Of course it also clearly illustrates the current love affair publications like WS have with jammy, "fruit bomb" wines.

Come to Long Island and taste some refined, nuanced…balanced wines. Just say no to Yellow Tail.