In general, we will be following a loose rendition of the CMS-style tasting grid. You will not be prompted, but you should be prepared to full evaluate the wine’s aromatics and palate, as well as its structure on an absolute (i.e. low-high) scale. Sweetness or dryness, body, acidity, wood usage, wine-making queues (i.e. malolactic fermentation, lees stirring, volatile acidity, brettanomyces, botrytis, etc.), tannins or phenolic bitterness, alcohol will all be worth points. Overall balance and complexity should also be evaluated as well.
We can’t give any points for anything you don’t write down, however, at the same time if you include an enormous quality of notes for a single wine, we can’t give credit for a “shotgun” approach either. Giving a complete, but concise tasting note which includes all the salient details of your deductive reasoning is most important. “Showing your work” is most crucial. In addition, we’ll be looking for you to include service temperatures, suggested glassware, and a potential pairing as well.”