Is Parker doing any good for the wine industry and the consumers?
July 14, 2008
I don't think he is. A part from the rumours about his never tasted but still highly rated wines according to his former colleague which could be a way from the former colleague to get a bit of attention and eventually make some money, what is Parker doing is making all wine makers to make wine the way he likes them and this is causing all wine converging to the same point, sorry points, the most sought 90+. A symptom of this conversion is the so called scandal of the Brunello di Montalcino which should be, by law, made by only Sangiovese Grosso but in reality, it was recently discovered is not. It had small percentages of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that were added simply to make the wine more round, soft and more ready to drink, exactly as Parker likes it. I recently went to a tasting of Tuscan wines in Italy and I was very disappointed of finding Tuscan wines such as Chianti and Nobile di Montepulciano, wines made with Sangiovese, smoother and rounder as they have never been Whilst the Brunello by law can only be made by Sangiovese grosso, for these other wines the law allows small percentages of other grapes, and I could taste them more than ever. The downside of it was that, at least for me, what made these wines unique, had gone. I think this is a shame and I damaging the industry and us, wine lovers that enjoy a glass of wine and love tasting and discovering new and unique wines. What I don't understand is why someone can tell us what to drink and also make the price jump to the sky simply because he has rated the wine 90+ and we are all happy to pay this premium even though, 99% of the times, we don't understand the wine, we possibly don't like it but tell everyone that we tasted a wine highly rated by Parker and it was good. Is that because we all want to appear wine experts and are afraid of what we think? I only had the opportunity to taste once two wines highly rated by Parker, I mean that in only one occasion, in a wine fair there was someone selling highly rated wines and I tasted two, I think one was 92 points and the other had a similar rating. For both wines I was, together with the seller, very disappointed but what the seller told me is that people were buying those wines simply because Parker had highly rated them. Obviously, there are also a lot of wines rated by Parker which are good, but what I don't like is that producers, especially in the old world, which has such a variety and differences in style, producers have started making wines to please him forgetting that wine was drunk thousands years before Parker and will be still drunk when Parker will stop writing about wine.
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