When Robert Parker can’t get his facts (or his ethical guidelines) straight

I was appalled and incensed, Friday evening, when I read a post by Robert Parker himself on the eRobertParker forum. I don’t often agree with Mr Parker’s taste, but I do have respect for what he’s accomplished and for the energy he’s put into advocating wine.

I’ve lost a lot of that respect, now, after an attack he has made on wine bloggers and on the Wine Bloggers Conference and those who organized it. And it’s not a question of opinion. Even as he accuses wine bloggers of spreading falsehoods, Mr Parker has evidently not even bothered to check any facts on what he states in his forum post.

Let me quote him. (more…)

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Got your nose insurance?

Château de la Garde owner Ilja Gort won’t take any chances with his wines and the nose that helps him put them together. He just got his nose insured for 5 million euros (about 8 million dollars, US or CDN). He says he got worried after reading a story about a man who had lost his sense of smell after a car accident.

If you ask me, I think he also saw how much media attention the story about the smell-less man got, and figured he could get a lot of visibility from that move. Which can probably help him pay his premiums.

Needless to say, the story quickly made the rounds of just about every newspaper from Albany, NY to India,  every wine blog and media web site.

The one who must be feeling bad about all this is Robert Paker, whose nose is insured for a paltry one million dollars. I’m just wondering if he’ll be calling  his insurance company to have the policy reviewed… I’m also wondering what Château de la Garde’s Parker scores are. I mean, for eight million, you should be making 90s at least, right?

Pulling back just a touch – take two

The LA Times story about Adam Tolmach, from Ojai Vineyards, saying that he would reduce the alcohol content in his wines to move away from the world of Parkerized wines, which I had mentioned in my previous post, has been gathering a fair bit of steam. The original story was picked up by many on the blogosphere and in the media, including Decanter and The Telegraph in the United Kingdom, often with a sort of glee from people who obviously think that the higher-alcohol trend is just plain wrong.

Yet the shocker comes from Eric Asimov, of the New York Times, who found the characterization of Ojai vineyards’ wines as “over the top” rather strange, since he (and others, like Allen Meadows of Burghound, who is a harsh critic of high-alcohol wines) tends to find Tolmach’s wines rather balanced and elegant. Asimov called Tolmach, who told him he was misquoted, and that his reference to his own, over the top wines pointed to a particular series of pinots he produced from 1992 to 2001.

Still, even though he disagrees with the particulars of the article (more…)