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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Dale Williams » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:16 pm

I'm another who was felt the WA comments were a bit below the belt and unneccesary. I haven't tasted any of these '05s yet, but have had other vintages of most, and fully expect I'd really like most of these (and I love the '06 Bone-Jolly, which I think Parker also dissed). That being said, I don't think that differing opinions on any wine "prove" that Parker is "wrong." Taste is subjective.

As to the idea of objective tasting and wine judges, in that case people should just buy all those gold medal winners from various fairs. Yeah, that's the ticket. Uh huh.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by wrcstl » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:27 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Walt, it may seem counter-intuitive, but seriously, wine judges - and any decent wine critic - can and does do exactly this. Judging wine on the basis of competent wine making and the avoidance of flaws is a completely different matter than judging wine on the basis of what you like. It's a fairly well-established craft, and competition scoring systems are designed to render a judgment - and a score - based on wine-making criteria, not hedonistic pleasure. That's the only way I can work the Kentucky State Fair, for instance, and fairly judge hybrids or labrusca.


Robin,
I said you were a better man than me. :)

I think there may an issue of degree that still exists. People say I like RP or I like Janis, or I like Tanzier or (god forbid) I like WS. Why do they like these critics? I suggest it is because they agree more with their palate and give bigger scores to their more favorite wines.

I agree to judge a labrusca you have to have a very open mind and I could not. I can only comment favorably on wines I like and try and describe their attributes. If I ever want a lambrusca I know who to ask.

Walt
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by David M. Bueker » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:29 pm

Well Bob himself just waded in over on his site. He's full of himself as usual.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Redwinger » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:11 pm

David,
After reading that thread as well as throwing a jab or two myself, I somehow could not help recalling a tongue in cheek post over there a few months ago by my friend Mitch Tallan:

I think a bunch of the group regulars should travel to Monkton to film a good-humored, well-intentioned Youtube video. I have a screenplay to propose.
Scene 1; Roberto Rogness, Keith Levenberg, and Lyle Fass are leading a pack of board members on foot wearing peasants clothing and bearing pitchforks, scythes, and other garden implements. The camera pans a few rows back behind the front of the peasant brigade, where a tumbrel is being pulled over long weeds with ominous foreboding (anybody got a lead on tumbrel in good condition?).

Scene 2; An armored brigade of Royal troops is stationed in front of the Monkton palace, on white horseback, and the camera closes in on the easily recognizable faces of Scott Manlin, Jeff Leve, and Mark Squires in General's and Majors (arcane nod to XTC) uniforms. Manlin is smoking a Churchill.

Scene 3; An epic battle ensues. Gleaming silver swords from giant white horses clash from above against makeshift garden weapons and shields held defiantly by the wounded and bleeding hairy arms of the peasants. Horse forlegs buck back in the air and the Royals fall one by one. The camera pans to a grassy knoll in the far distance manned by none other than Jim Cowan who observes (signifying Switzerland, Jim's principles forbid active combat, though his partisanship is plain even to the village idiot).

Scene 4; Newly confident but badly wounded peasants storm the Monkton Palace gates and drag the King from his last refuge, the cellar. He is literally dragging his feet as the peasants Rogness and Fass each have an arm, a look of mortal resignation on his face.

Scene 5; Two raggedy donkeys pull the tumbrel, with cockeyed slowly rolling wheels squeeking and creeking loudly over a rock strewn path toward the village square, where the guillotine awaits, it's sole occupant strewn prone in the back as if already dead. The video closes with a zoom-in on the back of tumbrel-it bears a vanity plate; NO MLYDKR.


Although in this case the vanity plate might read: ESJ "Rocks On"
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by David M. Bueker » Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:37 pm

I cannot say that I disagree with most of the sentiment (in good humor of course) Bill.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Ian Sutton » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:42 pm

Interestingly this has got a bit of debate across the various wine forums...

Robin, you're such a troublemaker :wink:
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Robin Garr » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:26 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Interestingly this has got a bit of debate across the various wine forums...

Robin, you're such a troublemaker :wink:


You know, Ian, it's funny, but <i>The 30 Second Wine Advisor</i> has a substantial circulation (around 40,000 to 45,000 currently), but surprisingly few of them intersect the smallish circle wine-board junkies. Lord knows I try every trick I can come up with to lure more of the readers in here as regulars, but I've pretty much concluded that there are just two kinds of wine geeks - those who like to yak on forums and those who don't.

Anyway, I didn't really write this for forum rangers (other than this Merrie Little Bande, perhaps), but I'm rarely loath to making a little trouble. ;)
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by David M. Bueker » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:31 pm

Robin Garr wrote:Anyway, I didn't really write this for forum rangers (other than this Merrie Little Bande, perhaps), but I'm rarely loath to making a little trouble. ;)


A new member in the pantheon of anti-Parkers: Robin Garr joins with Oz Clarke & Michael "The Dinosaur" Broadbent. :wink:
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:28 pm

Well, I say good for David sticking to his point of view. I have just lurked over there and read through his points. RMP is not going to budge despite the to and fro-ing!
Robin and this forum has garnered some real respect it seems, reading thro` most of the posts.
I would love to comment on ESJ but have never seen a bottle in my life. LOL.
I have just reread Robins TNs, they seem very fair to me. I do not have access to the published notes from Mr Bob.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Graeme Gee » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:14 am

David M. Bueker wrote:I've seen a similar voice only a very few times in the Wine Advocate (Mount Mary & some 2003 Germans (Rovani reviews for the Germans) spring to mind), so it seems very much out of place.


A critic who 'believes his own publicity' has a bit of a problem with wines that slip under his radar, for one reason or another. You can wade into an establishment of some kind taking the emperor has no clothes approach (Parker writing about Bdx in the 70s for example) and get a way with it as a newcomer.
It's much trickier if you're the 'establishment', and large groups of wine geeks find and enthuse over wines you either missed altogether or dismissed earlier. That's clearly the case with Parker and ESJ. California's supposed to be his backyard - people pay him money as the guru - "how come he didn't tell me that I should have bought these wines"?
If the wines in question don't really conform to your ideal, it's much simpler just to write them off as nothing special rather than admit you might have missed the boat.

The Mount Mary situation is slightly different, but another facet of the same phenomenon. Grange and Hill of Grace were established icons by the time Parker got around to writing about Australia. Nearly everything he's acclaimed since has been "his" discovery. Wines known or appreciated by others (locals) get short shrift. So, the wines acclaimed by Australian collectors and critics - Mount Mary, Bass Phillip, Hunter Semillons, Grossets rieslings, Cabernets from Cullen, Moss Wood, shiraz from Rockford, Wendouree, Leeuwin's chardonnay, Coonawarra as a region, and so on, get pretty short shrift from the great guru. If you've got such a great personal following as Parker, there's nothing to gain by jumping on the bandwagon of wines that others have praised before you.

I don't know what Parker / WA have written about NZ, but if they've ever acclaimed any wine, you can bet it won't be the ones that the Kiwi's think are their nations best wines.
(I'd like to be proved wrong on this - looking at an old Parker's Buyers Guide 5th edn 1999? - they suggest the only even vaguely drinkable reds are Felton Rd, Stoneyridge and Te Mata - the NZ versions of Grange / HoG, the rest are written off entirely).

When you have a certain weight in the 'market' (if there is such a thing for critics - and it speaks volumes about consumers that it seems to be the case) you can 'make you own champions' at least for a while. Langtons' classification of Oz wine (based on auction results, and thus some measure of demand) has a few wines whose place is clearly a result of the demand generated by Parker's reviews, but there are plenty of others that he dismisses frequently - Mount Mary the most egregious example, but if he ever gets to taste Wendouree, I reckon it'd get the same treatment. (Although I reckon it's a far more idiosyncratic wine than Mount Mary).

The great irony is that Parker's contemporary preferred style would once have been regarded as iconoclastic in itself - it speaks volumes about the changes he has wrought that the wines he now dismisses are seen as 'outside the mainstream', whereas they would quite likely have met with his approval twenty years ago.

cheers,
Graeme
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Steve Kirsch » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:54 pm

John Tomasso wrote:The Rocks and Gravel is a wine I could drink every night...I also think this wine drinks well right out of the chute - contrary to what another poster opined, though it certainly improves with some bottle age.

The 2005 that we drank this weekend would support your position, John--it was simply lovely. I'm looking to lay in some more because I apparently had a case at one point, but am now down to five or six bottles. Mostly I don't like purchasing quantities of any single wine, given that there are so many wonderful wines I haven't yet tried. But I can buy the 2005 R&G for about $15 locally, which is just a few dollars above my everyday wine price.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:16 pm

Oh my gosh...it's back from the dead!!

I'll have to open some ESJ for my tasting group because of this.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Redwinger » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:27 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Oh my gosh...it's back from the dead!!

I'll have to open some ESJ for my tasting group because of this.


David,

Just a suggestion. Let the '05 Bassetti slumber.

Bill
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:33 pm

No plans to open 2005 of anything. I do have some 2001s around though (California Syrah, Rocks & Gravel and Los Robles Viejos). I am tempted to open 2 of the 3 if I can find them in the disaster that is my cellar.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Steve Edmunds » Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:08 pm

Global warming at work! The ice of ages melts, and you find all kinds of stuff lurking underneath! Reminds me of the guy they found in Bolzano a few years back, up in the Alps, after 5,000 years.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Sam Platt » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:25 pm

I've enjoyed each of the ESJ wines that I have tasted. I can sum it up best by saying that they are uniformly unpretentious, interesting expressions of the grapes that they are made from. The price points make the ESJ wines a "must have" in my opinion. Though I do hate to buck Bob. :)
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Robert Reynolds » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:15 am

I certainly enjoyed the one ESJ wine I've had the honor of drinking - the 2006 Bone Jolly! If I ever make it out to the left coast, I'll need to drive the truck to haul back a few cases.
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Steve Edmunds » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:35 am

Ready whenever you are, Robert! (Though the current vintage is '07, and it's so yummy The Slanted Door is pouring it by the glass!)
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Robert Reynolds » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:40 am

I'd be there next week, Steve, but it's quite the long haul from Tulsa, and in tax season to boot!
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Re: WTN/Wine Advisor: Parker swings, misses (ESJ's 2005 lineup)

by Steve Edmunds » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:40 am

No hurry! Should be good for the next 3-5 years!
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