Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

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craig v
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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#1 Post by craig v » July 9th, 2017, 8:28 am

Personally, I've come to rely more on the overall range of, up to date, CT notes on a wine for the past 5 years and haven't even subscribed to the likes of Burghound for over 5 years. And, my cellar, is burgundy dominated at 47%. One reason is that the TNs notes on producers I already trust really don't effect my buying habits. The TNs and scores are fun antidote but really don't guide me. For one thing, they're written prior to or soon after release and I'm not likely to drink many in that time frame anyhow. I care more about how the wine is currently drinking as recorded by my fellow CT note takers.

Then there are producers like; Rousseau, Mugnier, Chevillon, Thivin, Billaud Simon and several others who produce reliably great wines vintage in vintage out except maybe in a terrible red burg vintage like '04. Then the only question is can I still afford the producer who may have gained to much cache in the last year or 3 like a Rousseau. Last night I had an 06 Chevillon Les Roncières that drank fantastic. I checked CT for any current drinking notes and it sounded like it was good to go at a solid 10+ years of btl age. Don't know what the critics originally thought of the wine as I bought it down the line of a shelf and what the critics think of Chevillon really doesn't matter as the wines seem to always out preform the scores and my expectations unless flawed.
c vanderah

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#2 Post by David Cooper » July 9th, 2017, 8:50 am

One that I can think of is Daniel Dampt. I have never seen his wines reviewed.

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#3 Post by mike pobega » July 9th, 2017, 8:54 am

Anything Mike Smith, Ed Kurtzman, Brian Loring or Thomas Brown.

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#4 Post by Gerhard P. » July 9th, 2017, 8:55 am

Usually for producers I´m visiting regularily TN are of no relevance whatsoever ... I simply trust my own palate and nose ...

CT is kind of a problem .... many different tastes, opinions, preferences, experiences, knowledges etc. melted together ... most of them totally unknown to me .... just take a look HERE on the board - how different opinions actually are ... following these TN I would have bought a lot of wines I dislike ... or NOT bought many wines I love ... flirtysmile

... AND moreover the mean figure of many ratings doesn´t really tell anything ... the individuality, the unique character of a specific wine gets lost completely when calculating the rating of a group (known or by accident ...)

I read several publications of critics, I might take them into account - or not at all ... but always find my own opinion among them ...

I have some well-educated friends ... I know their tastes ... so their opinion has some value to me ...
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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#5 Post by craig v » July 9th, 2017, 9:19 am

I think, with some due diligence, you can determine with some degree of reliability, which CT note writers to trust. Before taking only one or 2 taster's notes into consideration Ill look at; what % of their cellar is dedicated to traditional vs modern wines, how large is their cellar, how much of it Burgundy ( if I'm looking at a burgundy) and of course the actual tasting note tells quite a bit. I don't put any stock in someone just posting a score without a note unless they have a large cellar full of that particular wine or wines made in the same style. Then, I only pay some attention to their score. I'm bummed when people only post a score as that tells you very little. I'd rather have no score and a note that sounds reliable instead. For example, for me, a person with a 1000 plus btls and 80% of it Cali Cab opinion on a traditionally burgundy will be taken with a grain of salt. His note might be spot on but I won't rely on it based on what his cellar mix is telling us about his sweet spot. I also think any note more than two years old is relatively old news. In 2017 I'm not trusting many notes older than mid 2016 and really preferring stuff from this year. Again from someone with a palate indicating a love of traditionally styled wines in my case. And if they seem to love and understand a certain region, all the better.
Gerhard P. wrote:Usually for producers I´m visiting regularily TN are of no relevance whatsoever ... I simply trust my own palate and nose ...

CT is kind of a problem .... many different tastes, opinions, preferences, experiences, knowledges etc. melted together ... most of them totally unknown to me .... just take a look HERE on the board - how different opinions actually are ... following these TN I would have bought a lot of wines I dislike ... or NOT bought many wines I love ... flirtysmile

... AND moreover the mean figure of many ratings doesn´t really tell anything ... the individuality, the unique character of a specific wine gets lost completely when calculating the rating of a group (known or by accident ...)

I read several publications of critics, I might take them into account - or not at all ... but always find my own opinion among them ...

I have some well-educated friends ... I know their tastes ... so their opinion has some value to me ...
c vanderah

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#6 Post by john stimson » July 9th, 2017, 9:57 am

Dauvissat
d'Angerville
Lafarge
Chevillon
Bize
Pavelot
Cappellano
Vajra
Produttori

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#7 Post by craig v » July 9th, 2017, 10:11 am

Love Dauvissat but its gotten expensive. I love Vajra which remains an outstanding value to boot. Produttori on my list too,

john stimson wrote:Dauvissat
d'Angerville
Lafarge
Chevillon
Bize
Pavelot
Cappellano
Vajra
Produttori
c vanderah

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#8 Post by GregT » July 9th, 2017, 10:12 am

Craig - you way may be effective for you but for me it's way too much work invested into the tastes of other people. It's been many years since I bought a wine based on the review of any critic. For producers I know, I figure I know them as well as any critic at the moment. For those I don't know, I want to find out for myself, as a large part of the enjoyment of wine is learning and exploring. Having tried everyone on the list above, it's not a review that's going to make me buy or not.
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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#9 Post by Ian Sutton » July 9th, 2017, 10:22 am

I suppose I paid more attention to critics ~ 15 years ago, where I'd buy the annual books by leading Aussie and NZ critics (my main interest back then). Never chasing the high pointers, but back then a little too easily led to thinking that a high score equated to a wine I should like.

These days I don't mind reading opinions, be they critics, forumites or CT users, but they are just opinions.

I think everyone develops some favourites over time, wines where the critics' opinions are of no relevance whatsoever. Some examples where we'd buy pretty much irrespective of other opinions:
Producers
- Chateau Fuisse
- Ch. Musar
- Foradori
- Antoniolo
- Lopez L de Heredia
- Bests
- Drei Dona
- San Patrignano
- Burlotto
- F Pinon

Wines
- Ch. Lamartine Cahors
- Wynns Coonawarra Black label Cabernet Sauvignon
- Hauner Hiera
- Te Mata Elston
- Selvapiana Bucerchiale Chianti
- Schiavenza SV Barolo
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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#10 Post by craig v » July 9th, 2017, 10:26 am

I think we agree. My use of CT is not so much for buying a new release wine but rather to decide when to open wines. Although, i may make a buying decision on buying an older wine from the 90s or older based on how well it was reviewed recently on CT. I'm pretty analytical so I don't mind digging through some CT data though :).
GregT wrote:Craig - you way may be effective for you but for me it's way too much work invested into the tastes of other people. It's been many years since I bought a wine based on the review of any critic. For producers I know, I figure I know them as well as any critic at the moment. For those I don't know, I want to find out for myself, as a large part of the enjoyment of wine is learning and exploring. Having tried everyone on the list above, it's not a review that's going to make me buy or not.
c vanderah

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#11 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 9th, 2017, 10:51 am

These wines I go geek on, I do not look at all at critic's ratings and some are not even covered with any regularity. I generally will only pay attention to vintage, but even then, some of these distinct producers still produce quality and interesting wines in tough vintages. I tend to like variances in vintages.

Some of these producers are:

Gonon
Levet
Roilette
Thivin
Ridge
Juge
Sociando
Baudry
Plouzeau
Jamet
Raffault
Joguet
Breton

I will admit to still looking at reviews on Bordeaux, especially while in futures.

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#12 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 9th, 2017, 11:13 am

Essentially any producer I already know well. Too long a list to type.
David Bueker - Rieslingfan

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#13 Post by KatrinaBI » July 9th, 2017, 11:19 am

Somewhat tangential to the topic--though worth saying even if a truism-- critics' scores matter regardless of whether one pays attention at least w/respect to price.

Currently extremely ticked off that Burlotto Monvigliero (which I buy year in and year out regardless) has essentially tripled in price for the 13 vintage b/c of Galloni's 100 point score.

So, no Monvig for me in the current vintage thanks to the critics' scores that unfortunately matter despite the fact that I ignore them.

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#14 Post by craig v » July 9th, 2017, 12:09 pm

Totally agree, very sad what the score does to demand. I've had to essentially stop buying; Rousseau, Dauvissat, Mugnier, Roumier, D Angerville and many other red and whites Burgs. Plus the supply on some wines like the Burlotto Monvigliero is so small that a great rating really amplifies the price pressure. You wouldn't think a huge score would effect BDX so much as Burgundy or Piedmont with its much much larger production numbers but it does just because there are even more buyers for BDX.
KatrinaBI wrote:Somewhat tangential to the topic--though worth saying even if a truism-- critics' scores matter regardless of whether one pays attention at least w/respect to price.

Currently extremely ticked off that Burlotto Monvigliero (which I buy year in and year out regardless) has essentially tripled in price for the 13 vintage b/c of Galloni's 100 point score.

So, no Monvig for me in the current vintage thanks to the critics' scores that unfortunately matter despite the fact that I ignore them.
c vanderah

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#15 Post by Markus S » July 9th, 2017, 1:08 pm

I think it's disingenuous to say that "scores/reviews don't matter to me" or "I pay no heed to any opinion that doesn't come from myself". We all absorb and breathe the ether, whether we pay full attention or simply inhale only to exhale. It's cool and very hip of someone to be seen as distant and aloof, but we are social beings and words Do matter somewhat. Even if I have my own opinions and tastes regarding wines, I still like to know what others thought about something I drank, and like Craig sez, sometimes you want to find a wine that is within the drinking window. If there are a few people saying "this wine is tighter than a drum", what is the sense of opening it (assuming the note is recent in nature)? Wouldn't you be a bit stupid to push ahead and open it, only to think "gosh, maybe I should have listened to somebody else (for once)! Just common sense.
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#16 Post by Markus S » July 9th, 2017, 1:10 pm

KatrinaBI wrote:... Galloni's 100 point score. ...
Oh shit, I din't see that... [wow.gif]
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#17 Post by GregT » July 9th, 2017, 4:32 pm

Markus - what you say is true but I think most of the people are saying that if they're comfortable with a wine and their assessment, they're not going to pay attention to another opinion, or if they do, it's not for guidance. That makes sense.

As far as breathing the ether, that's true to be sure, but sometimes, perhaps often, you know a wine and you know that some critic just got it completely wrong, assigning 100 points to something that will exhibit bacterial problems in a year, or not understanding another wine that isn't necessarily what that critic happens to prefer. It's good fun sometimes to see what others thought of a wine you like, but what one person says is tight as a drum and another says is pinched and tannic, you might find quite delightful. Not long ago I was at dinner and at one end of the table we couldn't drink a wine because it was corked, at the other end they were happy to enjoy it. And critics evolve as well, so for my money at least, I'm not spending based on the opinion of someone else, which may not be the same today as it was a few years ago when a wine was tasted and rated.
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#18 Post by Ian Sutton » July 9th, 2017, 4:42 pm

Katrina
Yes, I rather hoped the wine world had got over 'points chasing', but that was a naive hope. That said I'm not so attached to any wine or producer, that I wouldn't drop my interest if the wines tripled in price (not Fabio's fault to make that clear - it's the market that has pumped the price up).
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#19 Post by Victor Hong » July 9th, 2017, 4:53 pm

I trust critics who receive undisclosed compensation from the promoters of the tasted wines.
WineHunter.

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#20 Post by Barry Paul Price » July 9th, 2017, 5:13 pm

KatrinaBI wrote:Somewhat tangential to the topic--though worth saying even if a truism-- critics' scores matter regardless of whether one pays attention at least w/respect to price.

Currently extremely ticked off that Burlotto Monvigliero (which I buy year in and year out regardless) has essentially tripled in price for the 13 vintage b/c of Galloni's 100 point score.

So, no Monvig for me in the current vintage thanks to the critics' scores that unfortunately matter despite the fact that I ignore them.
If the hype keeps up for a couple years, you could probably sell some of your cases/bottle for far more than you paid at least. That could buy a whole lot of other wine and perhaps soothe the sting a bit.
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#21 Post by KatrinaBI » July 9th, 2017, 5:35 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Katrina
Yes, I rather hoped the wine world had got over 'points chasing', but that was a naive hope. That said I'm not so attached to any wine or producer, that I wouldn't drop my interest if the wines tripled in price (not Fabio's fault to make that clear - it's the market that has pumped the price up).
regards
Ian
Hi Ian

Yes, I'd feel rather a chump if I were so devoted to a particular wine that I'd stomach a 300% price increase in one year. I've substituted the Acclivi this year. Mainly this has been a reminder to me to buy larger quantities of the wines I love before they are completely lionized by the critics...
Barry Paul Price wrote:

If the hype keeps up for a couple years, you could probably sell some of your cases/bottle for far more than you paid at least. That could buy a whole lot of other wine and perhaps soothe the sting a bit.
Well, maybe. The merchant I usually buy nebbiolo from has the 13 Monvigliero priced at $239. Hard to see much upside to that price in the coming years even with continued hype. But I won't be surprised if I'm proven wrong...

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#22 Post by mdavis » July 9th, 2017, 8:12 pm

I think it is fairly universal that at some point in this hobby most folks start ignoring the reviews/rags and start buying what they know and like best. That happened for me sometime around 2002-2005. I pretty much buy the same stuff every year - vintage quality/typicity may alter the quantity I buy. Some producers get hyped and buying the wines may no longer makes economical sense, but that is a personal decision.

To that extent, I couldn't care less what a critic thinks a wine should score - at this stage in my life, I've developed opinions on most regions of interest and have a few producers/bottlings I go after each vintage...high scores are a burden because of point chasers and the market reaction to them. Burlotto Monvigliero is a great example. How annoying - I bet a lot of folks who bought the 2013s will open them too early and miss the entire point. Some folks are going to find them too dirty as well. I do think there is value to be gained from both critics and forums like this when it comes to info about the domaines (new vineyard purchases, ownership changes, hail in certain locations, etc), vintage characteristics, etc.

Here are some:
Truchot
Juge
Verset
Houillon/Overnoy
Gentaz
Trollat
L'Anglore tavel

:-)

-mark
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#23 Post by Keith Levenberg » July 9th, 2017, 8:29 pm

KatrinaBI wrote:Currently extremely ticked off that Burlotto Monvigliero (which I buy year in and year out regardless) has essentially tripled in price for the 13 vintage b/c of Galloni's 100 point score.
+1. Just found out about this today. Been buying the wine for over a decade, never paid more than $55.

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#24 Post by mdavis » July 9th, 2017, 10:57 pm

Keith Levenberg wrote:
KatrinaBI wrote:Currently extremely ticked off that Burlotto Monvigliero (which I buy year in and year out regardless) has essentially tripled in price for the 13 vintage b/c of Galloni's 100 point score.
+1. Just found out about this today. Been buying the wine for over a decade, never paid more than $55.
Yup...very frustrating. -mark
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#25 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 10th, 2017, 12:51 am

Gerhard P. wrote:\

CT is kind of a problem .... many different tastes, opinions, preferences, experiences, knowledges etc. melted together ... most of them totally unknown to me .... just take a look HERE on the board - how different opinions actually are ... following these TN I would have bought a lot of wines I dislike ... or NOT bought many wines I love ... flirtysmile

... AND moreover the mean figure of many ratings doesn´t really tell anything ... the individuality, the unique character of a specific wine gets lost completely when calculating the rating of a group (known or by accident ...)
If the theory of large numbers is true (and there is an immense amount of evidence in its favor), it should be true for wine evaluation as well, or it would be if wine evaluation could be true or false. In other words, if there were some form of evaluation that were objectively true, the average of many opinions would be much more likely to approach or articulate it than the view of any one person or small number of persons, no matter how expert he, she or they were. It follows that if cellar tracker averages are never more reliable to any given person than the view of a likeminded critic, that wine evaluation is never objective.

If it matters, I gave up reading critics years ago and don't use cellartracker.

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#26 Post by Russell Faulkner » July 10th, 2017, 1:42 am

80+% of the wine I buy is ordered before I have seen any critics comments. Mostly I am only buying wines from the Mosel and Champagne, I admit I do check Mosel Fine Wines and Champagne Warrior who usually publish after I have bought but that's after the event.

I'm more or less out of the Bordeaux and Burgundy release circus.

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#27 Post by Ian Sutton » July 10th, 2017, 4:51 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:

If the theory of large numbers is true (and there is an immense amount of evidence in its favor), it should be true for wine evaluation as well, or it would be if wine evaluation could be true or false.
There is another problem though, in that many people still buy on critics' scores, or at least are very much aware of what they are, which appears to also influence their scoring. To apply the usual approximations to a distribution model, the data is required to be independant of such influences, or to explicitly model them. Then there are their own and peer expectations that we all know affect our appreciation of wine.

To get an efficient model, we would need people to perform blind evaluations of the wines, unencumbered by what others think or their own preconceptions.
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#28 Post by Joe Chanley » July 10th, 2017, 5:18 am

In addition to a bunch that were mentioned here:

Foillard
Pepiere

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#29 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 10th, 2017, 5:20 am

Ian Sutton wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:

If the theory of large numbers is true (and there is an immense amount of evidence in its favor), it should be true for wine evaluation as well, or it would be if wine evaluation could be true or false.
There is another problem though, in that many people still buy on critics' scores, or at least are very much aware of what they are, which appears to also influence their scoring. To apply the usual approximations to a distribution model, the data is required to be independant of such influences, or to explicitly model them. Then there are their own and peer expectations that we all know affect our appreciation of wine.

To get an efficient model, we would need people to perform blind evaluations of the wines, unencumbered by what others think or their own preconceptions.
Actually, the research I have seen (only a little; my colleagues have described much more) pointedly don't pay attention to such things. The whole point of the theory of large numbers is that all the various individual prejudices, biases and misinformation is part of the mix, along, of course, with all the various specialties and knowledges, that produces, what is, counterintuitively, the best guesses. It is for this reason that the government had the mad, but oddly reasonable notion, of setting up betting pools on questions such as when and where the next terrorist attack would be. There are very good reasons not to do such a thing, but one of them, it turns out, is not that the betting odds wouldn't be good predictors of the truth.

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Producers, where the critic's scores really don't matter, to you?

#30 Post by Gerhard P. » July 10th, 2017, 5:21 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
If the theory of large numbers is true (and there is an immense amount of evidence in its favor), it should be true for wine evaluation as well, or it would be if wine evaluation could be true or false. In other words, if there were some form of evaluation that were objectively true, the average of many opinions would be much more likely to approach or articulate it than the view of any one person or small number of persons, no matter how expert he, she or they were. It follows that if cellar tracker averages are never more reliable to any given person than the view of a likeminded critic, that wine evaluation is never objective.

If it matters, I gave up reading critics years ago and don't use cellartracker.
If you take a certain number of pieces of music (let´s say by: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bartok, Ligeti, Guns´n´Roses, INXS, Iron Maiden, Coldplay, Bonney M, Eminem ...)
and ask a high number of music listeners ... who would you think will come out 1st, 2nd ... neener
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#31 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 10th, 2017, 5:38 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
If the theory of large numbers is true (and there is an immense amount of evidence in its favor), it should be true for wine evaluation as well, or it would be if wine evaluation could be true or false. In other words, if there were some form of evaluation that were objectively true, the average of many opinions would be much more likely to approach or articulate it than the view of any one person or small number of persons, no matter how expert he, she or they were. It follows that if cellar tracker averages are never more reliable to any given person than the view of a likeminded critic, that wine evaluation is never objective.

If it matters, I gave up reading critics years ago and don't use cellartracker.
If you take a certain number of pieces of music (let´s say by: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bartok, Ligeti, Guns´n´Roses, INXS, Iron Maiden, Coldplay, Bonney M, Eminem ...)
and ask a high number of music listeners ... who would you think will come out 1st, 2nd ... neener
Well, the same thing would happen, if you took a number of music specialists from different periods. I once had a Mozart expert assert to me that Ideomeneo was the greatest work of art in the Western canon. I didn't bother to even try to contest the point. The theory of large numbers doesn't work out for music evaluation because art evaluation cannot be objective, given the basis of art, which is to communicate through the sense perception of its audience.

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#32 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 10th, 2017, 5:43 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:80+% of the wine I buy is ordered before I have seen any critics comments. Mostly I am only buying wines from the Mosel and Champagne, I admit I do check Mosel Fine Wines and Champagne Warrior who usually publish after I have bought but that's after the event.

I'm more or less out of the Bordeaux and Burgundy release circus.
What reds do you drink, Russell? Curious to me as I don't think I have met a wine connoseur before that is predominantly a white wine drinker.

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#33 Post by Russell Faulkner » July 10th, 2017, 5:48 am

Ah this is about buying not drinking!

But I live in a desert and mostly eat plants, so we do drink fewer reds. Mostly Burgundy, a little claret, 'daily drinkers' often from South Africa as available to buy locally relatively modestly.

I have a cellar full of claret, which is only starting to be ready (began buying with the 2000 vintage).

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#34 Post by Gerhard P. » July 10th, 2017, 5:51 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:...The theory of large numbers doesn't work out for music evaluation because art evaluation cannot be objective, given the basis of art, which is to communicate through the sense perception of its audience.
The only - nearly objective - evaluation of art is ... time!
Bach, Mozart ... are still played regularily and estimated very high after 250+ years ... also Bartok ... and Ligeti soon will be ... The Beatles are also out of discussion ...

You can elaborate that for wine if you want ... [wink.gif]
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#35 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 10th, 2017, 5:52 am

Ah, I get it! Thanks, Russell.

Back to the topic, as to whites, I pretty much buy Kabinetts by Donhoff, Prum, Lauer, Willi, etc., in most years irrespective of critics reviews. Ironically, I will concede to buying more heavily into the hype of 2015, but am finding many of the Kabs that I like to drink more like Spats in this rich vintage.
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#36 Post by Markus S » July 10th, 2017, 6:18 am

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:... I will concede to buying more heavily into the hype of 2015, but am finding many of the Kiabs that I like to drink more like Spats in this rich vintage.
Ah, but hasn't this been true every year since the late '90's (with exception of 01)?!
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#37 Post by Ian Sutton » July 10th, 2017, 6:21 am

Oh one more I'd add, that I'll buy irrespective of critics' scores, vintage, and even producer(!) ... Moscato d'Asti. Ok there are a couple of producers who we really like and will actively seek, but we've yet to have anything other than joyously good from any producer of Moscato d'Asti.
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#38 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 10th, 2017, 6:22 am

I do not have enough depth in this region or style of wine (Kabinett) to speak to that assessment.

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#39 Post by Markus S » July 10th, 2017, 6:28 am

mdavis wrote:I think it is fairly universal that at some point in this hobby most folks start ignoring the reviews/rags and start buying what they know and like best.
True, there are the "tried-and-true" producers I would like nearly every year if I can afford them, BUT ....
mdavis wrote: That happened for me sometime around 2002-2005. I pretty much buy the same stuff every year - vintage quality/typicity may alter the quantity I buy. Some producers get hyped and buying the wines may no longer makes economical sense, but that is a personal decision.

To that extent, I couldn't care less what a critic thinks a wine should score - at this stage in my life, I've developed opinions on most regions of interest and have a few producers/bottlings I go after each vintage...high scores are a burden because of point chasers and the market reaction to them. ...I do think there is value to be gained from both critics and forums like this when it comes to info about the domaines (new vineyard purchases, ownership changes, hail in certain locations, etc), vintage characteristics, etc.
there are always new wines I am curious about and want to learn more about. Every year, hundreds of new wines enter stage door left and I get antsy for wanting to try several if not a dozen of them. And while I might take critics scoring into consideration, I won't base my whole buying on them or others but I do want to gather an idea of what type of style the wine is made in. If I see words like charry oak, gobs, thick, etc.., I'm most likely not going to like it.
So sure, buying is easy if all you drink are the same-old-same-old, but I like my drinking to be a bit broader than that and not tied to those producers I already love.
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#40 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » July 10th, 2017, 6:33 am

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote: Curious to me as I don't think I have met a wine connoseur before that is predominantly a white wine drinker.
Really? There are a lot of them, primarily those focused on Riesling and champagne, in my experience. Not as many as are predominantly red wine drinkers, I'll grant you, but quite a few.

We drink slightly more white than red, and own slightly more white than red. Consumption of "not red" goes up quite a bit if you include rose with white.

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#41 Post by Ian Sutton » July 10th, 2017, 6:37 am

Markus
Agreed - I'm always keen to try new stuff, and hence have the classic 'butterfly collector cellar' with a lot of singletons. Indeed I do try and make a conscious effort these days to return to old favourites, hence a half-dozen Hochar pere et fils bought at the weekend.

I'll use tasting notes / wine writing from a variety of sources to help give confidence they are wines that will be interesting to my tastes, or to eliminate wines that sound like they diverge from them. I will still take a punt on a wine if the region is one I want to explore, irrespective of any specifics on the wine / producer, in the same way I might try a wine 'by the glass'. A single bottle is generally not a big risk, and gives a new experience / opportunity to learn.

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#42 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » July 10th, 2017, 6:40 am

Yea other than Russell, who I also know from cycling circles, I'm not sure I really have met anyone else that is so predominately focused on white wine. Not a criticism, just an observation from my experience. I buy a fair bit of white wine myself, but will admit to treating them more for regular consumption than maturation. For example, I happen to love my Kabinetts quite youthful.

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#43 Post by Russell Faulkner » July 10th, 2017, 6:42 am

I have two friends who are 90%+ Champagne...

You just move in the wrong circles!

;)

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#44 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » July 10th, 2017, 6:49 am

mdavis wrote:I think it is fairly universal that at some point in this hobby most folks start ignoring the reviews/rags and start buying what they know and like best. That happened for me sometime around 2002-2005. I pretty much buy the same stuff every year - vintage quality/typicity may alter the quantity I buy. Some producers get hyped and buying the wines may no longer makes economical sense, but that is a personal decision.

To that extent, I couldn't care less what a critic thinks a wine should score - at this stage in my life, I've developed opinions on most regions of interest and have a few producers/bottlings I go after each vintage...I do think there is value to be gained from both critics and forums like this when it comes to info about the domaines (new vineyard purchases, ownership changes, hail in certain locations, etc), vintage characteristics, etc.
On the same page with you here, Mark. We've done the great majority of our experimenting, and don't feel the need to try dozens of wines from unknown producers or lesser known regions. When we do, we've found it only reinforces the desire to buy more of what we know we like. And the pleasure that comes from following a particular producer/vineyard/wine across many years is infinitely varied. So scores are almost totally irrelevant to our purchasing at this point other than, as you say, very high/low scores due to vintage quality sometimes influencing the size of our purchases. We're still going to buy Keller, Schonleber, Raveneau, and a few others. We also have a couple of red burg producers we buy regularly that Meadows doesn't seem to like much, and never scores highly, such as Daniel Rion. It doesn't bother us.

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#45 Post by Markus S » July 10th, 2017, 6:53 am

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:... I happen to love my Kabinetts quite youthful.
You mean the Spatleses that are pretending to be Kabinetts? [cheers.gif]
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#46 Post by Stan Y. » July 10th, 2017, 7:01 am

Gerhard P. wrote:If you take a certain number of pieces of music (let´s say by: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bartok, Ligeti, Guns´n´Roses, INXS, Iron Maiden, Coldplay, Bonney M, Eminem ...)
and ask a high number of music listeners ... who would you think will come out 1st, 2nd ... neener
That's easy, the loudest and/or the sweetest! Not sure what the musical equivalent of new oak is... :-)
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#47 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 10th, 2017, 7:16 am

Gerhard P. wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:...The theory of large numbers doesn't work out for music evaluation because art evaluation cannot be objective, given the basis of art, which is to communicate through the sense perception of its audience.
The only - nearly objective - evaluation of art is ... time!
Bach, Mozart ... are still played regularily and estimated very high after 250+ years ... also Bartok ... and Ligeti soon will be ... The Beatles are also out of discussion ...

You can elaborate that for wine if you want ... [wink.gif]
This is actually a version of the theory of large numbers since the claim is that more people over time will come to the right decision. It is really a much more doubtful test than you imagine. Many proclaimed classics, that held audience's attentions over a century or so have fallen by the wayside (it's astonishing how highly Hegel thought of Klopenstock as a poet, and had no ability to appreciate Beethoven). Really, if we are to judge what is played most, the dates of all great music fall between about 1780 and 1920 since audiences have very little appreciation of contemporary music that is atonal or abides by other tonal systems. And almost surely, the number of people who have listened to the Beatles or the Stones over time, given their large numbers, still exceeds those except the small handful of composers one hears in elementary school through high school. The notion of the test of time turns out to rest on large swathes of historical error.

And even if it worked, given wine's irritating tendency to get drunk up and to change with age, the test of time, for it exists in such a small window as, really, to become another circular appeal to the view of experts, who must be right because, after all, they are the experts.

I'd end this with one of your favored emoticons, but I have the prejudice of a student of literature against such forms of communication. I guess I'll just leave the question of their effectiveness to the test of time.

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#48 Post by Ian Sutton » July 10th, 2017, 8:48 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
Ian Sutton wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:

If the theory of large numbers is true (and there is an immense amount of evidence in its favor), it should be true for wine evaluation as well, or it would be if wine evaluation could be true or false.
There is another problem though, in that many people still buy on critics' scores, or at least are very much aware of what they are, which appears to also influence their scoring. To apply the usual approximations to a distribution model, the data is required to be independant of such influences, or to explicitly model them. Then there are their own and peer expectations that we all know affect our appreciation of wine.

To get an efficient model, we would need people to perform blind evaluations of the wines, unencumbered by what others think or their own preconceptions.
Actually, the research I have seen (only a little; my colleagues have described much more) pointedly don't pay attention to such things. The whole point of the theory of large numbers is that all the various individual prejudices, biases and misinformation is part of the mix, along, of course, with all the various specialties and knowledges, that produces, what is, counterintuitively, the best guesses. It is for this reason that the government had the mad, but oddly reasonable notion, of setting up betting pools on questions such as when and where the next terrorist attack would be. There are very good reasons not to do such a thing, but one of them, it turns out, is not that the betting odds wouldn't be good predictors of the truth.
Nope, I can't agree with this. If you have a leading and avidly followed critic who lauds a wine, we have seen very clearly that a large number of people (often those for whom points matter) who will absorb the information and it becomes a 'truth'. They will attach scores in line with their trusted critic. The critic giving the wine a big score will bias the results.

The concept of statistical modelling (and commonly seen approximations to normal distribution) relies very much on is that random variation evens itself out. You don't need to model these individual variances because they indeed get lost in the numbers.

However, and this is critical here, we have another variable (the much followed critic) that is likely to significantly affect the scoring. It needs to be modelled, or your results will reflect a mix of what people actually think and what they believe to be the truth as argued by their trusted critic.

If there were a broader spread of influential critics, then it would again bring the approximations into play. However despite the waning of Parker's influence, there are still a handful of critics who significantly lead opinion (sadly IMO, but that's another debate).

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Not sure if this helps, so posted separately
As an analogy, if trying to model the price paid for Ch. Musar, we could attempt to say there were enough merchants that the prices would end up as an approximate normal distribution. That would be ok if it weren't for the distinction between Broadbent imported (sole official importer) and wines imported through the grey market. The latter (I read here) are consistently cheaper. Thus the mean price you'll end up with is somewhere between the two, but if Broadbent import more then your average price goes up. In this instance you would probably want to model the Broadbent imported wines separately to the grey market.
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#49 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » July 10th, 2017, 10:42 am

Well, I expect cellar tracker has the usual percentages of Parker antipathetics, who may, some of them, overweight that feeling into ratings. In any case, cellar tracker is no more self-selected than gamblers, whose odds turn out to be very good predictors.

You may have doubts about the theory of large numbers, but I don't think your objections quite captures how it works. In any case, those objections being different than Gerhard's (you are objecting to the insufficiently random nature of the selection, he is objecting to the average evaluation of large numbers--though not I guess when he falls back on the old argument of time telling).

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#50 Post by Cole Kendall » July 10th, 2017, 11:05 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:Well, I expect cellar tracker has the usual percentages of Parker antipathetics, who may, some of them, overweight that feeling into ratings. In any case, cellar tracker is no more self-selected than gamblers, whose odds turn out to be very good predictors.

You may have doubts about the theory of large numbers, but I don't think your objections quite captures how it works. In any case, those objections being different than Gerhard's (you are objecting to the insufficiently random nature of the selection, he is objecting to the average evaluation of large numbers--though not I guess when he falls back on the old argument of time telling).
I have to object to this perversion of the mathematical language; the LAW of large numbers describes the expected result of a statistical experiment (throwing a die); as the number of trials increases, the average result should approach the expected value.

What is the expected value of a wine rating? The same wine is not consumed in the same circumstances repeatedly. Is it too warm, too cool, too soon from the bottle, too long in the glass? If we all drank the same wine on the same day at the same temperature etc., you might be on to something. But there is no "theory of large numbers" that is applicable in any way here.

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