The Big Parkerization Lie

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Mark Cochard
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#1 Post by Mark Cochard » June 13th, 2018, 10:19 am

I'm sure this article by Lisa Perrotti-Brown will start some discussion. https://winejournal.robertparker.com/th ... kerization

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#2 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » June 13th, 2018, 10:30 am

I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct. It at least raises pertinent issues of historical interpretration, which is one more pertinent issue than this debate would raise.

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#3 Post by Scott Wi3gand » June 13th, 2018, 10:31 am

Nope, can’t see any reason for discussion here. Seems perfectly in order and with controversy to me.

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#4 Post by Mel Knox » June 13th, 2018, 11:13 am

The article was too boring to finish.
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#5 Post by Anton D » June 13th, 2018, 11:19 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct. It at least raises pertinent issues of historical interpretration, which is one more pertinent issue than this debate would raise.
[welldone.gif]
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#6 Post by Ian Sutton » June 13th, 2018, 11:20 am

Difficult to see how something written on this subject, by someone with a vested financial interest in the Parker name, could be seen as in any way impartial. A bit like the bumf that comes out from the cork producers.
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#7 Post by Scott Brunson » June 13th, 2018, 11:21 am

The punctuation seemed pretty well done.
But I skipped around a lot.
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#8 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 13th, 2018, 11:22 am

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct.
.

Next time you are in town. We can drink SQN, Martinelli Jackass Zin, and 2003 Pavie in celebration of our liberation from Parkerization.

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#9 Post by Jim Hartten » June 13th, 2018, 11:48 am

Nothing like a revisionist pov from WA to confirm the general decline of the publication. Many Bordeaux lovers have spend decades at this point noting the changes in wine making across Bordeaux to make bigger and richer wines to match Parker's tasting sweet spot. [stirthepothal.gif] [cheers.gif]

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#10 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » June 13th, 2018, 11:48 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct.
.

Next time you are in town. We can drink SQN, Martinelli Jackass Zin, and 2003 Pavie in celebration of our liberation from Parkerization.
I'm liberated from it. I never buy those wines. I do have some 84 Monbousquet left, though, to contribute as well as a bottle of Clos St. Jean 03 (again bought before I knew I had to give up on him even for CdP) I can contribute.After we line up all those wines, we can all go to another table and drink what we like.

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#11 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 13th, 2018, 11:53 am

If we are going to line ‘em up, better bring something to knock ‘em down.

BTW you are on the hook to supply the wines, for the lineup that is. I don’t have such things.

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#12 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 13th, 2018, 12:10 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Difficult to see how something written on this subject, by someone with a vested financial interest in the Parker name, could be seen as in any way impartial. A bit like the bumf that comes out from the cork producers.
She notes her inherent bias early in the article.
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#13 Post by brigcampbell » June 13th, 2018, 12:11 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
Ian Sutton wrote:Difficult to see how something written on this subject, by someone with a vested financial interest in the Parker name, could be seen as in any way impartial. A bit like the bumf that comes out from the cork producers.
She notes her inherent bias early in the article.
But not her ignorance. ;)

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#14 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » June 13th, 2018, 12:13 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:If we are going to line ‘em up, better bring something to knock ‘em down.

BTW you are on the hook to supply the wines, for the lineup that is. I don’t have such things.
I thought you were offering those wines. I don't have any but the ones I mentioned either. So let's just pretend we did that tasting and move on to the next one.

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#15 Post by Mark Cochard » June 13th, 2018, 12:15 pm

And there is no mention of the anti-flavor wine elite.

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#16 Post by PeterH » June 13th, 2018, 12:16 pm

Mel Knox wrote:The article was too boring to finish.
I launched in, and quickly came to that conclusion. Does anyone who waded through want to point out any illuminating or controversial statements?
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#17 Post by John Morris » June 13th, 2018, 12:27 pm

Anton D wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct. It at least raises pertinent issues of historical interpretration, which is one more pertinent issue than this debate would raise.
[welldone.gif]
[welldone.gif]

Reading her say that she had her first glass of wine in 1990 and then assert that pre-Parker, pre-Peynaud wines were dirty and thin was pretty gag-inducing.

[barf.gif]

Which reminds me ... I need to add "hagiography" and "sycophancy" to the cool words thread in Asylum....
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#18 Post by SteveG » June 13th, 2018, 12:29 pm

PeterH wrote:
Mel Knox wrote:The article was too boring to finish.
I launched in, and quickly came to that conclusion. Does anyone who waded through want to point out any illuminating or controversial statements?
I believe I read it pretty closely, best I can tell she is not denying that Perkerization is a historical fact, only claiming that it occurred because of Parker's excellent reflection of wine consumers' preferences, rather than some evil plot. Personally I don't see these two as mutually exclusive.
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#19 Post by Ramon C » June 13th, 2018, 12:31 pm

PeterH wrote:
Mel Knox wrote:The article was too boring to finish.
I launched in, and quickly came to that conclusion. Does anyone who waded through want to point out any illuminating or controversial statements?
Boring, but I persevered (slow day at work). Here's a quote further down that you probably didn't get to:

"Today, Parker should remain a liberating symbol as the palate of the people ..."
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#20 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 13th, 2018, 12:34 pm

Speaking of inherent bias...this group?
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#21 Post by Ian Dorin » June 13th, 2018, 12:34 pm

I agree that it was too boring to slog through, but her overall point is absolutely absurd. They are taking a stand against a point that has by and large been wildly helpful for them? Or was this a sad attempt to reattach Parker to the brand in some odd way given that he is no longer writing on a regular basis, and people are taking note of that? As Wine Berserkers was brought about by the closing of the Squires board (well, before that, but was thankfully there for all of us after that happened), Vinous is CLEARLY kicking their a$$ now, and they are feeling it in their Singapore wallets.
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#22 Post by Lonnie F. » June 13th, 2018, 12:35 pm

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct. It at least raises pertinent issues of historical interpretration, which is one more pertinent issue than this debate would raise.
Was it inevitable? Two seemingly different ways of seeing the world, both with aspirations and living so close together.....
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#23 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 13th, 2018, 12:40 pm

Jonathan Loesberg wrote: I thought you were offering those wines.
Not likely.
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:So let's just pretend we did that tasting and move on to the next one.
Sounds like a plan.

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#24 Post by PeterH » June 13th, 2018, 12:43 pm

I think of Parker's role in warping the wine drinkers palate as an analog to Starbucks warping coffee drinking habits. Both picked up on trends that were well underway, but through effective promotion made themselves synonymous in the public's mind with the new paradigm. I don't blame either Parker or Starbucks for shift.
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#25 Post by Jonathan Loesberg » June 13th, 2018, 12:46 pm

Lonnie F. wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct. It at least raises pertinent issues of historical interpretration, which is one more pertinent issue than this debate would raise.
Was it inevitable? Two seemingly different ways of seeing the world, both with aspirations and living so close together.....
Have you read Thucydides? The theme of his opening chapters is that the war was not really caused by the proximate events that people at that time thought had caused it but had bases going back to developments over the last seventy or so years (inevitable may be the wrong word). Whether one believes him or not, for the development of this concept alone, Thucydides belongs among the first rank of historians. Think of the contrast between a history that attributes the cause of WWI to the assassination in Sarajevo and Barbara Tuchman's The Gun's of August. And if this concept causes thread drift, all the better. Profitable directions might be controverting Tuchman's thesis with Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers, which took that assassination much more seriously or for that matter Donald Kagan's four volume history of the Peloponnesian war, which contests Thucydides' view.

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#26 Post by John Morris » June 13th, 2018, 12:48 pm

Jim Hartten wrote:Nothing like a revisionist pov from WA to confirm the general decline of the publication.
I'd say this is the party line, not revisionist!
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#27 Post by Marshall Gelb » June 13th, 2018, 12:56 pm

She certainly admits her personal bias but the level of her bias is staggering. I gave up after reading about her earlier diet of junk food and trying to explain that everyone ate that way. Her arguments simply do not hold water and she probably realizes that the WA is sinking into obscurity and irrelevance.
In a way, it is kind of sad because I was an avid follower of Parker in the "beginning."

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#28 Post by Greg K » June 13th, 2018, 2:07 pm

Jonathan Loesberg wrote:
Lonnie F. wrote:
Jonathan Loesberg wrote:I'd be more interested in a debate over whether Thucydides' theory that the Peloponnesian war was inevitable was correct. It at least raises pertinent issues of historical interpretration, which is one more pertinent issue than this debate would raise.
Was it inevitable? Two seemingly different ways of seeing the world, both with aspirations and living so close together.....
Have you read Thucydides? The theme of his opening chapters is that the war was not really caused by the proximate events that people at that time thought had caused it but had bases going back to developments over the last seventy or so years (inevitable may be the wrong word). Whether one believes him or not, for the development of this concept alone, Thucydides belongs among the first rank of historians. Think of the contrast between a history that attributes the cause of WWI to the assassination in Sarajevo and Barbara Tuchman's The Gun's of August. And if this concept causes thread drift, all the better. Profitable directions might be controverting Tuchman's thesis with Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers, which took that assassination much more seriously or for that matter Donald Kagan's four volume history of the Peloponnesian war, which contests Thucydides' view.
Tuchman was a great writer but not necessarily a great historian; I find Clark's thesis far more convincing (and more convincing than the oddly Anglo-centric The War That Ended Peace by MacMillan). I also don't think Clark suggests that the war was a sua sponte event caused solely by the assassination - he spends quite a bit of time on all the preceding crises that nearly caused the war a bit earlier (including the Algerian issues). Finally, I find Clark's laying a lot of implied blame on Russia most convincing given their support (or sometimes their ambassador's entrepreneurial action) in favor of Serbia and their action to mobilize first. It's also interesting to add Dominic Lieven's perspective on Russian interests in the Balkans from his book on the end of Tsarist Russia (even if his writing is super dry.)
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#29 Post by Steve Crawford » June 13th, 2018, 2:46 pm

SteveG wrote:
PeterH wrote:
Mel Knox wrote:The article was too boring to finish.
I launched in, and quickly came to that conclusion. Does anyone who waded through want to point out any illuminating or controversial statements?
I believe I read it pretty closely, best I can tell she is not denying that Perkerization is a historical fact, only claiming that it occurred because of Parker's excellent reflection of wine consumers' preferences, rather than some evil plot. Personally I don't see these two as mutually exclusive.
i like your point. lisa is right that parker wasn’t steering the ship by himself, but she is wrong when she fails to acknowledge that he had a role. to what degree is debatable.

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#30 Post by Anton D » June 13th, 2018, 4:05 pm

OK, this may become the greatest thread of all time!

Please keep the history flowing! [cheers.gif]

Regarding Parkerization, I think there is an iota of validity, as others have mentioned, that Parker was simply the face of the unfortunate ruination (Vandal-ization... [wink.gif] ...) of what is regarded as fine wine by the proletariat.

One could argue that the 'fruit wave' carried the day, and no way could Parker have been a significant enough social influence to bring the Rombauer/Kendall Jackson/Meomi/Caymus-ization of the marketplace.

It very well could be that Parker led the charge much as Boris Grushenko led the Russians to victory over the French and Parker has been erroneously credited for his inferior palate's effect on the industry.
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#31 Post by Mel Knox » June 13th, 2018, 4:08 pm

I've been selling barrels to wineries since 1980 and so have hung out with a lot of winemakers. Parker has influenced my business in a very positive way. First, he gave a talk on his favorite pinots at the IPNC. Two thirds of the wines were made in Francois barrels...a line formed by my table when he finished. Then he wrote that Helen Turley, whom he acclaimed the goddess of wine, used Taransaud barrels for her cabernets...Those barrels were allocated for about six years until production could keep up. Of course, many people picked riper than they liked, but nobody will admit to chasing Parker points...too toady.



It seems to me the author met Parker about 14 years ago but still considers herself an insider. I cannot figure out if she brought up Churchill--always a favorite tactic with writers-- to say that she is capable of writing the history or to compare herself to Clement Atlee. Since I have been an insider for 38 years,....

To say that Churchill won the war is a bit of an overstatement. They held on until Hitler attacked Russia and Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on the US. Stalingrad anyone??
Did Hitler lose the war with his tactics in Russia?? I thought the Allies won the war.

And what about the far fewer number of historians, dictated to a a handful of powerful men? Who were these men?? Freemasons?? Book publishers?? The people at the Book of the Month Club?? The very same people who published Barbara Tuchman?? This comment of hers reminds me of somebody's populist rant but what does it have to do with the subject at hand?

Anyway, that s about as far as I got.
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#32 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » June 13th, 2018, 4:42 pm

Mel Knox wrote:I've been selling barrels to wineries since 1980 and so have hung out with a lot of winemakers. Parker has influenced my business in a very positive way. First, he gave a talk on his favorite pinots at the IPNC. Two thirds of the wines were made in Francois barrels...a line formed by my table when he finished. Then he wrote that Helen Turley, whom he acclaimed the goddess of wine, used Taransaud barrels for her cabernets...Those barrels were allocated for about six years until production could keep up. Of course, many people picked riper than they liked, but nobody will admit to chasing Parker points...too toady.



It seems to me the author met Parker about 14 years ago but still considers herself an insider. I cannot figure out if she brought up Churchill--always a favorite tactic with writers-- to say that she is capable of writing the history or to compare herself to Clement Atlee. Since I have been an insider for 38 years,....

To say that Churchill won the war is a bit of an overstatement. They held on until Hitler attacked Russia and Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on the US. Stalingrad anyone??
Did Hitler lose the war with his tactics in Russia?? I thought the Allies won the war.

And what about the far fewer number of historians, dictated to a a handful of powerful men? Who were these men?? Freemasons?? Book publishers?? The people at the Book of the Month Club?? The very same people who published Barbara Tuchman?? This comment of hers reminds me of somebody's populist rant but what does it have to do with the subject at hand?

Anyway, that s about as far as I got.
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#33 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 13th, 2018, 4:43 pm

I gave up when she said she no longer consumes or wants milkshakes
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#34 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 13th, 2018, 4:58 pm

How do I insert a *Yawn* emoji?

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#35 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 13th, 2018, 5:44 pm

Yea major yawn, not even sure what possessed her to write this dribble with all its poor punctuation. We are so past it and them.

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#36 Post by NoahR » June 13th, 2018, 5:45 pm

Cheers to the democratization of taste, to which Parker, populist demagogue, championed, gave a face, a voice and an identity... And shame on those effete, Ivory Towered snobs whose predilection for thin, reedy, green, flawed wines was, at the core, elitist and meant to perpetuate upper class domination of the increasingly bourgeois wine market...

Oh, and she didn’t mention how well he nailed the ageworthiness of those Aussie shirazzes!
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#37 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » June 13th, 2018, 5:53 pm

NoahR wrote: shirazzes!
I’m pretty sure that the plural form for these Parker wines is, “shirasses”.

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#38 Post by Anton D » June 13th, 2018, 6:25 pm

NoahR wrote:Cheers to the democratization of taste, to which Parker, populist demagogue, championed, gave a face, a voice and an identity... And shame on those effete, Ivory Towered snobs whose predilection for thin, reedy, green, flawed wines was, at the core, elitist and meant to perpetuate upper class domination of the increasingly bourgeois wine market...

Oh, and she didn’t mention how well he nailed the ageworthiness of those Aussie shirazzes!
That was great!
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#39 Post by Mark Cochard » June 13th, 2018, 6:35 pm

Mel, Well said,I thought about a lot of this without posting. Her whole Churchill analogies are straw men waiting to be torn down.

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#40 Post by Mel Knox » June 13th, 2018, 7:36 pm

With her knowledge of history I am sure there is a job at Fox News in her future
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#41 Post by Philip N. Jones » June 13th, 2018, 7:55 pm

I agree with the earlier comment that this Board has some anti-Parker bias. Not everybody, but some. Maybe they are jealous about his success. Maybe they are pissed about his obvious influence. Maybe they are pissed about being thrown off his bulletin board. Hard to tell.
Like everyone else, he has his flaws and his good attributes. Anyone who sees only his flaws, or anyone who sees only his attributes, is really not being objective, but instead is biased. And biased people are quick to claim that everyone else is biased. The only credible people are those who can see both sides of the coin.
This post will be followed by dozens of posts angrily claiming that Parker drinks Drano whenever he is not busy eating his own children.
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#42 Post by Jayson Cohen » June 13th, 2018, 8:01 pm

He drinks drano?

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#43 Post by Philip N. Jones » June 13th, 2018, 8:07 pm

Good retort. Funny. Let's se if others can respond in kind . . . . .
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#44 Post by Mel Knox » June 13th, 2018, 8:14 pm

Phil,
You make me feel bad about what I wrote about Lisa PB. She is much too good for Fox News.
My point is that parker has dramatically influenced winery owners and their employees. To say that there aren’t wineries chasing Parker points is crazy. Of course, when this leads them to my barrels I think he is the best.
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#45 Post by Dennis Borczon » June 13th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Wonder if she would like to do a retrospective on the Australian Wine Industry Circa 1995-2005? Something like "The Rise and Fall of 27 Brix". Very sad to see that there is no introspection at the Advocate. I too admit to liking the port like concoctions of many of those Aussie wines back in the day. But they were clearly unnatural wines if there is value in poise and balance.

It would have been more refreshing to have someone at the Advocate acknowledge that championing those ooze monsters may have been, in retrospect, an overvaluation of ripeness uber alles. At least that would be interesting to talk about. Sometimes the most difficult thing is life is to admit one's mistakes. Would have made a nice bookend to the triumph of the 82 Bordeaux ratings.

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#46 Post by Jim Brennan » June 13th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Mel Knox wrote:The article was too boring to finish.
+1

I skimmed after the first few paragraphs and decide that LPB is to RP as Nikki H is to DT.

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The Big Parkerization Lie

#47 Post by jbray23 » June 13th, 2018, 8:53 pm

Wow, I decided to read it and don't really understand the Churchill, is Parker Churchill? I thought she was just going to say he was Jesus, that would have been easier...

She makes really shaky arguments especially why Alsace and Germany didn't expand in the marketplace....

Consumers already were buying those wines? So magically all these wineries who had made wine in America in a certain style
Changed because of the consumer demanded (on their own) bigger, richer wine? Is it oncoincidence that those wines were getting hundo's left and right by Parker?

I love her line of Consumers we're trusting their own palate... ahahahahaha... no, consumers (i worked retail during this time) would buy anything Parker gave 95+ points to, they didn't trust themselves....

I'm not hating on Parker, just the stupid idea that Lisa thought up to defend...

The best line 'people know that parkerization is a myth'.... who are those people...
Jason, back itb

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Philip N. Jones
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The Big Parkerization Lie

#48 Post by Philip N. Jones » June 13th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Just to demonstrate that I can se both sides of Parker:
He convinced me to buy many fine Zinfandels, which started me on a life of Zin drinking.
But he also convinced me to buy a bunch of Spanish stuff that I ended up not liking in the least.
But that's just my palate. I am sure some of you would say the opposite. Which is fine. As long as you acknowledge the good and the bad. Not just your version of bad.
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The Big Parkerization Lie

#49 Post by Mel Knox » June 13th, 2018, 9:15 pm

Jbray:
Remember, Jesus made wine; Churchill drank the sparkling and distilled versions.
ITB

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Alan Rath
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The Big Parkerization Lie

#50 Post by Alan Rath » June 13th, 2018, 9:20 pm

Philip N. Jones wrote:But he also convinced me to buy a bunch of Spanish stuff that I ended up not liking in the least.
Here's the thing: no one would care or object if Parker had just convinced you to buy some wines. What some of us criticize is that this influence on buyers also influenced too many producers to change the way they make wine - or convinced other producers to jump into the game with wines designed to garner praise and high scores from him. Large swaths of the wine industry, all over the world, were literally moved by Parker's influence. While there were definitely some good things that came of that, for some of us that influence pushed too many regions and producers over the edge.
I'm just one lost soul, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

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