Robert Parker retires

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John Preston
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#51 Post by John Preston » May 16th, 2019, 7:02 pm

Cheers to a long and happy retirement with family and friends. I always looked forward to reading my "paper" copy when received in the mail...

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#52 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » May 16th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Good for him, its hard to retire, staying retired is even harder than that. Cheers, good health, and much enjoyment with family and friends.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#53 Post by Eric LeVine » May 16th, 2019, 8:36 pm

I am working a 2003 Pegau da Capo -- via Coravin. Both Bob suggestions.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#54 Post by Nathan Smyth » May 16th, 2019, 8:40 pm

GregT wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 2:53 pm
I've heard that his health is not great...
At this point, Parker is a miracle of Nature simply for still being alive.

The guy has been tasting something like 20 to 40 wines PER DAY every day for the last forty years.

He used to tell Rovani that if you took off a day or two from tasting, then you'd lose your chops & and you'd have to retrain your palate all over again - as though the wine critic were a Principal in a major Symphony Orchestra who had to practice his instrument religiously every day, for fear that someone else might be gaining ground on him.

I wouldn't last two weeks on a tasting schedule like that - no later than about the 10th day, I'd be admitted to the RICU with bilateral pneumonia.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#55 Post by Brian Glas » May 16th, 2019, 8:44 pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 12:22 pm
Good, Bad or Ugly, RMP guided my early wine buying and I can admit that I was a point chaser.

Like Neal, I hope he can enjoy his retirement.
Same here. I was working construction inspection and had much free time. I read his Bordeaux and Rhone books several times over back in the 1990s.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#56 Post by PCLIN » May 16th, 2019, 8:47 pm

Wish him healthy and happy retirement, the first wine book I purchased was written by him.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#57 Post by Kris Patten » May 16th, 2019, 8:54 pm

Eric LeVine wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 8:36 pm
I am working a 2003 Pegau da Capo -- via Coravin. Both Bob suggestions.
Eric,

I'll come over and we can just remove the cork vs. Coravin.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#58 Post by Tom Reddick » May 16th, 2019, 9:56 pm

When I went home one weekend during college and told my father I was interested in wine, he immediately opened a 1976 Lafite and gave me a spare copy of Broadbent's Great Vintages book along with some other older wine appreciation books. They were fascinating reads, but very intimidating at times. I remember especially a detailed instruction in the fire and feather method- and actually thinking I had to open old wines that way.

Luckily, just prior to my visit home I had purchased the 3rd volume of Parker's Wine Buying Guide and had already read much of it. At a time when the internet was young and wine was still generally considered an elitist hobby versus a merely elite one, his book was about the only widely known tome that covered all the bases. And it was the only one that spoke at length about things like storage and how to be careful when buying wine in stores. In a business where even most of the critics were industry cronies and- at best- ignored such important details, Parker gave a comprehensive road map.

Over the years I have disagreed with him on the tasting side at many points, but he has also had astonishing accuracy in many instances. Plus it bears remembering that he himself was the first to say your own palate should be the final judge. With a wine boom on the horizon and his 100 point scale, he was destined to be followed by many as more of an investment advisor than a wine critic, but I do not think that was ever what he really wanted.

And when you look at how many of his successors- not necessarily at the WA but across the board- never address many of the topics he took on like importation and storage practices- I think it is safe to say the normalized presence of cold rooms in wine stores and even portable storage units in grocery stores for higher end bottles- is due primarily to his efforts to educate consumers.

Whatever you think of his tasting notes, the condition of bottles that land in the average US cellar now are far better thanks to Robert Parker, and that is the best gift of all.

In the hopes you see this thread Mr. Parker- a toast to you sir, and thank you for all you have meant to the world of wine. Best to you and I hope you find great enjoyment in your retirement.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#59 Post by Eric LeVine » May 16th, 2019, 10:53 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 8:54 pm
Eric LeVine wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 8:36 pm
I am working a 2003 Pegau da Capo -- via Coravin. Both Bob suggestions.
Eric,

I'll come over and we can just remove the cork vs. Coravin.
Hah! We should get together. It has been way too long. Bisato sometime?
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#60 Post by Jürgen Steinke » May 17th, 2019, 1:27 am

I hope Robert Parker is well and he can enjoy his retirement. Best wishes to him.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#61 Post by Claus Jeppesen » May 17th, 2019, 1:50 am

I really will miss the all the fun he created after his tastebuds and judgement started to degenerate
But in the beginning (before Sierra Carche etc, etc, etc) I really was inspired by him
And off course I wish him all the best in his future life
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#62 Post by Bruce G. » May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 9:56 pm
Plus it bears remembering that he himself was the first to say your own palate should be the final judge.
He was neither the first to say this nor was he likely the best at promoting that idea.
Most of the well-known British wine writers initially reacted negatively to Parker because they felt his work implied pretty much the opposite.

He has had a tremendous impact, and many things have changed for the better in large part because of him.
It's always difficult to separate out cause and effect, though... in some ways his strongest asset was his timing.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#63 Post by Eric LeVine » May 17th, 2019, 7:55 am

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am
in some ways his strongest asset was his timing.
I emailed him a note yesterday congratulating him and wishing him well. Again, if not for his bulletin board, I doubt I ever would have had the idea to create CellarTracker. Part of his very gracious response: "a million thanks Eric....we both were fortunate to have good luck,good timing and some talent...."

I opened a 2003 Pegau Cuvee da Capo in his honor last night.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#64 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 17th, 2019, 8:11 am

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am
Tom Reddick wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 9:56 pm
Plus it bears remembering that he himself was the first to say your own palate should be the final judge.
He was neither the first to say this nor was he likely the best at promoting that idea.
Most of the well-known British wine writers initially reacted negatively to Parker because they felt his work implied pretty much the opposite.

He has had a tremendous impact, and many things have changed for the better in large part because of him.
It's always difficult to separate out cause and effect, though... in some ways his strongest asset was his timing.
Most of the British writers were ticked off that they were going to stop getting free wine.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#65 Post by Anton D » May 17th, 2019, 8:19 am

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am


He has had a tremendous impact, and many things have changed for the better in large part because of him.

Would you be so kind as to list the "changed for the better" part?
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#66 Post by Gary York » May 17th, 2019, 8:20 am

The whole "your own palate" thing is a nice phrase. And totally meaningless.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#67 Post by Anton D » May 17th, 2019, 8:28 am

maureen nelson wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 4:38 pm

Hell, how else would I have known the importance of proper cellaring when I was just 22 years old?
I think you have quickly figured it out. One trip to a wine shop and you'd have had that info. I KNOW you would be exactly where you are now...the hobby, storage, tasting, etc. was well established before the Advocate arrived. You might not have the 20-25 point "100 point wine scale" we do now, but that would be no loss.

It's not as if there would have never been electricity without Ben Franklin, or light bulbs without Edison.

How do people think the great vintages were 'established' prior to the Advocate? Were wine lovers randomly buying vintages as though they were all the same?

I wonder about you young people!

Would you be able to discern "good" rock music without Lester Bangs? How would you know what movies to watch without Siskel and Ebert?
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#68 Post by Scott Jameson » May 17th, 2019, 8:47 am

Anton D wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:28 am
maureen nelson wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 4:38 pm

Hell, how else would I have known the importance of proper cellaring when I was just 22 years old?
I think you have quickly figured it out. One trip to a wine shop and you'd have had that info.
Not if you came of age in Chico. While the stacks of kegs of beer were kept well chilled, the wine sat on pallets behind the store before it was put on the shelves in the barely air conditioned retail space. I bought '73 and '74 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cab (based on the Time magazine article about the Spurrier tasting in Paris - hadn't heard of RMP yet) and they were dreadfully cooked. Made me wonder what all the fuss was about ...

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#69 Post by Ken Strauss » May 17th, 2019, 8:58 am

A well deserved retirement.
Love and respect the man.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#70 Post by Claus Jeppesen » May 17th, 2019, 9:09 am

Ken Strauss wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:58 am
A well deserved retirement.
Love and respect the man.
Subjectivity at the highest level!
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#71 Post by Brian Thorne » May 17th, 2019, 9:21 am

Best wishes for a long, happy, and healthy retirement! That said, I thought he had been more or less retired for the past several years...I don't think he's provided a tasting note at Wine Advocate since the end of 2016.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#72 Post by Steen T Olsen » May 17th, 2019, 11:37 am

Nice for RP. He can now enjoy drinking wine without deadlines :-)
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#73 Post by dsimmons » May 17th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Best in Retirement to Robert Parker Jr. He certainly was my go to critic when I started enjoying wine and up until his semi retirement several years ago. I appreciate that taste preferences for wine are extremely diverse but consider myself fortunate that my preferences have always aligned well with RMP's.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#74 Post by Neal.Mollen » May 17th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am
Tom Reddick wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 9:56 pm
Plus it bears remembering that he himself was the first to say your own palate should be the final judge.
He was neither the first to say this nor was he likely the best at promoting that idea.
Most of the well-known British wine writers initially reacted negatively to Parker because they felt his work implied pretty much the opposite.

He has had a tremendous impact, and many things have changed for the better in large part because of him.
It's always difficult to separate out cause and effect, though... in some ways his strongest asset was his timing.
Bruce, it is an idiom stateside. It does mean he was the first chronologically; it means, roughly, "he'd be eager or in a rush to tell you that you should rely on your own palate." And he did say that, in every issue of TWA. He also had the unfortunate habit (mostly on line) of disparaging those with whom he disagreed, but that's a subject for another day
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#75 Post by Tom Reddick » May 17th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am
Tom Reddick wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 9:56 pm
Plus it bears remembering that he himself was the first to say your own palate should be the final judge.
He was neither the first to say this nor was he likely the best at promoting that idea.
Most of the well-known British wine writers initially reacted negatively to Parker because they felt his work implied pretty much the opposite.

He has had a tremendous impact, and many things have changed for the better in large part because of him.
It's always difficult to separate out cause and effect, though... in some ways his strongest asset was his timing.
I meant it in the colloqial sense - that oft heard phrase “Xxxxx would be the first one to tell you...” meaning that person thought it important to note what is being said.

Obviously I am not claiming Parker was the first or only person to make such a wide sweeping statement- merely that he put great emphasis on it.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#76 Post by Thomas Keim » May 17th, 2019, 1:39 pm

Robert Parker was so instrumental in my career over the years. Oh how I remember waiting breathlessly for that newsletter to show up in the mail every other month. How cool we were when we decided to get it first class to get a jump on other retailers. How I would mindlessly go nuts every great Bordeaux vintage after that first report would come out. How mad I got when he was so hard on Burgundy back in the 1980s, and how excited I would get after his 'importer spotlights' on Kermit Lynch and many others....

I never worried about whether my palate correlated with his, because it didn't matter, he was so prophetic on where the buying public's palate was going. Of course it got frustrating after a while when it seemed every winemaker in the world was setting aside "Parker" barrels for his visits, and it seemed the world's wines just got riper and riper every year.

But what a fun ride it was - happy Retirement Mr. Parker....
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#77 Post by Craig G » May 17th, 2019, 3:56 pm

Anton D wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:19 am
Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am


He has had a tremendous impact, and many things have changed for the better in large part because of him.

Would you be so kind as to list the "changed for the better" part?
Wine shipping for one. In the 80’s there were an astounding number of heat damaged bottles from Europe on shelves of US wine stores. I believe Parker and Kermit Lynch were the loudest voices railing against shipping practices at that time.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#78 Post by CraigT » May 17th, 2019, 4:06 pm

I must say, I am sad to hear of his retirement. He was the person that got me interested in wine back in the early 1980’s. My first wine 🍷 I bought was some 1982 Bordeaux based on his reviews. Whether you will admit it or not he changed, for the better, how wine was made. He forced wine makers to improve there methods and that was good for you and me. He will be greatly missed! Enjoy your retirement Mr. Parker! champagne.gif
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#79 Post by alan weinberg » May 17th, 2019, 4:11 pm

as many others have opined, Parker’s Wine Advocate was important to me in the 80s and early 90s. Though I soon veered toward Burgundy where he and later Rovani were of little help, my early formative years with California, Rhone, and Bordeaux were greatly advanced by Parker. He was for many of us a stepping stone or better yet, a gateway, to other vinous pursuits. And I am grateful to him for that, wish him well.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#80 Post by Bruce G. » May 17th, 2019, 4:31 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 12:29 pm
Bruce, it is an idiom stateside. It does mean he was the first chronologically; it means, roughly, "he'd be eager or in a rush to tell you that you should rely on your own palate."
A linguistic tangent here, but...
Where I'm from (rural NY) the preferred phrasing would be "He'd be the first to say....".
"He was the first to say...." would be considered a definitive declaration of chronology meaning that nobody had said it before him.


Neal.Mollen wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 12:29 pm
And he did say that, in every issue of TWA. He also had the unfortunate habit (mostly on line) of disparaging those with whom he disagreed, but that's a subject for another day
Some would argue that it's the same subject.
I'd be inclined to agree.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#81 Post by Anton D » May 17th, 2019, 4:32 pm

Scott Jameson wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:47 am
Anton D wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:28 am
maureen nelson wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 4:38 pm

Hell, how else would I have known the importance of proper cellaring when I was just 22 years old?
I think you have quickly figured it out. One trip to a wine shop and you'd have had that info.
Not if you came of age in Chico. While the stacks of kegs of beer were kept well chilled, the wine sat on pallets behind the store before it was put on the shelves in the barely air conditioned retail space. I bought '73 and '74 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cab (based on the Time magazine article about the Spurrier tasting in Paris - hadn't heard of RMP yet) and they were dreadfully cooked. Made me wonder what all the fuss was about ...
So Parker brought the hobby to small provincial backwater towns? That's certainly faint praise. And where would this magic magazine have been found in such a backwater, in order to enlighten an aspiring oenophile? Walden's Books? Woolworth's? JC Penney? Montgomery Ward? Where was this escape from humdrum cooked wine kept? [cheers.gif]

I grew up in Reno and Truckee, a small backwater area, with GREAT stores.
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I am just being iconoclastic for conversational purposes, I don't actually care if people suffer from oenophilic Stockholm Syndrome.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#82 Post by BobH » May 17th, 2019, 4:40 pm

Anton D wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:19 am
Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 2:04 am


He has had a tremendous impact, and many things have changed for the better in large part because of him.

Would you be so kind as to list the "changed for the better" part?
Wine making techniques for another. He helped make wineries clean up their acts in a literal sense. He writes about wineries making wines in filthy and disgusting conditions.

And then of course as a result wineries sterile filtered their wines stripping them of a lot of character. He was very vocal against that practice
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#83 Post by Bruce G. » May 17th, 2019, 4:51 pm

Anton D wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:19 am
Would you be so kind as to list the "changed for the better" part?
My list would look pretty similar to what others have specified on this thread, Anton.
He helped popularize wine, and championed the production, distribution, and consumption of fine wine (as he defined "fine wine").

I've been pretty critical of his methodology, his unorthodox understanding of many aspects of wine, and his influence. When GregT writes "Without him I wonder if the Rhone or California would be where they are today" I agree, but for (I assume) entirely different reasons. For me, the 90s and 00s were lost generations for these regions (and Bordeaux and much of Australia and Spain); luckily there are signs of renaissance breaking out all over.
I also think that much of what Parker did WAS a matter of timing. He had few original ideas, but popularized a lot of positive trends that were taking place in the industry yet had not yet reached the ears and eyes of a young, interested wine public.

Still, he played some not insignificant part in the positive changes we've seen in wine over the last 30+ years.
I give the man his due and wish him a happy, healthy retirement.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#84 Post by Bruce G. » May 17th, 2019, 5:38 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:11 am
Most of the British writers were ticked off that they were going to stop getting free wine.
That strikes me as a particularly cynical and ill-informed comment.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#85 Post by maureen nelson » May 17th, 2019, 6:00 pm

Anton D wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:28 am
maureen nelson wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 4:38 pm

Hell, how else would I have known the importance of proper cellaring when I was just 22 years old?
I think you have quickly figured it out. One trip to a wine shop and you'd have had that info. I KNOW you would be exactly where you are now...the hobby, storage, tasting, etc. was well established before the Advocate arrived. You might not have the 20-25 point "100 point wine scale" we do now, but that would be no loss.

It's not as if there would have never been electricity without Ben Franklin, or light bulbs without Edison.

How do people think the great vintages were 'established' prior to the Advocate? Were wine lovers randomly buying vintages as though they were all the same?

I wonder about you young people!

Would you be able to discern "good" rock music without Lester Bangs? How would you know what movies to watch without Siskel and Ebert?
Well, when I was 22 they weren’t talking about storage or otherwise discussing things like overcropping and excessive filtration and other such things in wine shops in Washington DC. It’s not that Parker invented the knowledge. It’s that he wrote about it when others were not (and I was reading Finnegan, the NYT, Coates, and other wine publications - themWine Spectator when it was still a tabloid -and Parker was alone in this)

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#86 Post by Bruce G. » May 17th, 2019, 6:55 pm

maureen nelson wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 6:00 pm
Well, when I was 22 they weren’t talking about storage or otherwise discussing things like overcropping and excessive filtration and other such things in wine shops in Washington DC. It’s not that Parker invented the knowledge. It’s that he wrote about it when others were not (and I was reading Finnegan, the NYT, Coates, and other wine publications - themWine Spectator when it was still a tabloid -and Parker was alone in this)
Certainly better bottle shops (including some in the DC area) were concerned with shipping and storage conditions before Parker came around. The same with over-cropping, or other forms of enological mediocrity.
And you could have found yourself in a conversation about these matters if you expressed interest.

Sterile filtration?... I'm not sure about that.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#87 Post by Tom Reddick » May 17th, 2019, 10:02 pm

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 4:31 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 12:29 pm
Bruce, it is an idiom stateside. It does mean he was the first chronologically; it means, roughly, "he'd be eager or in a rush to tell you that you should rely on your own palate."
A linguistic tangent here, but...
Where I'm from (rural NY) the preferred phrasing would be "He'd be the first to say....".
"He was the first to say...." would be considered a definitive declaration of chronology meaning that nobody had said it before him.


Neal.Mollen wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 12:29 pm
And he did say that, in every issue of TWA. He also had the unfortunate habit (mostly on line) of disparaging those with whom he disagreed, but that's a subject for another day
Some would argue that it's the same subject.
I'd be inclined to agree.
Fair enough- and now clarified. Given all the things Parker is credited for being the first/only person to say when that is not the case- I understand the importance of getting precise about it.

A lot of the concepts were not new, but the people already touting them just did not have the huge audience he did- and so perhaps it is better to credit him for building the credibility and then putting it to good use. Either way, I am grateful for that side of his influence.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#88 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 18th, 2019, 5:56 am

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 5:38 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:11 am
Most of the British writers were ticked off that they were going to stop getting free wine.
That strikes me as a particularly cynical and ill-informed comment.
Cynical, yes. Ill informed, actually not. Based on real, winery reported (to me, in person) information.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#89 Post by Jim Brennan » May 18th, 2019, 6:12 am

Anton D wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 3:45 pm
GregT wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 2:53 pm
I wish him well. I never subscribed to the WA nor did I buy much Bordeaux, and by the time I was willing to spend more than a few dollars on a bottle, I had decided what I liked. But I always respected what he brought to the world of wine. People blame him for "globalization" and such, but he forced nobody to do anything and he was willing to defend the wines that he liked. Without him I wonder if the Rhone or California would be where they are today.
Wine buying prior to 1978 was much more fun, California was doing just fine.

Other than further commoditization of wine, I don't see the benefit, at all. I feel like he turned the New York Times Review of Books into TMZ.
I wish him well, and I think his championing of things like cleaner winemaking and better shipping & storage was a good thing, but otherwise I'm with you. He encouraged a lot of myths to his own benefit, damned many good wines with faint praise, was prickly and thin-skinned when it came to discussing wine with those who didn't always agree with his tastes, etc... quite the checkered legacy IMO. Still, hopefully he has many years left to relax with friends and family.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#90 Post by alan weinberg » May 18th, 2019, 7:10 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 5:56 am
Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 5:38 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 8:11 am
Most of the British writers were ticked off that they were going to stop getting free wine.
That strikes me as a particularly cynical and ill-informed comment.
Cynical, yes. Ill informed, actually not. Based on real, winery reported (to me, in person) information.
stories include that Rousseau always had a couple cases of Chambertin by the cellar door for Coates when he reviewed.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#91 Post by David Glasser » May 18th, 2019, 8:13 am

I wish him well.
He taught me a lot early in my journey.
His early influence on winemaking, advocating for cleanliness and against overcropping, was a positive one.
I forgive him the excesses of his later years.
I suspect most of the modernization we bitch about would have occurred eventually without him.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#92 Post by Mike Miller » May 18th, 2019, 5:36 pm

Gary York wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 3:58 pm
I wish him well in retirement. It must not be an easy thing to do knowing that your life's work will be destroyed.
I don't know. That's true for 99.99% of all humans. Including a vast majority commenting on this thread, no?

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#93 Post by David Glasser » May 18th, 2019, 8:38 pm

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 6:55 pm
maureen nelson wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 6:00 pm
Well, when I was 22 they weren’t talking about storage or otherwise discussing things like overcropping and excessive filtration and other such things in wine shops in Washington DC. It’s not that Parker invented the knowledge. It’s that he wrote about it when others were not (and I was reading Finnegan, the NYT, Coates, and other wine publications - themWine Spectator when it was still a tabloid -and Parker was alone in this)
Certainly better bottle shops (including some in the DC area) were concerned with shipping and storage conditions before Parker came around. The same with over-cropping, or other forms of enological mediocrity.
And you could have found yourself in a conversation about these matters if you expressed interest.

Sterile filtration?... I'm not sure about that.
That’s the thing, though. Most people wouldn’t have had a clue to ask. Or wouldn’t have had or been aware of a local store with someone who had the knowledge, time, and interest in discussing those details with the average customer. Let alone a 22 year old woman back in the 80s.

Parker wasn’t the first to talk about cleanliness, yields, ripeness, etc. He was among the first to successfully bring those topics to a wide audience of consumers, and ignited a broader interest in them. I agree that a lot of that was timing.

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#94 Post by Bruce G. » May 19th, 2019, 4:06 pm

David Glasser wrote:
May 18th, 2019, 8:38 pm
That’s the thing, though. Most people wouldn’t have had a clue to ask. Or wouldn’t have had or been aware of a local store with someone who had the knowledge, time, and interest in discussing those details with the average customer. Let alone a 22 year old woman back in the 80s.

Parker wasn’t the first to talk about cleanliness, yields, ripeness, etc. He was among the first to successfully bring those topics to a wide audience of consumers, and ignited a broader interest in them. I agree that a lot of that was timing.
Seems like most people who are curious enough to start reading a Baltimore lawyer's musings about some esoteric topic might be curious enough to stop into a high-end liquor store in town and ask "why do you have the air-conditioning turned way up?" or "why are all the expensive wines placed in the small, even colder room?" but maybe not.

I understand 100% that Mr. P 'lowered the price of admission' to the world of fine wine by making it very easy for some folks to dip a toe in the water.
And for that he deserves his due.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#95 Post by David Glasser » May 19th, 2019, 4:40 pm

I agree Bruce, and in many cities that info would be readily available.

For me in the suburbs of Baltimore most of the local stores with the good stuff didn’t have the AC turned up and most of the proprietors didn’t care or wouldn’t offer advice beyond what to buy. In other words, by your definition there really weren’t any local high-end liquor stores. One of them had copies of the Wine Advocate on display as a substitute for sales involvement. It opened my eyes. As did meeting other people with more experience through a local restaurant owner.

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Robert Parker & Me...

#96 Post by TomHill » May 19th, 2019, 5:01 pm

I wish the man well in his retirement & hope his health allows him to continue to enjoy it. There is no denying that he has had a huge
impact on the US wine market. For the better?? Probably so.
That said, his impact on my wine purchasing habits has pretty much been nil. I have, of course, followed him from the very start....though I
was never a subscriber. My good friend, Blair, was a charter subscriber and always loaned me his copies when they would first arrive.
But I cannot think of a single wine that I went out and bought on his recommendation. Since I'm not a Bdx fan, his expertise in that area
has been pretty irrelevant for me. His followers (I think the term is Parker Sheep) widely credit him for putting Calif Syrah on the map. Sorry...
but some of us were there yrs afore Parker. Same story on Alban and SQN..ahead of the game by probably 5 yrs.

I was on the MarkSquires WB from early on, sinch I had a friend who knew Mark well. The several times I met Mark here in SF...
I liked the guy quite a lot. And when Parker bought out the Squires board, it grew into the best wine forum that ever existed. Though
I thought Squires on-line persona was at distinct odds with the real man. Then they threw up the paywall, shut me out, and pretty much destroyed
what was once a great thing. Now I gather it's just a shadow of its former self. But it always amused me when somebody mentioned on Squires
something that could be construed as deprecating Parker or casting doubts on his infallibility, his adherents would immediately gang up to challenge them. pileon

I met Parker only once, when he gave a seminar on CdP at the Aspen F&W Festival. It was, I thought, a very informative seminar and the
wines poured were very fine examples of CdP. I approached him after the Seminar w/ a few questions, but it was clear he had better things to do and
more important people to deal with, so let it go at that. Tried again later at the GrandTasting, wanting to know his take on the Swanson Syrah,
& he pretty much brushed me off. Which was OK with me. Unlike JuliaChild, who was always eager to engage people.

Early on, the WA was, I thought, a pretty informative newsletter. Because he gave a lot of information on the wines & the winemakers. But it
eventually morphed into just a big compilation of TN's & scores and I got very little out of reading it. "Drinking water from a firehose" as JonBonne terms it.

So, under LPB, I can only see a continuing decline of the influence of the WA. But since the WA has virtually no influence on my buying habits, that's
not a big deal. I do like the OR reviews of ErinBrooks. She's from SF and I've tasted w/ her some yrs back. Plus she's probably one of the best tasters
on the WA's staff since she's a strong adherent of TimGaiser's tasting methodology that is revolutionizing the wine industry by storm.

So...when I read of Parker's retirement, I just sorta shrugged my shoulders and hope that he lives a long & glorious life...filled
with PhillipeCambie CdP's and sushi. I realize that there are many who will miss his scores..I'm just not one of them.

Tom

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#97 Post by Alan Rath » May 19th, 2019, 10:46 pm

While I acknowledge his contributions to the wine world, and wish him well in retirement, I have to say that his recommendations sent me down a number of unfortunate rabbit holes. In the end, I learned much more from internet forums like this, and my own palate. I honestly can’t think of an important wine I own that came from a Parker recommendation.
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Re: Robert Parker retires

#98 Post by Colin Haggerty » May 21st, 2019, 3:39 pm

Eric LeVine wrote:
May 16th, 2019, 2:48 pm
Here is a toast to Bob, his health and more time with family and friends.
[cheers.gif]

Colin

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#99 Post by Barry P » May 22nd, 2019, 5:45 am

Thomas Keim wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 1:39 pm
Oh how I remember waiting breathlessly for that newsletter to show up in the mail every other month.
So true. They were good reads, the early ones. There still is nothing done with quite the regularity and anticipation as the original TWA. For Bordeaux and Northern Cal, he was great.
--B@rry Per$hkØw

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Re: Robert Parker retires

#100 Post by Randall McFarlane » May 22nd, 2019, 12:33 pm

Bruce G. wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 6:55 pm
maureen nelson wrote:
May 17th, 2019, 6:00 pm
Well, when I was 22 they weren’t talking about storage or otherwise discussing things like overcropping and excessive filtration and other such things in wine shops in Washington DC. It’s not that Parker invented the knowledge. It’s that he wrote about it when others were not (and I was reading Finnegan, the NYT, Coates, and other wine publications - themWine Spectator when it was still a tabloid -and Parker was alone in this)
Certainly better bottle shops (including some in the DC area) were concerned with shipping and storage conditions before Parker came around. The same with over-cropping, or other forms of enological mediocrity.
And you could have found yourself in a conversation about these matters if you expressed interest.

Sterile filtration?... I'm not sure about that.
Maureen's dead right about the better stores in DC way back when....

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