AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

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Michael S. Monie
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AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#1 Post by Michael S. Monie » November 9th, 2019, 7:28 am

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Tom Taylor
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#2 Post by Tom Taylor » November 9th, 2019, 9:10 am

Don’t get your point, no pun intended. 2016 is widely regarded as a great vintage in Piedmont. He has given out one 100 point score that I can see, which is not unlike 2013 or 2010. I don’t see point inflation here
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#3 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » November 9th, 2019, 9:21 am

The article makes a point about the problem of point inflation.

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#4 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » November 9th, 2019, 9:57 am

It’s not AG inflating points. It’s all the newbs out there who just got into these wines and never travel the region. His point is buyer beware of the fly by critic.

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#5 Post by ybarselah » November 9th, 2019, 10:03 am

"More recently, the wine reviewing world has become populated by tasters who award wines absurdly high scores that those wines have no chance of ever actually living up to."

is this one of those statements that sounds true, but really cannot be verified because it's so vague and open-ended?
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#6 Post by Tom Taylor » November 9th, 2019, 10:31 am

Joe W i n o g r a d wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 9:21 am
The article makes a point about the problem of point inflation.
Got it
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#7 Post by Nathan Smyth » November 9th, 2019, 10:56 am

"More recently, the wine reviewing world has become populated by tasters who award wines absurdly high scores that those wines have no chance of ever actually living up to."

is this one of those statements that sounds true, but really cannot be verified because it's so vague and open-ended?

(ITB)
Or maybe it's one of those statements that hits just a little too close to home?

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#8 Post by Nathan Smyth » November 9th, 2019, 11:04 am

Back in the day, when you could still cross paths with legit 96- to 98-point wines in the general vicinity of $150, I felt like I could give valid scores to wines.

But in the last few years, as those wines soared to prices like $1500 or even $15,000, it started to dawn on me that I have no business whatsoever assigning scores to wines anymore, simply because I don't socialize in them zip codes no mo'.

Ergo I can try to imagine how a 98-point $15,000 Musigny might smell or taste, but it ain't never gonna get anywhere near muh nostrils [much less actually enter muh mouf].

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#9 Post by Nathan Smyth » November 9th, 2019, 11:13 am

A little off-topic, but the guys at Cellar Tracker are TOUGH SCORERS.

If you can find a wine there with 20 or 30 unique tasters [and not just two or three guys each posting ten different tasting notes on the same wine], and if those 20 or 30 unique tasters are converging on a score of about 94 points, then you're dealing with a world-class wine.

The same might be true of Vivino, but Vivino is much more difficult for me to suss out - I don't have a strong visceral sense of the difference between 4.3 vs 4.5 vs 4.7 vs 4.9 at Vivino.

[And because tards can do Vivino on their tardphone apps, the barrier to entry is much, much lower.]

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#10 Post by Pat Martin » November 9th, 2019, 12:25 pm

94 points is a world class wine.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#11 Post by Mattstolz » November 9th, 2019, 2:14 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 11:13 am
A little off-topic, but the guys at Cellar Tracker are TOUGH SCORERS.

If you can find a wine there with 20 or 30 unique tasters [and not just two or three guys each posting ten different tasting notes on the same wine], and if those 20 or 30 unique tasters are converging on a score of about 94 points, then you're dealing with a world-class wine.

The same might be true of Vivino, but Vivino is much more difficult for me to suss out - I don't have a strong visceral sense of the difference between 4.3 vs 4.5 vs 4.7 vs 4.9 at Vivino.

[And because tards can do Vivino on their tardphone apps, the barrier to entry is much, much lower.]
its really true. a wine on CT with several unique tasters thats over a 91 is a very solid wine most times. I've also found this really varies by wine region fans too. a 92 point Burgundy on CT will likely be one of the best wines I've ever had in my life. a 94 point cali cab... maybe the best wine you have in that two week period.

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#12 Post by MikeHill » November 9th, 2019, 4:59 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 11:13 am

The same might be true of Vivino, but Vivino is much more difficult for me to suss out - I don't have a strong visceral sense of the difference between 4.3 vs 4.5 vs 4.7 vs 4.9 at Vivino.
More thread drift, but I had the same questions about Vivino ratings.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#13 Post by Sh@n A » November 9th, 2019, 6:54 pm

Nathan Smyth wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 11:13 am
A little off-topic, but the guys at Cellar Tracker are TOUGH SCORERS
Your CT note had me thinking.. are these barbaresco scores perhaps too high in certain cases? There are many 30-60 buck wines scored 95+. Either those wines are wildly mispriced or the scores are too high?

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#14 Post by AAgrawal » November 9th, 2019, 6:58 pm

Sh@n A wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 6:54 pm
Nathan Smyth wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 11:13 am
A little off-topic, but the guys at Cellar Tracker are TOUGH SCORERS
Your CT note had me thinking.. are these barbaresco scores perhaps too high in certain cases? There are many 30-60 buck wines scored 95+. Either those wines are wildly mispriced or the scores are too high?
In my limited experience so far, those scores are too high. But often there are only a few of them, less than 5 for a lot of 2016s, so I take those with a grain of salt.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#15 Post by John Morris » November 10th, 2019, 10:01 am

And what do most CT reviewers actually know about young Barbaresco? If they're tasting it now it's probably because they heard a lot about the vintage and came to it with high expectations.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#16 Post by Ian Sutton » November 10th, 2019, 11:57 am

ybarselah wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 10:03 am
"More recently, the wine reviewing world has become populated by tasters who award wines absurdly high scores that those wines have no chance of ever actually living up to."

is this one of those statements that sounds true, but really cannot be verified because it's so vague and open-ended?
Stock in trade for wine writers!

As for beware of 'fly by reviewers', that sounds like simply dissing his competitors ..."trust me, I was the annointed one, but was ousted, so now I'm the self-annointed one - follow me loyal sheep!"
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#17 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » November 10th, 2019, 12:24 pm

Sauternes is probably the best value. Plenty of CT 95-97 wines for 100-200 for a 375.
Nathan Smyth wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 11:04 am
Back in the day, when you could still cross paths with legit 96- to 98-point wines in the general vicinity of $150, I felt like I could give valid scores to wines.

But in the last few years, as those wines soared to prices like $1500 or even $15,000, it started to dawn on me that I have no business whatsoever assigning scores to wines anymore, simply because I don't socialize in them zip codes no mo'.

Ergo I can try to imagine how a 98-point $15,000 Musigny might smell or taste, but it ain't never gonna get anywhere near muh nostrils [much less actually enter muh mouf].

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#18 Post by John Morris » November 10th, 2019, 12:49 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 11:57 am
As for beware of 'fly by reviewers', that sounds like simply dissing his competitors ..."trust me, I was the annointed one, but was ousted, so now I'm the self-annointed one - follow me loyal sheep!"
Indeed, it sounds like a pissy way of saying, "I was here first."

He was (among critics writing in English), and deep knowledge of a region over a long span is of huge importance, particularly with wines like Barolo and Burgundy that are hard to judge young.

But even in his Piedmont Report days, he had an extremely compressed scale. Pretty much everything was scored 89-94. And I never found his notes very helpful. Worst of all, I've never seen him note wines that were distinctly oaky, something many of us nebbiolo lovers want to know. I've been dumbfounded on a number of occasions to read his reviews of wines that clobbered you with oak, and all he talked about was the nuances and beams of this or that, and how I shouldn't miss the wine. (To his credit, he doesn't seem as profligate with scores over 95 as many other critics.)

So, he is clearly knowledgeable and he's been following the wines for a long time, but that doesn't suffice. For my money, I'd rather listen to Walter Fissler, Jancis Robinson's Piedmont man.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#19 Post by John Morris » November 10th, 2019, 12:54 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 12:24 pm
Sauternes is probably the best value. Plenty of CT 95-97 wines for 100-200 for a 375.
I think sweet wines tend to get high scores. They're hard not to like. I know I find myself giving lots of points to sweet wines when I'm keeping notes for myself. I wouldn't base any QPR calculations on those CT scores.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#20 Post by AAgrawal » November 10th, 2019, 1:10 pm

John Morris wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 12:54 pm
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 12:24 pm
Sauternes is probably the best value. Plenty of CT 95-97 wines for 100-200 for a 375.
I think sweet wines tend to get high scores. They're hard not to like. I know I find myself giving lots of points to sweet wines when I'm keeping notes for myself. I wouldn't base any QPR calculations on those CT scores.
Why not? If you like them that much, aren't they worth as much as other wines that you like that much? I may be an outlier, but that's how sauternes ended up being 30% of my cellar...
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#21 Post by John Morris » November 10th, 2019, 3:33 pm

I have no quarrel with sweet wines. I own a lot of late harvest riesling. But I think the idea of some mathematical calculation of value based on CT scores (basically, points per dollar) is just silly.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#22 Post by Nathan Smyth » November 10th, 2019, 7:00 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 2:14 pm
a 92 point Burgundy on CT will likely be one of the best wines I've ever had in my life. a 94 point cali cab... maybe the best wine you have in that two week period.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#23 Post by G. Shields » November 11th, 2019, 2:50 am

John Morris wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 12:49 pm
For my money, I'd rather listen to Walter Fissler, Jancis Robinson's Piedmont man.
John, just for correction, it’s Walter Speller... [thumbs-up.gif]

I agree that he seems a useful source of info. I like that he tastes a bunch of the wines blind, and often again at the domaine. I feel this provides a reliable judgement. He also does call out oak/élevage notes when he comes across them.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#24 Post by A. So » November 11th, 2019, 5:49 am

ybarselah wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 10:03 am
"More recently, the wine reviewing world has become populated by tasters who award wines absurdly high scores that those wines have no chance of ever actually living up to."
John 8:7
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#25 Post by Markus S » November 11th, 2019, 5:57 am

John Morris wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 10:01 am
And what do most CT reviewers actually know about young Barbaresco? If they're tasting it now it's probably because they heard a lot about the vintage and came to it with high expectations.
I would value collective judgement. I think there is worth in group thinking, if you remove the outliers than can distort results.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#26 Post by John Morris » November 11th, 2019, 6:06 am

G. Shields wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 2:50 am
John Morris wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 12:49 pm
For my money, I'd rather listen to Walter Fissler, Jancis Robinson's Piedmont man.
John, just for correction, it’s Walter Speller... [thumbs-up.gif]
Oops. My bad.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#27 Post by John Morris » November 11th, 2019, 6:07 am

Markus S wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 5:57 am
John Morris wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 10:01 am
And what do most CT reviewers actually know about young Barbaresco? If they're tasting it now it's probably because they heard a lot about the vintage and came to it with high expectations.
I would value collective judgement. I think there is worth in group thinking, if you remove the outliers than can distort results.
Collective judgment of people who may know little about tasting wines that are hard to evaluate young? [scratch.gif]
"I pencilled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#28 Post by Markus S » November 11th, 2019, 8:27 am

John Morris wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 6:07 am
Markus S wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 5:57 am
John Morris wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 10:01 am
And what do most CT reviewers actually know about young Barbaresco? If they're tasting it now it's probably because they heard a lot about the vintage and came to it with high expectations.
I would value collective judgement. I think there is worth in group thinking, if you remove the outliers than can distort results.
Collective judgment of people who may know little about tasting wines that are hard to evaluate young? [scratch.gif]
I believe most folks posting on CT have some acquaintance with wine, and unless there is some idiot who always posts "93" on wines, I think the scores there can be parsed to get a fairly accurate reading of a wine. When you take out the outliers (for instance, the Cali Cab drinker giving a "65" to a Jura poulsard), you get even better results. I feel it's the same way I read critics. Examine the trigger words (these are individual to everyone) and either discount them or give them weight to adjust to your palate. Obviously if someone merely posts a score with no context, that would not get used.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#29 Post by John Morris » November 11th, 2019, 8:42 am

I've been in a number of blind tasting groups for years, and when tasting serious young wines on release, the tendency is for people to give the highest scores to the most approachable ones. Relatively few people have tasted wines young and followed them over decades and have a sense for when a wine has great potential but is very young and tight. I think that's particularly an issue with Burgundy and nebbiolo-based wines, but also with cabs in many cases. That's why so much winemaking these days is aimed at making wines that are easy to drink out of the gate, even if that means sacrificing depth and longevity.

Add to that the fact that most CT posters are not tasting blind, and there are lots of reasons to discount those scores of very young wines.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#30 Post by DennizE » November 11th, 2019, 10:08 am

I've tried using Vivino a few times especially when buying $15-20 wines and most times I've been disappointed. 4.0 wines that sounds like solid wines in the comment section turns out to lack any depth and complexity instead they are hiding behind a lot of oak, vanilla and sweetness.

For some times now I've been using an average of Wine Spectator and James Suckling scores as pointers on what to expect of a wine. WS can be low with their scores and JS is the king of inflating points.
So if WS gave a wine 91 and JS gave the same wine 96 I'd assume it is a 93 point wine. It's not always accurate but it works as a good pointer.

If its an Italian wine I look up and there's no WS rating and only a JS rating I subtract 5-7 points from what JS gave. I participated in a tasting hosted by a tuscan winery which WS gave a low 90s rating while JS gave it an almost perfect 100. I'm a big fan of Italian wines but I don't think its just Barbaresco that "suffer" from point inflation.
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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#31 Post by larry schaffer » November 11th, 2019, 10:25 am

Another interesting thread - and AG's sentiments could certainly be echoed by every 'professional' reviewer out there. I understand where he is coming from - but this doesn't kind of sound a little 'sour grapes' to me, no?

At the end of the day, are wines being made 'better' and 'more consistent' than ever, therefore 'objectively deserving' higher scores? I mean, AG has definitely offered higher scores than he did in the past, maybe not necessarily with Italian wines but certainly with domestic ones.

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Re: AG: 2016 And 2017 Barbaresco And Point Inflation

#32 Post by Oliver McCrum » November 11th, 2019, 12:30 pm

John Morris wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 6:06 am
G. Shields wrote:
November 11th, 2019, 2:50 am
John Morris wrote:
November 10th, 2019, 12:49 pm
For my money, I'd rather listen to Walter Fissler, Jancis Robinson's Piedmont man.
John, just for correction, it’s Walter Speller... [thumbs-up.gif]
Oops. My bad.
Yeah, you mis-spelled it.
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