Help Me Understand A Wine Critic: Antonio Galloni (Vinous)

The goal of this thread is to better understand a critic’s palate and how to interpret their wine tasting notes. These are related, but not the same, questions.

Instagram @antoniogalloni

Abbreviated bio from Wikipedia (Antonio Galloni - Wikipedia)
Antonio Galloni is an American wine critic and founder and CEO of Vinous for which he is also the lead critic covering the wines of Bordeaux, California, Italy, and Champagne. From 2006 to 2013 Galloni was a tasting staff member of Robert Parker’s publication The Wine Advocate. In May 2013, Galloni founded Vinous.

Antonio Galloni’s wine writing career began when, as a Graduate student at MIT, he started penning a newsletter focusing on the wines of Piedmont. It was his long held fascination and passion for Italian wines that was his inspiration. In 2004 Piedmont Report was created and within just a matter of weeks it had subscribers in over 25 countries. It quickly became the number one resource on the subject of Piedmont wines. In 2006 Antonio joined Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate as the Italian wine critic. In the following years he took on the Champagne region and new California vintages and by 2013, Galloni was the lead critic. Galloni left The Wine Advocate in 2013 to launch Vinous.

Galloni’s intense passion for wine started at a very young age. His parents sold Italian wine, while his grandfather had a deep love for Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone. As a teenager, Galloni was already reading about the major winemaking regions of the world. He wrote his first articles on Burgundy and Bordeaux for his high school French class.


For me, absolutely one of if not the best post-Parker critics , in matching how I’d perceive a wine. His points may have gotten a tad generous, at least as of late. Cheers

A tad? [rofl.gif]

Just tryin’ to keep it polite. It’s all relative. If Galloni is more than a tad, then some of the others are generous by a friggin s#!tload. [cheers.gif]

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That’s fair. I do it’s almost universally ridiculous at this point. Galloni is far from the only one or the worst.

My perception of Galloni may be based on Bdx. Just for kicks, I compared his scores to Neal Martin who according to some has a British palate and haven’t found a huge difference (which may not be surprising). FWIW (I get this may not be worth anything for many here), scores for a handful of random high-end 2018 Bdx (Galloni/Martin):
Montrose (97/96)
Cos d’Estournel (98/96)
Figeac (98/97)
Pichon-L (97/97)
Valandraud (97/95)
Angelus (97/95)
Las Cases (97/96)

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I recommend consulting the critic bingo thread.

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What’s his style though? (Prefer trad? Richer? Etc)

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These threads positively scream out for RTP Latham Richard.


They need to beat up someone and Galloni stood out the brightest when Parker faded so now he’s a punching bag for some. He’s ok. I think his scores are somewhat inflated but not as bad as some here need to make it seem. There are much worse offenders out there. Not my favorite but he does provide a lot of content. For better or worse.


Covering Champagne for TWA today, I certainly feel professionally and personally appreciative of Antonio. It was thanks to his writing that, as a student, I discovered producers such as Cédric Bouchard and Ulysse Collin (Olivier Collin told me that Antonio is the only other critic—and of course the first critic—who visits him every year). In our contemporary wine world, it’s easy to forget the resonance of TWA visiting and reviewing top grower Champagne a decade ago; but back then, I venture, that was an important departure that meant a lot to producers who are now much better established than they were back then.


galloni tends to still be the palate I look to first because traditionally he has aligned with me well and his knowledge of Italian wines is great. every score I think comes with a grain of salt… because I think everyone who’s name is on a publication does it. but if he enjoys a wine from Italy, California, or Bordeaux, I can be pretty confident I will as well.

FWIW I also liked his zoom interviews during the pandemic quite a bit. they were super informative and he had some great lineups.

on a personal social media note: I wish he wouldn’t praise Montevertine quite so often and openly. I get that the wines are good, I like them too. but the owner history is… messy enough I would still prefer he distance from it.

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Basically took the words out of my mouth. On Italy, Napa and BDX, if he likes it, chances are I will too. And I can usually suss out from the tasting notes the instances (mostly Napa wines he likes that I don’t) where that’s not the case.

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Is his style generally more ‘traditional’ leaning across the board then?

I would say so. he tends to score the traditional Italian wines (Rinaldi, mascarello, felsina, produttori) well, plus wines like PLL, Gruaud, VCC. even in the US he is the one that has given PGC and pax 100pt scores.

I like Antonio. I think he does a good job. He has more of an American palate compared to Neil Martin. I follow what he says.

I also think he has a good palate for Champagne, at least for my tastes.

Was his palate fairly constant during the decades? I remember being more aligned with him in his Piedmont report days. Wasn’t a quick change but a couple decades later, I don’t yearn to read his notes. But I’m not buying nor reading much anyway.

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This seems to indicate that vm cos and figeac were highly rated and nm felt figeac and pichon were more highly rated. Significant difference on angelus, valandraud and cos. Thanks.

He started out as a specialist in Piedmonte wines. A good sensibility for Burgundy and Champagne for sure. I think he is very good. An excellent writer and communicator. His use of media clips on his site started a new trend.

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