I admire Robert Parker

That’s the spirit! [drinkers.gif]

Alan, your statements are actually very Parkeresque. Parker’s greatest “sin” is that he believes his wine opinions are absolute truth, and those who have contrary opinions deserve insults. I’m not a fan of Marcassin either, but I know folks who are. I think the diversity of our individual palates and preferences is what makes the wine hobby great.

Parker has never appreciated Burgundy, which is well known and long established.

He has had a major influence on the wine world and on most members here. That legacy has bothgood and bad associated with it. Bery summed it up well.

I happen to agree with Parker on this subject but the big difference is I recognize that it is a very personal opinion. Parker sometimes does not.

Yes…he has built a wine empire, which is admirable. I personally don’t dislike the guy, but like many of us, he has his flaws:

(1) His arrogance and the way he bullies those who disagree with him,
(2) I don’t think he is very “independent” at all - he has built many friendships over the years, and he waxes poetically about their wines.

In the autumn years of my career, I have come to think this may be the greatest Chardonnay produced in the world. Moreover, this vertical tasting persuaded me that these wines have much more significant aging potential than I first believed.

Bourgogne Blanc could be chardonnnay but Chardonnay could not be Bourgogne Blanc !

For any burgundy lover, your best may not be best and my best sould not be anyone best.

Burgundy is about its terroir and its individuality.

Mr. Parker knows about wines but does he understanding Burgundy ?


Ouch! [rofl.gif]

Bob Parker has done admirable things. But the world is full of people who have excelled but are not personally all that pleasant. Ironically, his arrogant, absolutist “I know better than you” attitude is often reflected in his detractors (the “all roads lead to burgundy” crowd). I find his verbal insults and exclusionary mindset unappealing, just as I do the same behavior exhibited here by many (though not all) in his chorus of detractors. This attitude makes him extremely hard to take

Interesting post. I’ll stay away from the politics of Bob and the related reactions. Instead, think about Bob’s statement. In that regard, I do not think California chardonnays taste anything like white Burgundies and so the comparison is inapposite and the lofting of Turley’s chards to the “best in the world” status seems equally strange to me. Sort of like saying RunRig is the best syrah in the world. But RunRig tastes nothing like Cote Rotie…nothing at all. Same grape but completely different aromatic and taste profiled. So why compare really. Superlatives are temping in the world of criticism…one feels the need I think to constantly use them (and I don’t think that is limited to wine criticism). But it sort of leads to grade inflation, odd comparisons, latest is the greatest sentiments, etc.

In any event, if we are forced to compare California chards, I think The Judge nudges Helen’s wines on a consistent basis. But she is a close second.

“If Robert Parker did not exist, he would have to be invented”.

Give the man his props. He came along with an idea at the right time, and the market embraced him for it and propelled him to great heights. I am sure he is more surprised than anyone at the influence and power he has amassed. However, power corrupts…and perhaps his ego has been overinflated. I never met him so I can’t say. He is gracious enought to pass on his scepter, though.

I don’t do nuance. [snort.gif]


BTW, Batard and Chevalier are very different. Also Aubert for me is the best Cal chardonnay.


One of the things I always found a bit odd or funny is that, given that RP is often criticized for his lack of Burgundy knowledge/experience, he often analogizes his favorite California wines to some Burgundy counterpart. I don’t think I agree with his analogy in this case, though.



You are correct, I was thinking Peter Micheal’s, mea culpa.

Odd, over 30+ years In person I have found him to be a gentleman, gracious, fun dining companion and being quite the regular guy.

I admire him most for these two things:

  1. He (along with the Judgement of Paris) poked a hole in the myth of French wine hegemony
  2. He has managed to appear (at least to me) remarkably unpretentious in a very pretentious business


Lew, I take your point. Let me rephrase: If Parker loves Marcassin, more power to him. But I contend that no one could taste a Marcassin side by side with a top white Burgundy and come to the conclusion that they are similar in any way. That is where boldness turns to silliness.

Everything I have heard is consistent with this dichotomy. I have not met him in person, but everyone who does says he’s polite, modest, engaging, generous, and modest. Did I mention modest? But in his writing, esp. online without an editor (recall that his mother was his editor for decades), he often chooses an ugly turn of phrase when disagreeing with people.

Just as one example, he wrote “The biggest disappointment was the 2006 Clos de Tart. Like so many red Burgundies from 2006 seem to be, it was underripe, excessively acidified, and almost textureless. It’s a sham, and it’s amazing how few people are willing to stand up and admit such stuff exists.” while in the same month, his own reviewer, David Schildknecht, gave it 93 points. Now, of course any 2 tasters can disagree. We do this all the time in the tasting groups I’m in when we’re tasting from the same bottle. Here, it is from different bottles, so there is also the possibility of one being a bad bottle. It’s the swipe at those who might disagree with him that I find so off-putting and consistent with what I think Neal is talking about.