Kudos to John Gilman and Greg Dalpiaz

Blind tasting can be so enlightening.

I love how people can criticize a person for reviewing wines poorly in a blind tasting…

http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/showthread.php?t=212949" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


First of all, how come people cannot accept it when an ESTABLISHED critic scores wines on the low to really low side?

Second, I love how Peuker comes out and has something negative to say and ties it back to German Riesling.

I am not bashing anyone, I am just amazed that people can question a respected critic, who tasted the wines BLIND. In addition, Greg Dalpiaz had a very low score on 1998 Sandrone Cannubi as well.

Heck, Parker gave 2005 Haut Brion 85 points in a blind tasting last month.

Bash away…

Wait, aren’t most of these people the ones who complain and cry when there is negative reaction to the scores of a certain Robert Parker???

I agree, except if the taster is a prat.

Hmm… I’ve had the Sandrone recently and I’d stick it in the high 80s. The 96, though, was mediocre.

I think the reaction isn’t at all surprising, esp since most of those people will be using Parker’s scoring definitions: http://www.erobertparker.com/info/legend.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Given that definition where 75 is average and 56 is unacceptable and given the critical reception of those wines by other critics I think it’s reasonable to question the scores. Outlier scores (high or low) will always draw commentary. I’ve not read Gilman’s take on this (I don’t subscribe) but my first question would be whether the scores really mean what they would in the Parker scaling and if so, whether second bottles were tasted. Even Del Piaz, whose palate I respect a lot, doesn’t come close to Gilman’s rating - yes 80 is v low for the Sandrone but saying it’s 80 (above average) is very different from saying it’s 56.

Actually, having just read the thread, I find Greg’s response to be somewhat BS - hopefully he ventures over here to comment. But just for the hell of it, I compared the differences in Greg’s blind scores and John’s blind scores for the six wines in Miron’s original post - on average, John scored the wines 15 points lower than Greg did (and in three cases, the difference was at least 20 points). Now given the fact that the wines were from the same blind bottles, and both Greg and John are presumably knowledgeable tasters, just what is a wine drinker supposed to conclude from these disparate scores?

Sorry, but having both purchased and consumed wine with Greg, I’d have to conclude that John’s scores have a built-in bias that forces me to dismiss them and conclude that Greg’s are the more accurate.

I’d take a wild leap and conclude that taste is subjective, and your perception aligns better with Greg than John.

Then we’re back to ‘ccritics are useless’ territory. Don’t score wines if your tastes are really that subjective. Look, I’m no apologist for scoring, but a 56 in any 100 point systems goes beyond a slight disagreement into ‘this is shit’ territory. The entire utility of one person’s scores and notes to any other people is that they’re a reasonably representation of the wine and that the scores reflect not only “I like this” but some ability to weigh the various things that make up a wine and sum them up. For example, I hate the high extract style of Pinot. Hate it. But if I were giving scores to it I’d want to evaluate it on more than “I like it/hate it” and look at the wine’s nose, palate, finish, complexity, balance, etc. Certainly personal opinion has to play into this, but a scoring system implies that there’s a system at work, not just whims.

I just don’t think a critic should simply go “Hmm, I think this is about a 91” but should be able to present some rationale for a score. That might be a certain number of points for nose, finish, etc or it might be more vague, but I’d hope it’s not just “I like it, give it 88”.

I find it interesting that there is so much angst over points. Most of the responses ignore the actual note written by Gilman. If you actually read the notes, you understand exactly why he did not like the wines. Aren’t we supposed to read the notes rather than just the scores?

Greg, given that only the scores were linked, how would you propose we do that.

And Jim, I would buy your point if Greg had said 87 and John had said 84 (or even 81, for that matter) - that is a difference that I believe most tasters would say is believable based on the difference in one’s subjective palate preferences. But when Greg (who from my prior experiences is a very conservative scorer, especially when it comes to modernist-styled Barolo), rates a wine 89 points, which for him means this is a very nice wine that is a pleasure to drink, and John rates that same wine, from the same blind bottle, with 68 points, which I have to assume without having access to his complete TN means something equivalent to “Do Not Put in Mouth”, how do you suggest one reconcile that observation. While I do agree that winetasting is ultimately subjective, I don’t believe that it is so subjective that we can literally go from this wine is quite nice to this wine is utter shit with the same bottle of wine unless one of the two tasters had a bias against the style or was clueless (and I am by no means accusing John of the latter).

Well, that’s a lot of my point. With just the scores listed – with no explanation, even general, of why he didn’t like the wines – it’s just a troll. It should be seen as such and folks should move along to something worth reading rather than going into a tizzy over something that they cannot possibly understand without more.

If you actually read the notes, Gilman makes clear that he thinks that the poorly scored wines are marred by over-oaking. Divorced from this explanation – not to mention Gilman’s (apparent) general bias against heavily oaked wines – the scores don’t tell us very much.

Actually it is not hard. You go and register on http://www.cellartracker.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; for free. Then you go to the subscription management page and turn on a free 2-week trial which lets you access ALL of Gilman’s past reviews.

http://www.cellartracker.com/getcontent.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I am not sure if these referenced reviews were just published, and if so they won’t be integrated for a few weeks:
http://www.cellartracker.com/proissues.asp?ProPublication=View+From+the+Cellar" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Ahh, here is the article: http://www.cellartracker.com/proarticle.asp?iProArticle=161" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Again, ANYONE can check these out for free with a 2 week trial.

Does it even matter how low the scores are? These are expensive wines we are talking about. I don’t consider myself a point “ho” but I am not buying a $100 bottle of wine that is not considered at least “outstanding” by people with palates that align with my own, unless I have personally tasted a particular wine and have experience with how the wines age, etc. Practically speaking, what is the difference between an 85 or a 55 for an expensive wine? There is so much talk about scoring systems and the meaning of the 100 pt scale-- but how many of us are willing to finish a bottle of wine that we would rate at 80 points?

Let’s face it, few of us buy sub-90 point wines unless we have tried them and know something about the winery. Just ask the retailers. For that matter, I wonder how the 2007 CDP’s that “only” scored 90 or 91 points are selling?

I think the explanation we’re dancing around is that in some people’s scoring systems, 56 is “this is shit,” while in other people’s scoring systems, the “this is shit” range is pretty much anything under 89. If Gilman had written, “This wine is shit. 89 points,” nobody would be bitching.

I have now read the reviews and he lays out his case very well. One of the wines he calls the “most successful of the modernists” based on the aromatics then goes bat shit crazy that they put that wonderful raw material in bondage with way too much oak. I agree wholeheartedly that that deserves punishment scorewise if you are a points guy.

Imagine if someone took Miles Davis; Kind of Blue and remixed it with a big thumping disco beat down the middle and orchestra stab samples on the chord changes…you’d be giving that a 56 too!

I read through this thread on eBob earlier today and found it interesting. Clearly this has to do with style. If you look at all the wines he gave unfavorable scores to, they are all new oak style wines. Not really shocking, and appreciate the fact that this was a blind tasting.

Two things that I don’t think folks should miss.

This is 1 man’s opinion

It’s not a legendary vintage (a la 96 or 01)

Everyone has the right to score something 56 points, hell, 7 of us did the other night with my second bottle at dinner :wink:

Just further evidence to me that the point system is absolute comedy hour…