The EWS 2005 Bordeaux tasting and RMP's Newsletter: Are They Consistent?

You’re asking the wrong person, Chris.
I’ve never been able to figure out the purpose of a numerical scoring system.

I don’t mean to blow something out of proportion than it isn’t, but does anyone else see a big problem with this? I do. What if he were to do that with his tastings at chateaux, etc.

Not trying to bash, but geez.

I guess it’s a problem if you just buy wines on the points and if the points `change’ somehow you think differently about the wine. Haven’t we all tried the same wine at two different points in time, sometimes the same day, and thought differently about it??

I won’t deny that I look at points and get a charge if a wine I buy gets a good score…but even in my limited experience I know… and most of you know… that we only really care about the score if we have a plan to flip a wine in the future or for bragging rights at a tasting. After I have bought something, what does it matter to the wine I have in my locker if Parker or Wong or whomever now gives it an 83 when before they had given it a 97??? The wine doesn’t know that. It is what it is, and what it is is what I think about it, or you think about it, at the moment you taste it.

The scale Parker uses is an ordinal scale, regardless of any verbiage around it. A 94, in that system, is always better than a 92.


I (and probably most others here) agree with your points, but my issue is that he essentially has two sets of comments about SAME tasting that contradict each other. What changed? I don’t think he took all the wines home and re-tasted. It’s just hard to make logical sense of. I would happily cut him (or anyone else) plenty of slack regarding TASTING inconsistencies as I also believe any implication of near absolute precision to be a joke for nearly everyone.

As to the numerical scoring system - well, we all know that’s a can of worms and I was just asking it rhetorically. IF you are going to use one, the higher numbers should indicate a better wine.

As to Parker’s comments, if he has wines he tastes that he prefers, he should use that language rather than “better” or “best” and even some simple explanation at the time. (maybe he did and maybe he didn’t - I wasn’t there - but, that’s not the impression he left everyone with) Not a big deal for most of us amateurs, but he’s a professional in some way even at informal events. I try to always avoid imprecise language regarding my profession regardless of the circumstances I’m discussing it.

In some ways, I feel a little silly discussing this ad nauseam, but this did leave me scratching my head.



And I am still trying to figure out how a 95 is better than a 100.

Le Gay was his favorite wine of the night, according to everyone who attended the event, yet 2 weeks later, his scores do not reflect that.

Someone please explain…

Maybe Parker will come here and post?

One guy wrote on ERP “fully agree in a blind tasting to hit that level of consistency just further cements the brilliance of the Parker palate.”. Pardon me for my French but ‘are you facking kidding me?’ The wines were tasted single blind (ie Everyone knew that all wines were very highly rated) so rating them as Bob did, any random person can do it. I respect Bob but saying that this shows the brilliance is the craziest thing I have ever heard. There definitely still are blind followers.


Yes, I saw that too, and admit I did a double take.

I know at least one ERP moderator participates on this board so cest la vie. With my respect for Bob, I toned down my response on ERP.


Parker did not say that, Richard Shama did. No reason to show him respect. He is just apologizing for the man.

I am 41 now just about to turn 42. I have been drinking wine for the last quarter century. Bob was one of the major factors in why I got into wine. I read the buying guides in and out and always dreamed of tasting the 82 Mouton. My palate may not align with Bob anymore but my passion for wine started and grew because of Bob, hence I will always respect him.

No,they aren’t kidding you. Thought I believe that they are fewer there are still a lot of Parker sycophants. There are a lot of people who hang on his every review. I think that recent events on the other board and how he’s handled his writers have tarnished his image with a lot of long time readers/customers/subscribers. I know they did with me. These events are well documented and there is certainly no reason to re-hash them.

From what I’ve red, the EWS and RMP’s newsletter aren’t really that consistent. I’m about the same age as Kevin and like him started reading Parker and getting into wine 25 years ago. I owe a lot to Parker as far as educating me and now I owe him because I know where our tastes align and where they don’t so he’s still saving me time & money. I haven’t really made up my mind but I am beginning to believe that Mr. Parker needs to scale back his entire enterprise and get back to what made him famous or maybe even retire. He’s still probably spilled more great wine than a lot of us will ever drink.



I understand that, my point is that even Parker would have to call that comment absurd. He knew every wine in the lineup and knew they were all 95 points and up, did not take a genius to assume high scores at the tasting…

Wine is fun, nothing to see hear, no money involved…everyone just shut up now…" onclick=";return false;

BTW, I am going through a bottle of 2005 Pape Clement. Based on first two days, I would rate the wine at 95 pts, very cal cult like, very well made but seem soulless when tasted non-blind. Some folks are saying 3± points what is the big deal. I agree on one hand but that three points can cause the wines to go up or down by 50% in value. Also if 3± points is not a big deal hence you don’t care about $ value in your collection, you rarely need to follow the critics, just follow the vintage.

Agreed, Kevin, and not to get sidetracked, but my point was, that based on the numerous people who were there, and how well the wines showed, he was not going to score the wines poorly. Although a couple of people told me that the stuffing “inside” of HB was amazing and they felt Parker should have recognized that and scored it that well.

I agree that wine should be fun. The reality is people complain about the electronic version of TWA being slower than the hard copy and some opt for via overnight delivery. There is no way that the chateau owners will treat some American wine enthusiasts as well as they do, if the wine is just fun to them.

In Bob’s defense, it is hard to assess wines with 1 oz pour but then the issue becomes the validity of EWS.

What you and others above are missing is that that it seems RP is reporting the exact same tasting results differently (presuming the reports of his comments at the tasting are accurate). THAT is an issue - you simply cannot say “Wine A was the best wine of the night for me” at the tasting and then write up notes later for that same tasting which place Wine G at the top. That is, on the face of it, contradictory and has nothing to do with the issue you raise of whether we can be consistent in our impressions as we taste different bottles of the same wine over a span of time.

You guys are burying the lede. If you ask me Parker’s most notable comment in that thread is this:

never in my 30+ years of tasting have I ever done a serious professional tasting at night…of course I have done endless numbers of evening tastings for fun…for charity…for pay…and for my own amusement…and of course virtually ALL of my drinking takes place at night…just like the HG notes…tasting…drinking wine with a group of people casually is a totally different event than tasting in isolation with 100% control of the glassware…the size of the pour…the temperature of the wine…and all of those tastings are done during daylight hours…

So from that one can assume that Parker’s reviews should be very reliable for people who taste all their wines in the morning in flights of 100, but people who drink wine in the evening can expect to have “totally different” reactions from his.

While some may have a valid gripe at the pours, I personally do not. I got two solid tastes of the wine in my mouth.

Ideal? No.

But for my purposes, it works.

Bob has been doing tastings with them for 20 years. I think it is a bit disingenuous for him to complain about the pours.