What kind of Pinot fan are you? Parker or 'Hound

Just got the latest BH Newsletter. Some Parker favorites not exactly to his liking. (Parker scores in brackets.)

2007 Pinot Noir – Reuling Vineyard red 77 (98)
2007 Pinot Noir – UV red 78 (95+)

Calera 2007 Pinot Noir – Jensen Vineyard red 89 (97)
2007 Pinot Noir – Mills Vineyard red 89 (95)
2007 Pinot Noir – Selleck Vineyard red 87 (98)

2007 Pinot Noir – Cuvée Catherine – Occidental Station Vineyard red 88 (95-97)
2007 Pinot Noir – Cuvée Elizabeth – Bodega Headlands red 88 (96-98)

2005 Pinot Noir – Blue Slide Ridge Vineyard red 79 (96)
2005 Pinot Noir – Marcassin Estate red 82 (98+)
2005 Pinot Noir – Three Sisters Vineyard red 76 (94)

Too bad SQN wasn’t reviewed. Perhaps saving it for the next issue. Can’t wait!!!


All you can ask is for each of them to keep their palates consistent.

Gosh, what the heck happened to Calera in 2007? Parker had always reviewed them fairly well, but nothing like this, and Meadows had previously tended to give them outstanding ratings.
Kistlers strike me as vastly overrated by both men. I had the 2007 Cuvee Elizabeth recently and found it undrinkable.

I hear ya. This worries me greatly. I am a big fan of Calera, and I am hoping that they haven’t changed their winemaking to satisfy the Parker (and Laube?) camp(s). I tend to like my Calera’s with plenty of cellar age (10+ years), but I guess that I had better try a 2007 before continuing to add them to my cellar.

Uh…SQN has not released a pinot since 2005.

I like Aubert, dont like Calera, couldn’t give a bigger shit about what either guys says about them.

Could be a vintage issue. Iirc, Parker also gave very high scores to some of Calera’s 1999 wines.

Also, with a couple of exceptions in 2006 and 2005, most of Meadow’s ratings of Calera over the last decade come in around the 88-90 area - some 87s and 86s, too.

Seems inconceivable as long as Josh Jensen is breathing. But Calera can be pretty big and sweet on release as a general rule, and I don’t know what this vintage might have given them.

How can you tell?

I found the Marcassin and Aubert reviews particularly entertaining. The 05 Three Sisters described as “commercially unacceptable.” Fantastic. I have to say, I’ve enjoyed the couple Marcassin Pinots I’ve had. Though not sure how Pinot-y they are. I like them a lot more than Aubert, which has always just tasted like a completely hot mess to me.

Regardless, the more palates in the reviewing chorus the better. But I’m a Burghound man myself. He is great to read, and I enjoy every day a new issue comes out.

Only the Calera scores are [scratch.gif] to me.
This is not the first time he has ripped on those others. Interestingly enough, I almost completely agree with him on the others! He’s been a huge boon to my Cali Pinot drinking.

Parker likes what he likes, Laube likes what he likes, Meadows likes what he likes in the world of pinot. But it does seem Meadows has a little bit more hatred of certain wines (i.e. Aubert/Marcassin)

Calera is definitely an outlier among this group, and the only one listed that I have any real history with. I don’t subscribe to either newsletter, and drink plenty of PN outside this group, so I guess neither one describe my preferences.

I’m not a Burghound subscriber, but I see his notes from time to time. Does he rate many California pinots 95+?

I think the total is now 1. Previous high was 94.

One or two but keep in mind a 95+ burghound score is pretty rare and even very few burgs reach that.

I know folks can like many different styles of wine but I have a really hard time with a true Burg lover liking Marcassin and others like it. Marcassins I’ve had have been totally repulsive to me.

As has been pointed out the Burghound scores for the Calera are fairly good.
No matter to me though, due to the WA scores I am now priced out of the Jensen and Selleck.

I don’t subscribe to either critic though I keep running into the Meadows reviews on CT for WV and CA stuff I own, so I am curious. Still seems to be a bit to pay just for domestic pinot coverage. If I bought more burgundy it would be well worthwhile, but then I do want to be able to retire one day…

I think he just gave his first 95 in this issue. Before that he had issued only five 94’s and eight 93’s since starting covering California, according to his database.

Needless to say, Meadows is a little more conservative than Parker or Laube.

He also seems to not enjoy high alcohol pinots. He did a great interview on Grape Radio (episodes 132 and 133) in which he discussed this. There is a line where some winery owners or winemakers said to him that they can’t get phenolic ripeness at a reasonably low potential alcohol. His reply was that maybe they planted their vineyard in the wrong place.

To answer the original post, with regard to pinot, I align far better with Meadows’ palate than Parker’s.

are those Parker scores or one of his Advocate staff?