Saturday, May 13, 2006
Empires Come and ....Go
As promised in my last posting, we'll cover Emperor parker. I am sitting here with two recently acquired books. One is Hugh Johnson A Life Uncorked. The second one is Elin McCoy's The Emperor of Wine. Lets start with a well known fact that drinking and tasting wine is all very subjective. What Parker likes is not necessarily your or my cup of tea (or in this case ....glass of wine). The recent transAtlantic battle between Parker and Jancis Robinson proves that point once again. Jancis Robinson called the 2003 Château Pavie "a ridiculous wine". Parker loved the wine and thereby questioned her integrity. It is Parker's rating system that is creating all the buzz. Quoting from Hugh Johnson's " A Life Un corked, "If I missed the point of what Robert Parker was trying to do with his percentages of perfection, I made a mistake. To me his numbers game was simply irrelevant. He could score away as he liked, and I could enjoy my wine untroubled. It took years for the realization to dawn that his scoring was influencing the way wines were being made. He, of course, would say for the better. We have different tastes."
Parker has thoroughly ruffled the British wine press' feathers.
Sommeliers in all the finest restaurants do not have a great love for Parker Points. Says Eugenenio Jardin of San Francisco's "Jardiniere" ... "I tell a customer who says, 'Why don't you carry this Parker 100-point wine?' that if I serve you a wine you don't like, I'll be right here to talk about it. But if I serve a wine that Parker loves and you don't like it, I won't be able to get him on the phone for you." The power of Parker points are demonstrated in this slighlly altered Bob Johnson's cartoon shown above.
And how about Parker's recent sojourn into judging "star" wines. "Parker insists that when he used “opulent and luscious”, he was referring to the wine, not the star. OK,what about that Italian winemaker Roberto Cipresso. A very respected winemaker going into business with Savanna Samson. Formerly a papal vintner and now making wine with an American pornstar. Now let me see 1.1 billion Catholics or Parker Points porn star. I think I would stick with the papal crowd. I think the "Emperor" is slipping in the ratings. My favourite all time Emperor is still Moet & Chandon's biggest fan, The Emperor Napoleon himself. And you wondered what that picture at the top of this entry was all about? Well now you know. Empires come and go. Good luck Mr. Parker.