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Delhi Wine Club
Parker Sheds off California Tasting

Posted: Tuesday, 08 February 2011 18:27

Parker Sheds off California Tasting

Feb 8: Robert Parker, world’s most influential wine critic and founder of the Wine Advocate announced on Saturday that he has decided to stop reviewing California wines except older vintages, passing the responsibility to Antonio Galloni, keeping only Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley with him

Antonio Galloni, who has been responsible for Italian wine for several years had been getting larger portion of the review duties, including the influential portions of Burgundy, Cote d’Or and Chablis, following on his recent acquisition of duties for Champagne reviews.

This is big news for California.  Parker is almost entirely responsible for the phenomenal rise of many of the cult wines of the 1990s, including Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle which debuted with the 1992 launch with 99 points and Sine Qua Non. His ratings essentially defined the modern California style, which is extraordinarily opulent and hedonistic, or overwhelming and overblown.  He was singularly responsible to set a direction for California winemakers wanting to excel in the score wars.

There have been murmurs that Parker has been losing grip on the market through his reviews and perhaps due to overwhelming changes taking place he has been gradually becoming slightly less influential. This is considered a sign of his reaching the retirement soon and Galloni may be the heir apparent for

Critics of Parker blame him for high-alcohol, heavily oaked, massively extracted California wines. There have been some puzzling stances at times, like his continued defense of the super-ripe 1997 vintage, which even many winemakers now admit created wines that aren’t enduring as well as expected. (It brought perfect 100-point scores for Harlan, Bryant Family, Abreu Madrona Ranch and Screaming Eagle according to SF Chronicle

But Parker was also instrumental in advancing the cause of Rhone-style wines in the United States; his annual California Rhone tasting brought dozens of new producers to the attention of deep-pocketed drinkers, and a huge amount of money into the state’s wine industry.

Following are responsible for  the review  on his behalf from now onwards:

Robert Parker - Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, older vintages of Bordeaux, Rhône and California wines
Antonio Galloni - Italy, Champagne, Chablis, Côte d'Or, California
David Schildknecht - Germany, Loire, Beaujolais and Mâconnais, Eastern U.S., Austria,
Eastern Europe, Languedoc-Roussillon, Jura
Jay Miller - Oregon, Washington, South America, Spain
Lisa Perrotti Brown MW - Australia, New Zealand
Neal Martin - Critic-at-Large overlapping all areas, plus specific reviewer of South Africa
Mark Squires - Bulletin Board supervision and occasional articles on Israel, Portugal, and Greece

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