Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

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Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#1 Post by Marek Hnatyk »

A few times I had wines that received relatively low rating from Robert Parker ( let say 90-92 or 93/100 at best) but after cracking the cork I was shocked how good the wine is.
Here are my experiences:
- Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 1997, opened in previous year, my score: 97/100, RP score 90-92/100
- Newton Unfiltered Merlot 1997, two bottles opened in 2018 & 2019 with my identical score 96/100, RP score 90-92/100, by the way I have privilage to open also Newton Unfiltered Merlot 1991, scored by RP 94/100 and my private score was equal 1997 vingate so 96/100.
- Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2001, OK this got outstanding score from RP - 94/100, but I scored my bottle distinctly higher - 97/100
- Reignac Grand Vin 2010, opened in 2015 I scored 94/100, RP scored it for 90/100
- Forman Cabernet Sauvignon 1997, opened in 2016 I scored 94/100, RP score was 90/100
- Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon, opened bottle 2 months ago my final score was 98/100, RP scored this wine only 93/100
- Chateau Angelus 2001, I opened my only bottle in 2008 and was shocked by quality, I scored this wine 96/100. During that time only published Parker rating was 93/100. I decided to trust my own palate and buy another bottle of Angelus 2001 which costed me "only" 110 Euro. In 2015 new score from RP was published and he raised his rating to 97/100 for Angelus 2001 ( so almost the same as I scored this wine in 2008) and price for this wine rocketed up to 300 Euro or above.
Good side of mediocre high Parker ratings is that I could have bought stellar bottles for ridiculous low price. For great Newton Unfiltered Merlot I paid 30 Euro for 1991 and 55 Euro for 1997 or 109 Euro for unbelivable great Staglin cab 1997.
Do you have similiar experiences?
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#2 Post by Victor Hong »

What is RP?
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#3 Post by Marek Hnatyk »

Robert Parker
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#4 Post by alan weinberg »

93 red Burgundies.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#5 Post by Jim Brennan »

All the best wines have low RP scores.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#6 Post by MikeL238 »

Agree with Forman Cabernet Sauvignon 1997. Had it couple of weeks ago and it was just gorgeous.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#7 Post by Jonathan Loesberg »

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, a 90 from Parker was a score that sold wine and a 93 or 94 was considered a very high score. Maybe these wines were scored in that time and that place. On the other hand, once upon a time in a galaxy far away, there was a wine critic whose initials were RP. But that story is over.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#8 Post by larry schaffer »

Anything made by Qupe or ESJ . . .
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#9 Post by S. Rash »

Maybe you just have better taste then RP!! It has nothing to do with points, but finding the critic that has a similar palate to your own. For me, Jeb Dunnuck has the closest taste to my own palate and I take heed to his scores and reviews.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#10 Post by Tomás Costa »

I think someone who tastes a lot of wines for a short period of time each will inevitably develop a tired palate, and give preference to bigger wines, as RP did. Those wines, however, often end up being overkill at the dinner table. It's all about context.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#11 Post by Marshall Manning »

Jonathan Loesberg wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:56 am Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, a 90 from Parker was a score that sold wine and a 93 or 94 was considered a very high score. Maybe these wines were scored in that time and that place. On the other hand, once upon a time in a galaxy far away, there was a wine critic whose initials were RP. But that story is over.
Yeah, "low" scores to me aren't in the 90+ range, for sure. Low would be in the 70s. I've never been that concerned with scores, but I do remember WS scoring some of the '80s Giacosa wines in the high 70s.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#12 Post by Brent C l a y t o n »

I would much prefer to spend my time drinking wine than parsing 4 point differences between a critic's score and the score of some random dude on the internet.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#13 Post by Richard T r i m p i »

Brent C l a y t o n wrote: May 26th, 2020, 12:00 pm I would much prefer to spend my time drinking wine than parsing 4 point differences between a critic's score and the score of some random dude on the internet.
Yes, but some points taste better than others.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#14 Post by Tomás Costa »

S. Rash wrote: May 26th, 2020, 9:29 am Maybe you just have better taste then RP!! It has nothing to do with points, but finding the critic that has a similar palate to your own. For me, Jeb Dunnuck has the closest taste to my own palate and I take heed to his scores and reviews.
Not sure how often you agree or disagree with Parker, but he handed the Rhône ratings to Dunnuck claiming he's a 'younger version' of himself.

I actually do believe Parker when he claims everyone has been excessively pigeonholing his taste throughout his career. At least I'd like to believe there's no way your taste can be black and white after tasting so many things of such quality and variety. His palate might have a basic tendency, but I think we all have that, and are still capable of understanding the qualities of something that isn't exactly our cup of tea. That being said I like Jancis a lot better, for several reasons. Although I love unctuous, 'hedonistic' wines (once in a while), it baffles me how you can report 'low acidity' as a compliment, as Parker often did.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#15 Post by Philip N. Jones »

Lots of people get a lot of pleasure out of criticizing a particular critic.
As noted above, the key is to find a critic that aligns with your personal taste. Don’t bother to criticize the ones who don’t. Life is too short.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#16 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

Yeah, let’s debate how two people’s scores overlap within any reasonable margin of error.

Pointless!
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#17 Post by Gerhard P. »

Marek Hnatyk wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:01 am A few times I had wines that received relatively low rating from Robert Parker ( let say 90-92 or 93/100 at best) but after cracking the cork I was shocked how good the wine is.
90-93 is not a "low" rating ...
I sometimes have the feeling that several scores posted here are rather (too) high ... too generous, too euphoric ...
there should be enough air above for real greatness ...

My gut feeling is that it seems to be kind of a "shame" to post about a 88-point wine (which is by definition very good to excellent) ...

And last but not least rating is always kind of subjective (even if imho professional critics should try to stay as objective as possible ... which isn´t always the case ...)
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#18 Post by Marshall Manning »

Richard T r i m p i wrote: May 26th, 2020, 12:09 pm Yes, but some points taste better than others.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#19 Post by Cris Whetstone »

Long ago when I actually referred to those scores I remember noticing a lot of the Cabs I was taking to RMP would score in the range of about 90-92. He liked them. They just didn't get the fireworks.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#20 Post by Brian S t o t t e r »

Jim Brennan wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:36 am All the best wines have low RP scores.
Or are not scored at all by RP.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#21 Post by M.Kaplan »

Marek Hnatyk wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:24 am Robert Parker
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#22 Post by John Morris »

Marek Hnatyk wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:01 am A few times I had wines that received relatively low rating from Robert Parker ( let say 90-92 or 93/100 at best) but after cracking the cork I was shocked how good the wine is.
Here are my experiences:
- Staglin Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 1997, opened in previous year, my score: 97/100, RP score 90-92/100
- Newton Unfiltered Merlot 1997, two bottles opened in 2018 & 2019 with my identical score 96/100, RP score 90-92/100, by the way I have privilage to open also Newton Unfiltered Merlot 1991, scored by RP 94/100 and my private score was equal 1997 vingate so 96/100.
- Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2001, OK this got outstanding score from RP - 94/100, but I scored my bottle distinctly higher - 97/100
- Reignac Grand Vin 2010, opened in 2015 I scored 94/100, RP scored it for 90/100
- Forman Cabernet Sauvignon 1997, opened in 2016 I scored 94/100, RP score was 90/100
- Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon, opened bottle 2 months ago my final score was 98/100, RP scored this wine only 93/100
- Chateau Angelus 2001, I opened my only bottle in 2008 and was shocked by quality, I scored this wine 96/100. During that time only published Parker rating was 93/100. I decided to trust my own palate and buy another bottle of Angelus 2001 which costed me "only" 110 Euro. In 2015 new score from RP was published and he raised his rating to 97/100 for Angelus 2001 ( so almost the same as I scored this wine in 2008) and price for this wine rocketed up to 300 Euro or above.
Good side of mediocre high Parker ratings is that I could have bought stellar bottles for ridiculous low price. For great Newton Unfiltered Merlot I paid 30 Euro for 1991 and 55 Euro for 1997 or 109 Euro for unbelivable great Staglin cab 1997.
Do you have similiar experiences?
I think you are attributing far too much meaning and precision to the scores. What's 90 points one day tasted next to wines A, B and C might get 95 points a week later tasted next to D, E and F. Many critics today taste dozens of a wines at a sitting, where it's impossible to give a really thorough assessment. (Parker started tasting 50 and 75 wines at time 30 years ago.)

And, as others have said, low-90s scores were never bad. They just looked mediocre once Parker started giving lots of 95+ scores.

As Parker's tastes shifted toward very ripe wines, I generally found that I preferred wines he didn't give such high scores to. I often found his 88 and 90 point wines better balanced for my palate than the 96 and 98 point ones.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#23 Post by Richard T r i m p i »

John Morris wrote: May 26th, 2020, 5:38 pm As Parker's tastes shifted toward very ripe wines, I generally found that I preferred wines he didn't give such high scores to. I often found his 88 and 90 point wines better balanced for my palate than the 96 and 98 point ones.
He gave some crazy high ratings to dessert wines that I couldn't stand. His Australia explorations were a bridge too far.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#24 Post by Otto Dobre »

I may understand the post if we talked about some outliers, but here we are talking about a few points. So yeah, we have differernt tastes. [popcorn.gif]

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#25 Post by C. Keller »

S. Rash wrote: May 26th, 2020, 9:29 am Maybe you just have better taste then RP!! It has nothing to do with points, but finding the critic that has a similar palate to your own. For me, Jeb Dunnuck has the closest taste to my own palate and I take heed to his scores and reviews.

Yep. completely agree on the alignment comment. If not and you just hunt scores from everyone you'll be in for a lot more disappointment.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#26 Post by Adam Frisch »

Just the other day Jeb Dunnuck gave 100pts to the Immortal Cab that's a sister brand to Tim Tusk's Tusk. I've never tasted the wine (and at $300/bottle I doubt I will), but at 28 months on 85% new oak I have a pretty good idea of what bracket it's in. Here's what's even more interesting - 2014 it was only 24 months on 75% new oak and got only 99 pts from Jeb. So that extra 7.5% of new oak really clinched the deal! [head-bang.gif]

Bottom line is - if you want to get big points and want bragging rights, there's only one way to do it, still - go massive new oak, go big. Your reward is your excess. All the stuff about new restraint, old world, finesse, a new California etc means nothing. All the talk about a retraction from "Parkerization" and the excessive old CA style is just empty talk - it's still in full swing, still in play, still what gets scores. Nothing's changed. Producers that go for nuance and finesse, have no chance.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#27 Post by Mel Knox »

Adam,


I have always wanted to do a newsletter in which we open wines in the cellar and see whose prognostications were correct.

In the meantime, I am using what you wrote to help sell barrels.

Thanks so much


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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#28 Post by Tomás Costa »

Adam Frisch wrote: May 26th, 2020, 10:43 pm Producers that have nuance and are going with finesse, have no chance.

deadhorse
Could this be a positive for the not so gullible consumer? If you don't like the kinds of wines that get the most points, the point system is making bargains out of the wines that you do like (roughly speaking - really small producers have no choice but to jack up prices a lot of the time).
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#29 Post by dcornutt »

I think there are probably many wines like this. The 1994 Angelus is one that pops into my mind. To me this is such a terrific wine. RP did like it. 92 points but I liked it a lot. A lot more than that. For several years, this was my favorite Angelus besides the 89/90 duo. It remains one of the very best.

Anything involving Figeac and Beychevelle I liked more than RP. Classic wines that weren't overdone in any way. FWIW.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#30 Post by Adam Frisch »

Mel Knox wrote: May 26th, 2020, 11:33 pm Adam,


I have always wanted to do a newsletter in which we open wines in the cellar and see whose prognostications were correct.

In the meantime, I am using what you wrote to help sell barrels.

Thanks so much


Mel
Ha! Do it! [cheers.gif]

I also edited my post to be a little less amped up (yes, I'd had a few glasses of wine). Tomas, would you mind re-quoting my post in yours? And yes, maybe you're right - maybe I should look at it as a positive! But then how would you know anything - does wine actually suck or does it just not have oak?
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#31 Post by James Wright »

the only instance during fifteen years working retail that i ever placarded a case-stack of wine with an RP rating:

1991 Schloss Saarstein Riesling Trocken
59 points

brilliant wine, sold out stacks coupla times
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#32 Post by Victor Hong »

Richard T r i m p i wrote: May 26th, 2020, 5:53 pm
John Morris wrote: May 26th, 2020, 5:38 pm As Parker's tastes shifted toward very ripe wines, I generally found that I preferred wines he didn't give such high scores to. I often found his 88 and 90 point wines better balanced for my palate than the 96 and 98 point ones.
He gave some crazy high ratings to dessert wines that I couldn't stand. His Australia explorations were a bridge too far.

RT
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#33 Post by Tomás Costa »

Adam Frisch wrote: May 27th, 2020, 2:45 am
Mel Knox wrote: May 26th, 2020, 11:33 pm Adam,


I have always wanted to do a newsletter in which we open wines in the cellar and see whose prognostications were correct.

In the meantime, I am using what you wrote to help sell barrels.

Thanks so much


Mel
Ha! Do it! [cheers.gif]

I also edited my post to be a little less amped up (yes, I'd had a few glasses of wine). Tomas, would you mind re-quoting my post in yours? And yes, maybe you're right - maybe I should look at it as a positive! But then how would you know anything - does wine actually suck or does it just not have oak?
I think there are many ways... For starters, we can start by learning to identity those things in reviews which are meant as praise by the reviewer, but which aren't our cup of tea. Parker was very explicit by using 'low acidity' in the middle of a string of compliments (which baffles me). Then you might do the opposite: listen to people whose palate you do trust. I think that goes for reviewers, producers and retailers: some retailers I know have a very specific philosophy, and so I know that anything I buy there will not taste like a 100 point RP wine.

I also like listening to producers whenever possible. A favorite producer-oenologist of mine has been doing a series of Instagram lives where he discusses his wine making philosophy, and why he uses so little oak. It only confirmed my appreciation for his work. He's even discussed his vinicultural philosophy, although I'm not technically competent enough to judge that.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#34 Post by Victor Hong »

Marek Hnatyk wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:24 am Robert Parker
Thank you.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#35 Post by Marek Hnatyk »

Maybe I precise my statement. Of course I do not think that low 90 is bad score or means bad wine. Absolutely.
Starting from 90/100 are outstanding wines in Parker scale but also for me.
But at the same time difference of at least 4 points or 6 points means one class of difference so let say diffrence between outstanding and great wine.
In such frame was my thinking. I also o put word "relatively" in the topic.
Besides if my private score/rating in most cases would be completly different than Robert Parker, I would think that I do not understand wines or maybe I have different taste than Parker does.
BUT
75% (3/4) of all wines I had I scored exactly the same as Parker or 1 point lower/higher. So his scores are usually good guidness for me.
In my first post I mentioned only exeptions in which diffrence is remarkably high between my taste/palate and Parker rating.
I think that especially for Californian wines ( especially from 1997) he underestimeted how great these wines are after several years of aging ( I think the same for Mondavi Reserve 2001 or Newton Unfiltered Merlot 1991).
I thought examples mentioned in my first post would be interesting for forum members from that point of view.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#36 Post by Richard T r i m p i »

James Wright wrote: May 27th, 2020, 4:03 am the only instance during fifteen years working retail that i ever placarded a case-stack of wine with an RP rating:
1991 Schloss Saarstein Riesling Trocken
59 points
brilliant wine, sold out stacks coupla times
That's awesome. There must be more if not that egregious. Are sub 80s even possible these days?

RP turned on a lot of producers and regions. Loved Burgs until he didn't. Never seemed to care for Loire reds. Not really a Bojo fan either IIRC, unless it was crazy ripe. Pro ESJ until he wasn't. Then he got that whole un-ripe goat-herder north facing high altitude bug up his a$$. The rise and fall.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#37 Post by Howard Cooper »

alan weinberg wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:28 am 93 red Burgundies.
93 white Burgundies.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#38 Post by Howard Cooper »

1. ALL wine ratings are subjective. One will always have differences of 4-6 points with all wine writers. The big thing is when you start having differences of 10-20 points. At that point, your palate and the wine writer's palate do not align and you should stop reading him or her.

2. An example for me of huge discrepancies are Allen Meadow's rankings of 2003 Truchot wines. In January 2005, Allen rated the Charmes Chambertin 82-85?, the Clos de la Roche 78-82? and the GC Combottes (89-92). His notes on the Charmes and Clos de la Roche are:

2003 Clos de la Roche: (from two parcels planted in 1937 and 1955). After the fireworks of the Combottes, I frankly wasn’t
prepared for an ultra ripe and pruney nose and flavors that are more akin to dry port than burgundy. This is absolutely nothing
like the prior wines and is frankly just not very good. Avoid. (78-81?)/?
2003 Charmes-Chambertin: (from two parcels planted in 1920 and 1951). It’s clear that the inability to cool the musts
caused a problem here because even though the aromas and flavors are not as ripe and over-the-top as the Clos de la Roche,
there is a touch of volatile acidity and a slightly curious funky note to the finish. Despite these notable flaws, the wine is still
delicious and mouth coating but I cannot recommend it as I have trouble seeing this age successfully. (82-85?)/drink soon

Today, all three of these wines are fabulous and I would rate all three 95+. Moreover, the Combottes, while fabulous, is the weakest of the three but not by much.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#39 Post by James Wright »

Richard T r i m p i wrote: May 27th, 2020, 6:22 am
James Wright wrote: May 27th, 2020, 4:03 am the only instance during fifteen years working retail that i ever placarded a case-stack of wine with an RP rating:
1991 Schloss Saarstein Riesling Trocken
59 points
brilliant wine, sold out stacks coupla times
That's awesome. There must be more if not that egregious. Are sub 80s even possible these days?


RT
shortly after this, Schildknecht & Theise sat RP down
and gently explained that one ought to taste the dry wines before the sweet wines,
not afterward...
~ Verteidiger der Wahrheit ~

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#40 Post by alan weinberg »

Parker’s original 1993 red Burg ratings, revised upward years later by Rovani, were 67 Cote de Beaune and 73 Cote de Nuits.

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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#41 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Jonathan Loesberg wrote: May 26th, 2020, 8:56 am Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, a 90 from Parker was a score that sold wine and a 93 or 94 was considered a very high score. Maybe these wines were scored in that time and that place. On the other hand, once upon a time in a galaxy far away, there was a wine critic whose initials were RP. But that story is over.
Bingo.

I bought the 1992 Les Pavots for $28.99/btl and it was 92 points. But jaw droppingly good.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#42 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Marek Hnatyk wrote: May 27th, 2020, 6:06 am Maybe I precise my statement. Of course I do not think that low 90 is bad score or means bad wine. Absolutely.
Starting from 90/100 are outstanding wines in Parker scale but also for me.
But at the same time difference of at least 4 points or 6 points means one class of difference so let say diffrence between outstanding and great wine.
In such frame was my thinking. I also o put word "relatively" in the topic.
Besides if my private score/rating in most cases would be completly different than Robert Parker, I would think that I do not understand wines or maybe I have different taste than Parker does.
BUT
75% (3/4) of all wines I had I scored exactly the same as Parker or 1 point lower/higher. So his scores are usually good guidness for me.
In my first post I mentioned only exeptions in which diffrence is remarkably high between my taste/palate and Parker rating.
I think that especially for Californian wines ( especially from 1997) he underestimeted how great these wines are after several years of aging ( I think the same for Mondavi Reserve 2001 or Newton Unfiltered Merlot 1991).
I thought examples mentioned in my first post would be interesting for forum members from that point of view.
I think there are issues with this because humans, all of us, are inconsistent and numbers are not.

If memory serves, the 1986 Krug Les Mesnil was 96 points via Wine Spectator. An absolutely mind-blowing wine.

A number of years later Harvey Steiman awarded one of the Extended Tirage sparkling wines from Argyle 96 points. A very, very lovely wine that set a bar at the time for Willamette Valley sparkling. But IMO by no means the equal of the 86 Les Mesnil, and separated by the difference between an outstanding wine and a profound wine.
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on May 27th, 2020, 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Relatively low RP rating but wine drops your jaws

#43 Post by Jay Miller »

alan weinberg wrote: May 27th, 2020, 7:13 am Parker’s original 1993 red Burg ratings, revised upward years later by Rovani, were 67 Cote de Beaune and 73 Cote de Nuits.
I loved those days. Auction prices were the lowest I've ever seen.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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