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Oops! Parker on Aussie wine writers ...
"scott"
post Jul 17 2003, 04:36 PM
Post #41





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Having read through this mighty debate over at the squires board, it is an interesting debate. Once again JO finds himself in a defensive stance, and to his credit to responded with far more dignity than previous ripostes to those on here.

However, what I thought interesting how many people heaped praise on Andrew Jefford's book "the new france", including Jean Michel Caze apparently. Isn't this the same publication Mr Halliday declared barely suitable to wipe one's behind with?



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"scott"
post Jul 17 2003, 04:02 PM
Post #42





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Each to their own I guess. Personally I agree with RP's sentiments here more than I usually do his tasting notes!

I think the standard of wine writing is Australia is lamentable. There is so much collective knowledge, and so little that seems to go into print. The published palates seem too often wholly unreliable.

As for JO, my thoughts are clear, simply an unskilled taster. doesn't make him a bad person or anything, but...
I couldn't agree more with RP that tanzer is so far superior to JO, he should be doing OZ himself, and I disagree with his shot at Meadows. The one trick pony is fine, as long as the trick is on the money and I think Burghound is.
Given how many people take shots at Parker I'm surprised he doesn't have go back more often. Whether you like it or not, he is the world's most influential wine commentator by a country mile.



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"lantana"
post Jul 17 2003, 03:32 PM
Post #43





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Gregory T,
An interesting strand to the thread you refer to, is the swing that RP takes at Allen Meadows, who has a wonderful (IMHO) subscription newsletter called Burghound.com . I think the expression he used to describe him was a "one trick pony (Burgundy, Burgundy, Burgundy)" . Now, I must admit, there are days when I'm in need of a laugh & I'll open up my copy of "Burgundy" by RP, published in the early 1990's or even late 1980's, I think, (coincidentally just before Parker employed Pierre Rovani to handle Burgundy for him), because it provides some of the most amusing appraisals of Burgundy wines ever written! The man just doesn't, nor has he ever got Burgundy & for him to take a swipe at a man like Allen Meadows' expertise in the region, signifies the level of his sheer arrogance.
lantana



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"Aussie John"
post Jul 17 2003, 10:51 AM
Post #44





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I find Parker to be very much in sync with my palate, and no doubt he is the most successful critic because his palate is aligned to most wine "punters". I like what he writes.
JO is, to me, totally out of touch with the average wine drinker. His "palate" is, well, different, to say the least. Much of his wrtitng smacks of wine snobbery, and, to be frank, I still wonder what is the motive behind some of his comments.
JO's abysmal record in predicting the longevity and drinking window of a huge number of wines also detracts from his credibility as a professional wine critic.
Please understand, this is not a personal attack, but a severe critisism of his ability as a wine critic.



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"sanjay"
post Jul 17 2003, 06:46 AM
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Hi,

Each writer has his own idiosyncratic style with pet favourites and hates. And reviews of certain wines tend to highlight this discrepancy quite clearly. Is one Critique clearly better (or worse) than the other? No.

RJP has his followers and detracters by the truckloads. And so do others.

Important question is 'then whom do you follow?' When one is new to the world of wine we follow all of these guys avidly and accept every word they say as gospel truth. BUT over the years as ones palate gets
more fine tuned each one of us in turn becomes a critique with his or her own idiosyncracies. Then the question is "to whom we can best align our palates?" And the answer is not easy. For reds (esp OZ cabernet) you may like one individual but for german rieslings or burgundies you may like some one else altogether. Factor in to that equation that ones palate does change over the years and so do wine making styles. So the search for the alignment is a dynamic process. The search for the holy grail will therefore not end.


sanjay



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"Si"
post Jul 17 2003, 06:02 AM
Post #46





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Can't agree with you more Mark

I did read the post RP wrote on JO on his website, he merely said he disagree with JO?s palate. I guess you have to read the whole post!

I do read wine writer?s notes, but I will only treat them as a guide, and as mark said ?There is no "one" that I regard as the Holy Grail. Far from it.?

With time I have found you really have to rely on yourself most of the time, I opened a bottle of 95 St Henri last night, did not expect too much as most people reckon 95 was a poor vintage for St Henri, but to my surprise, it was a really good drink, full of dense pure fruit with round tannin and firm finish. It really goes to show, there is not right or wrong in wine, we have to learn to trust our own palate.





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"Mark D"
post Jul 16 2003, 06:32 PM
Post #47





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I think JO gets a bit of a bagging on this site.
I'm not personally protecting him (it's his business to do that) but I think the argument needs a sense of balance.

I have never bought a book by JO, yet I have bought several by Halliday, Coates, Hooke, Evans, Jancis Robinson, Michael Broadbent, Hugh Johnston, Beeston et al. The only JO book I have was given to me, and like all hte others, I rely on it only as one person's opinion.

There is no "one" that I regard as the holy grail. Far from it.

If you are really going to benefit from these guys, you need to understand the style they like. In reality, the one I have had the most bumsteers from it Halliday. I personally think he gets carried away with himself and is often too emotional.

I have entirely disagreed with numerous RMP notes as well. Yet what he tastes in a barrel is often irrelevant to what goes in the bottle. Esp in Bordeaux. I rely on the Poms (irrespective of their pompous, snooty notes at times) more on French wines yet they remain largely clueless about Australian wines.

So put the personalities (I think JO is a better writer than cricket commentator, by the way) the key is to understand the styles of the wines and to understnad what you like as an individual.

For example, I much prefer barossa to McLaren Vale - if you agree, no problem. I love white Burgundies yet others can't understand them.

C'est la vie!



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"Andy"
post Jul 16 2003, 04:02 PM
Post #48





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Ouch - I have to disagree re Jeremy Oliver.

I find JO's guide to be the most reliable for Australian wines and ensure I buy it each year. He has different opinions, and is not afraid to give them. In particular, he has openly reassessed wines which he has tasted subsequent to his original assesment (ie Jim Barry Armagh I think).

I assume Parker has taken a shot back after JO cleverly lamented the influence Mr P has on the world of wine in the last issue of his guide.

Personally, having had a fair bit of vino from all over the world I think Australia is blessed with a great number of talented wine writers. In particular, younger writers such as JO, Max Allen, Jeni Port, Ben Canadier and Ralph Kyte-Powell offer a bit of excitement and passion.

I think it is very easy to get used to treating a singule opinion as gospel without considering others. Such is the case with JH in Australia and Robert Parker in the US/rest of the world. Just how many times has James Halliday written about DRC wines?

As Parker himself wrote "It's all about who YOU agree(more often than not) with anyhow."




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"GregoryT"
post Jul 16 2003, 09:33 AM
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Parker has had a thinly veiled go on Jeremy Oliver on his website vis-a-vis:

"From Australia, world class writers include James Halliday (even though I don?t generally agree with his taste, no one has written a better book on California than his ?California Wine Atlas?), and the incomparable/charismatic Len Evans. These two authors stand far above the crop of younger writers Australia has turned out."

and

"Tanzer's Australian guy is unknown to me [Oliver],but given his reviews,his philosophy of wine and taste are totally different from mine and thats fine...looks to me like an anti-flavor/texture, high acid, sterile filtered,very inflexible sort of taster like many Australian-raised writers tend to be. But in his defense,he probably thinks I'm too kind to those big bad shirazes from the Barossa and Mclaren Vale. IMHO,Steve is a much finer taster,and I wish he were writing about Australia. It's all about who YOU agree(more often than not) with anyhow."

Personally I agree with Parker, and consider Oliver the worst wine writer I have come across (its not that I just disagree with him vehemently on nearly every score including his notes,it is also the fact he is so inconsistent in scoring and in vintages), and Aussie reviewers in general to be woeful and far too lenient on our own wines.

What do others think?





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