Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on 26 October 2009
At first the idea of defining a wine by a number somewhere between 0 & 100 has some superficial appeal. Then you look at wines you know and the number Parker hands down from on high and you wonder why? Why does Chateau Haut Marbuzet 2005 get a lower score from parker than anyone else (and with a provocative question mark)? We will never know. Can there really be a difference between a wine getting 92 points and another getting 93. Would another famous palate agree? The excellent annual "Guide Hachette" (French wine only and only in French) gets by with a four point scale and is none the worse for that.
As to the editorial part: Mr Parker seems to have chips on both shoulders. Obviously his feelings have been bruised by other folk not giving him due respect! The venerable Hugh Johnson is mentioned twice in a 1500 page book: once as a book reference and once to denounce him for compromising on whether wine should be filtered.
Altough well written and stylish this huge book is very unbalanced. In particular there is very little coverage of more affordable wines. Wheras half the book is about French wine, some of the less well known regions get a couple of lines each. Some of the large producers, such as La Chablisienne (the cooperative in Chablis and producer of nearly a third of it's wine), does not even rate a mention. Unless you are mostly interested in classed growth bordeaux or grand cru burgundy, you'd be better off with Oz Clarke's or Hugh Johnson's little pocket books and less likely to get a hernia.