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on 17 June 2013
A fine book and a very enjoyable read, the commentary is reused in the wine buyers guide. It is however out of date.
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on 19 October 2014
Not the current edition that I was expecting.
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on 4 March 2002
Unlike one reviewer stated earlier, "This book, in my opinion, fails to depict the mystique that surrounds wines", is unfounded. This book is not written and was not meant to show the mystic which surrounds wines. This is a excellent reference for explaining what type of wine was produced at a chateau during a given vintage. Not only does Mr. Parker rate the wines but defines the subtle characteristics most people can not distinguish. Copious tasting notes on many vintages and information provided about the chateau have proven to be quite useful when selecting wines to enjoy, while not over paying on poor vintages. Mr. Parker also addresses the issue on each chateau listing on classified growths on whether or not they still merit the classification bestowed upon them in 1855.
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on 18 May 2005
If you are a lover of the wines from one the world's finest and greatest wine regions (ie. the wines of Bordeaux; the other region being Burgundy)then you have to buy or have access to this book. It really is as simple as that. No other guide to Bordeaux wines is as complete, as consistent or displays as much scholarship and applied and intelligent research as does this one. For all the bric bats that are thrown his way, for all of the carping and moaning, for all of the jealous mutterings of his rivals, Robert Parker's consistently excellent tasting and writing talents continue to stand him out from the crowd. As with any wine critic and wine writer, you may find that his tastes do not coincide with yours. That is not a problem. I have a cellar that is full of wines that have been rated anywhere between 86/100 points and 100/100 points by Parker. There are days and occasions when the 86 pointer is just what I wish and need, and there are others when the 100 pointers are chosen to form the centrepiece of a grand and memorable dining experience. Parker does not profess to lay down taste requirements or criteria. He judges and comments on the quality of the wine. Think of chocolate. The finest chocolate, most would agree, is made by Belgian chocolatiers and are refined, elegant and linger on the palate, long after the chocolate has been consumed. However, it may well be the case that some of us do not enjoy chocolates which are made at that level of refinement or we cannot tolerate it on a daily or regular basis. We may be much happier munching a Snicker bar or a Reeces pieces. And so it is with wine. A wine which obtains a high Parker score will be a wine which deserves, through sheer quality, to be rated highly, in terms of its demonstrated quality, as objectively (yes, objectively) assessed by Parker. What we, the consumer, do with that information/advice is up to us, and Parker has never, so far as I know, ever sought to suggest that it should be any way otherwise.
The book covers every Bordeaux estate that you can think of and many others besides (the one famous exception being Dome, owned by Jonathan Maltus), and provides a description of the property, its ownership, the nature, and quantity (in terms of numbers of bottles or cases of 12 bottles)of the wines produced, the volume of wine produced per hectare (a significant indicator of potential quality of the wine) and a vintage by vintage description and scoring of the principal wines produced by the various properties. Typically, there will be twenty or so recent vintages of the top Chateaux described, and perhaps half a dozen or so vintages of the less grand, but still grand wines. Of the lesser (but still very good wines), there will be general descriptions of the type and quality of wine produced, without any vintage by vintage scoring or descriptions. Advice is given in all cases as to the probable longevity of the wines, and the periods of their plateaux of maturity - the period of time during which the wine is fully evolved and at its peak. All in all, then, an excellent book. Buy it.
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on 20 February 2004
Although Parker's revised 4th Edition might be considered a must for serious lovers and students of Bordeaux wines, there are two unfortunate omissions.
Firstly, many valuable tasting notes that appeared in earlier editions have been left out. Secondly, the author’s personal one-word evaluation of the property in question – which used to appear at the top right hand side of each entry – has been omitted, in favour of a more wordy explanation.
Aside from these two gripes, the guide is worthy – if a little overpriced, considering the mainly regurgitated material.
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on 29 July 2007
If you are interested in wine, and in claret in particular, this book is simply indispensible. Whether you agree or disagree with Robert Parker's approach, his opinions shape the wine world. In fact, we could do with a new and updated edition.
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on 14 April 2009
this is Parkers latest "bible" for wine enthusiasts , although now looking a little long in the tooth (and surely due for a new edition soon which should cover wines later than 2003 vintage ).
Otherwise a splendid book with masses of detail and an easy to read style .
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on 13 March 2002
If you are obsessive about wines from Bordeaux then this is the book for you. An immense amount of detail but easy to read or navigate. Love or loath Parker's scoring system he has tasted anything that moves and has an opinion - now where's my glass of Petrus '45?
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on 20 June 2001
This book is essential to anyone who is serious about drinking, collecting or even investing in fine wines from Bordeaux. A comprehensive analysis of each commune, vintage and individual Chateau.
However it would be nice to have an update soon from Mr Parker - this book only covers wines up to the 1997 vintage. Hopefully we will soon have an update including the exciting 2000 vintage soon.
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on 30 April 1999
Thick and chuncky in the hand, this tome looks the business, a quick scan of the pages shows dense information with a clear layout. Massively comprehensive, he covers all major and many minor chateaux, dip into it for fun to dream of what you can't afford, or use it as the definative "what bordeaux". Last read 28th April 1999 - plateau of maturity now to 2004
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