From the INDIAN WINE ACADEMY Newsletter — February 8, 2011 18:27
Robert Parker, world’s most influential wine critic and founder of the Wine Advocate announced on Saturday that he has decided to continue tasting only Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley wines and stop reviewing California wines except older vintages, passing the responsibility to Antonio Galloni.
Galloni, who has been Wine Advocate‘s responsible for Italian wine for several years, had been getting a larger portion of the review duties, including the influential portions of Burgundy, Côte d’Or and Chablis, following on recent duties for Champagne reviews.
In addition to his heavy and permanent work on Bordeaux, Parker was very instrumental in advancing the cause of Rhône Valley wines and Rhône-style wines in the US. His annual California Rhône 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.
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, 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 current drastic changes he has been gradually becoming slightly less influential.
This is considered a sign of his retirement soon and Galloni mIight be the heir apparent for eRoberParker.com
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 San Francisco Chronicle.