Tag Archives: Robert Parker

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Why I never award 100 points

A few readers have queried whether I have ever given a wine a perfect score – 100/100 points.  The answer is no: I never give 100 points, on principle.  No matter how perfect we think a wine is while we’re enjoying it, there’s always one

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Torbreck spat leaves bitter aftertaste

The bitter split between Dave Powell and the owner of the winery he founded, Torbreck Vintners, is the talking-point of the moment. Torbreck is an iconic Barossa Valley winery Powell founded in 1994. He built Torbreck from nothing to a world-renowned brand, selling blockbuster Barossa reds with prices at the highest end, crowned by The Laird, which commands $900 for the 2008 vintage, exceeding the likes of Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace.

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So how good is the latest Grange?

The 2008 vintage of Penfolds’ flagship red wine, Grange Shiraz, was released on May 2 with more hullabaloo than usual (tasting notes). Two main reasons: the price has leapt 25 per cent in one jump, and the US-based newsletter Wine Advocate rated it an absurd

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The Truth about Filtration

To filter or not to filter, that is a question that winemakers must grapple with continuously. It is often said that when wine is filtered it is never as good as it was before filtration. US critic Robert Parker went on a crusade against filtration some years ago, and this probably encouraged some winemakers to stop filtering, with results both good and bad. Yes, filtration does take something out of the wine apart from the particles it’s intended to remove – colour, aroma, flavour, tannin – but one of the chief uses of filtration is to make a wine microbially stable. It could be argued that the ‘unfiltered’ fashion contributed to an increase in brettanomyces and other undesirable microbial growths in wine, which can end up seriously spoiling the taste.

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Mondovino’s book sequel

Jonathan Nossiter is a film-maker who first came to the attention of wine lovers when he released his epic hand-made documentary Mondovino about five years ago. Mondovino irritated many winemakers and merchants because of its blatant bias against big companies, modern wines, the New World, and ‘industrial’ or mass-produced wine. But others, like me, enjoyed its colorful, thoughtful, occasionally whimsical, opinionated but above-all heartfelt look at wine. And its highlighting of some great wine producers. By all accounts Mondovino was a massive box-office failure, but it sure got people talking.