Posted at 11:20 AM | Permalink
I'm in Spain and a friend sent the link, which unfortunately I cannot get to work on this site. At first I thought it was a joke! Read the text below or use your Google.
+++ Critic Blamed for 'Raspy' Wine Posted Wed. Feb. 13, 2008 7:05am by Page Six Filed Under Fresh Ink
AN award-winning food writer has declared war against influential wine critic Robert Parker, saying the power he wields in rating cabernets, chardonnays, merlots and other vintages has caused vineyards to dumb down their wines just to please him. In The Battle for Wine and Love Or How I Saved the World from Parkerization, Alice Feiring, a James Beard Foundation Award-winning journalist, fumes that Parker's "tastes have become bigger than himself . . . the quest to make a wine that will attract Parker's attention has created wines that have such concentrated power that delicacy and minerality are overpowered."
For years, Parker, 60, has defined American wine criticism with his "100-point scale" in The Wine Advocate magazine reviews that can raise or lower prices and are relied upon by wine merchants around the world. That's led vineyards to create a "standardized wine" that could be made almost anywhere one that often relies on "technology and additives to rack up Parker points," Feiring writes. "At stake is the soul of wine. This is the giant corporation vs. the independent winemaker . . . wine is being reduced to the common denominator, and this is sacrilegious."
Feiring jets to vineyards around the world to speak with winemakers who admit they've tweaked their formulas in a bid to please Parker using commercial yeasts instead of indigenous yeasts, and certain woods to produce harder-edged tannins "that feel raspy, as if steel bristles were brushing the back of my throat." She finally confronts Parker: "Come on Bob, you're bigger than yourself. You can't deny that you've become an icon!"
But Parker who did not respond to an e-mail from Page Six fires back in the book: "Myths about me get embellished, exaggerated . . . No one in the history of wine has done more for the small artisanal producer the kind of people you claim you like than I have. You're trying to paint me [as] a big globalist, a tyrant, and a dictator . . . I hear that people make wine for me all of the time. It's like the Spanish Inquisition." The Harcourt title hits stores in April.