The critical wine world is changing, which meant a bishop to queen moves over at The Wine Advocate.
For those who want to delay clicking on that link to Mr. Asimov's story in the New York Times, the short of it is that Mr. Parker is continuing his segue into semi-retirement. He has passed his California point baton. Advocate reviewer, Antonio Galloni, now not only scores on Champagne and Italy but has added California and is replacing David Schildknecht in the Cote D'Or, sparking rumors (unsubstantiated) that he has become an investor in the influential newsletter.
For Burgundy drinkers, David losing the region is a shame.
With that previous appointment in 2007, Parker had blessed the appellation with a thoughtful taster, and I believe he brought a sense of seriousness to the Advocate, and notes that were more important than points.
If AG needs a crash course in the complex area of Burgundy, he'll get an education in the old and the important this weekend, as he is sitting at the heavy duty table #1 at La Paulée, along with Jay McInerny, the power collector/real estate crew, and Aubert de Villaine. Meanwhile, the state of California is a twitter that this means the lack of points power to help them sell their wines. People have summoned up my name, as if I have a stake in this, as if I wrote a book on Parker, when instead I wrote a book about how the popularity of his palate effected my own personal wine world, this is a distinction I'd love people to understand. But I do find myself thinking that the end of Parker's actual influence in California will be interesting to watch. Why should a 100pt score do the heavy lifting for the marketers. Maybe the end result will be better wine?
Anyway, much ado about nothing.
Parker was a wine force unlike anything else we are likely to see in the near future. The time is over for one specific powerful voice.
To survive, The Wine Advocate will have to reinvent itself, it will no longer be known for a certain kind of wine, Bob's wine, and for better or worse, that was its strength. As to what is next? Good luck to them.
I think what I wrote in "My Date With Bob," Chapter in The Battle still stands as relevant.
It is very possible that the new appointees could broaden or actually devalue the meaning of those points. The schizoid opinions of these diverse palates could well push many Parkerphiles to Paxil as they angsted over a deep identity crisis. Were they supposed to like these wines or not?
Perhaps Parker himself was saving the world from Parkerization. Maybe the wine world didn’t need my help after all.