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Galloni Outtakes

2011 April 5
by Mike

My post about Antonio Galloni and the Wine Advocate Collectors Series has generated quite a bit of discussion. It’s an interesting development in the evolution of the Wine Advocate, and one that has obviously elicited strong opinions.

Galloni and I touched on several other topics during our conversation last week, including his lack of on-the-ground experience in California and Burgundy. He didn’t see it as a problem. He told me that that he had never been to the Champagne region when Robert Parker put him in charge of the Wine Advocate’s Champagne coverage and that this had not proven to be a liability. “Our Champagne coverage is easily the equal of what you find from Tanzer and the Wine Spectator, and in some ways superior,” he said (he now goes to Champagne once a year). He was recently in Burgundy, and he has four trips planned to California in 2011. He’ll be there later this month, making an introductory, meet-and-greet visit. In June, he will head to the Central Coast. In September or October, he’ll hit Napa, and he will return to California in December to do tastings in Sonoma.

Apropos of a recent discussion here, I asked Galloni if he had much experience of older California wines. He told me that a 1975 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon that he drank seven or eight years ago was “one of the seminal wines for me.” He said that he believes in having “an historical foundation” and that he hopes to taste some older wines during his forthcoming visit to California.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Cassie permalink
    April 29, 2011

    Meet Antonio in NYC May 12th at the bulthaup showroom in Soho – architecture for living spaces – for an incredible journey through the various styles of Champagne. Blanc de Blanc, vintage, rosé and non-vintage Champagnes will be spotlighted.


  2. April 5, 2011

    Oh, I agree, Francois. But some people have expressed concern about his experience or lack thereof with regard to Burgundy and California, and I took advantage of the opportunity to ask him about this.

    And you are certainly right about the situation with Parker and how polarized things have become. A lot of ill will was generated on that board before he made it subscriber-only, and the bad feelings clearly linger.


  3. mauss permalink
    April 5, 2011

    At least Antonio has a strong record about his ability to judge a wine if you remember he is the author of Piedmont Review, a major magazine on nebbiolo wines. When Parker did start TWA, what was his experience ? He did succeed quickly because he did find the proper words to express his feelings about wines. And he learn very fast how to put in words his views on wines.

    Why this would not be the case for Antonio in Champagne, Burgundy and Napa ?
    Antonio is a hard worker and I am sure he will reach the top of the critics world very fast.
    The big problem with Parker now is bizarre : he has strong supporters who do not accept even the smallest “negative” comment on him. We call them in France the “beni-ouioui”. And, on the other side, maybe due to his tough policy in “cleaning” the Mark Squires forum, he has opposants who develop the same passion now on the negative side than when they were on the “positive” side.
    Always this view in black or white ! (I know, an easy and stupid image of USA).

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