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2011 April 26
by Mike

Wither the Hedonistic Fruit Bomb? A good Bloomberg article about what the changing of the guard at the Wine Advocate portends for California wines.

Make It a Molotov Cocktail Instead? French riot police are outraged over a decree prohibiting them from drinking wine and beer with lunch.

Mommy Wars: Two wine firms are embroiled in litigation over the use of the word “mommy” on their labels. Chickenpox on both their houses, I say.

Bubbly Old England: Eric Asimov on the rise of English sparkling wines.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. April 28, 2011

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, the Bloomberg piece was quite revealing.

    My guess is that Galloni is going to lavish praise and high scores on all sorts of California wines. High scores are now the coin of the realm in wine criticism–for economic/competitive reasons, critics have a strong incentive these days to bump up their ratings (huge scores get cited by retailers, modest ones generally do not). In Galloni’s case, I suspect there are probably other factors at work, as well. Even if he doesn’t particularly like Parker’s favorites, I seriously doubt he is going to be marking those wines down anytime soon. For one thing, Parker has told us that he is still the boss, and I don’t think he would tolerate a sweeping reconsideration of wines such as SQN, Harlan, etc. Moreover, there are still a lot of people who love those wines, many of those people are WA subscribers, and I don’t think Galloni can afford to alienate them. He indicated in the Bloomberg article that he is alert to what is new and interesting in California, and I imagine he will be much more favorably disposed to lighter, more elegant wines than Parker. But I assume he is just going to dole out big scores across the spectrum.

    What do you think?

  2. April 27, 2011


    Thanks for the tips. The Bloomberg article was especially interesting and included some good (unintentional) laugh lines. The agita among Parker’s cult cab darlings makes great reading, with the “Would the wine industry come to a complete halt?” quote being my favorite. Although, I guess it’s refreshing to hear them basically stating that they make wines for his palate.

    I wonder if they’ll do the same for Galloni? From what you know of Galloni and his tastes, do you foresee a significant shift in the Wine Advocate’s preferences/scoring of California wine? Is the preference for fruit bombs so baked into the market that the styles won’t change, or do you think Cali winemakers are open to changing things up (either because of Galloni’s tastes or because they’re just free of the burden of having to please Parker?)? Not looking for hard answers as it’s anyone’s guess at this point, but I’m just curious as to your thoughts.


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