Rob Moshein - The Austin Wine Guy

One more reason I hate Robert Parker....

June 08, 2011

"Robert Parker finds Bordeaux Prices Hard to Swallow"...
"Bordeaux is the epicenter of the greatest wines," Robert Parker said in an interview with AFP. "I hate to see the image damaged by the fact people tend to think it's too expensive.""Bordeaux is focused too much on the wealthy Asian market," Parker said. "Despite the fact that China has so many wealthy people, it's a very dangerous game if they raise prices, because the world economy is very, very fragile."

It would be a "smart move" for top chateaux to sell the 2010 vintage 10 to 20 percent lower than the 2009 vintage, which commanded record prices, he added."It would be a very positive sign to the marketplace and to wine consumers," he said by phone. "If they come higher than 2009, we're going to have a big, big crisis."

Maryland-based Parker, 63, founder of the Wine Advocate magazine and website, has been credited -- or lambasted, depending on one's point of view -- with boosting the prices of Bordeaux's top brands."I'm aware by giving an evaluation I have an influence on the positioning pricing in the international market place, but there's nothing I could do about it," he said."

Lord...Now Gentle Reader, you probably already are aware that Yr Mst Hmbl & Obdt Svt is not one to mince words. As they say locally in Texas, this is just a whole mess of stupid.

Robert Parker is single handedly responsible for the surge in Bordeaux prices. For years, he has been at the forefront of CREATING the demand based on Parker Score problem in Bordeaux. I can tell you that many producers have admitted to me that they care VERY MUCH what Parker says about their wines and the precise number score he gives them, and they do everything in their power to create wines he will score well.  He damn well knows this, but if he doesn't he is more stupid than I give him credit for.

Parker scores drive consumer interest. The higher the score, the greater the demand, the greater the demand, the higher the price. Economics 1 (I earned my BA in Economics, UCLA, Class of 1981). Parker knows this fact of life. For him to now say "there's nothing I could do about it" is disingenuous at best.  How about dumping the 100 point system Mr. Parker?? Just tell the folks what it tastes like and let them figure it out for themselves? How many customers now won't drink a wine that scored less than 90 by you? Far too many.... DUH.

As for them lowering 2010 prices, well Mr. Parker, who in their right mind would do that? What motivation is there for say Ch. Lafite to lower the 2010 price when all that will happen is some negociant will buy it for less and sell it for an even bigger profit to China? Econ 101, DUH.  If prices collapse for them, they collapse for them and Bordeaux is smart enough to know this, because it has happened before. They do, after all, have some 200 YEARS of experience in marketing and selling their wines. Do you really think Bordeaux is that stupid? Look in the mirror Bob if you want to see stupid. Not at Bordeaux.

Now, WHY exactly do the Chinese WANT First Growth? Because it has a very high positive "Chee" to them. Why? BECAUSE PARKER RATES THEM SO HIGHLY AND SO MANY PEOPLE PRIZE THEM! They don't understand the subtle nuances between Margaux and Latour...they don't CARE. All they care about is how prized they are by others BECAUSE in great part to the PARKER SCORE.

The only "crisis" is that the US, Britain and Japan will simply stop drinking wines they do not want to, or can't afford to, pay for. Period. Prices will only come down when somebody, ie: China, says "No thanks, too expensive" just like the rest of the world will have already done.  It happened already in Napa Valley. The only reason that luxury end Napa Cabernet prices went in to the crapper was because once the US consumer said, "No thanks, not at that price", which they did, thankfully, there was no Chinese interest in them to prop up prices.  Do you think for an instant that Caymus ever thought to "lower prices", quite the opposite. They refused to lower prices, until it was far too late. Now they have no choice. Silver Oak is a regular grocery store feature now for a reason.

Seriously Bob, get a clue and man up to the mess you helped in large part to create, with your partners in crime over at Wine Speculator Magazine, instead of wussing out with the Bart Simpson line "I didn't do it"...

Damn, two rants in three days. Cool!


Rob Moshein

Austin Wine Guy.


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