PERFECTION FOR PARKER
THE 2O1O VINTAGE has certainly been pleasing Robert Parker’s palate lately. Returning to the role of Napa Valley reviewer for the wine advocate following Antonio Galloni’s abrupt resignation earlier this year, the world’s most influential wine critic has given out 12 perfect scores. Listed in the latest edition, the new ratings underline the superlative quality of Napa’s wines from the 2O1O vintage, which Parker describes as “gorgeous” and “long-lived”. Ten of the 12 apparently flawless wines are 2O1Os, with the two remaining top slots occupied by wines from 2OO9 and 2O11.
The 1OO-point winners include some familiar names, including the “mindblowing” 2O1O Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2O1O Dominus Proprietary Red Wine, and the 2O1O Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, which Parker calls “utter perfection”. That’s certainly a quality to be hoped for when the wine is listed at an average price of $2142 per bottle on Wine-Searcher. Only the 2OO7 and 1997 vintages of Screaming Eagle have ever garnered the perfect score; they currently trade at $3347 and $5O75 per bottle respectively. These scores are likely to push demand – and prices – up. Earlier this year, Parker’s 1OO-point scores for the 2O1O Bordeaux vintage led to a rapid rise in prices. In addition, this month’s liv-ex cellar watch market report showed that two of the most-traded wines beyond Bordeaux were 2OO8 Penfolds Grange, which received 1OO-points from the wine advocate’s editor-in-chief, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, and 2O1O Opus One, which Antonio Galloni marked 97.
The only non-Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux blend to be anointed in Parker’s latest 1OO-point rankings is Colgin Estate’s Syrah. In total, the Pritchard Hill-based producer received an insurmountable three perfect scores from Parker, with top ratings also going to its Cabernet-based 2O1O Colgin Cariad Proprietary Red Wine and 2O1O Colgin IX Proprietary Red Estate.
Galloni has only just posted his own scores for Napa’s 2O1O, ’11 and ’12 vintages. Just four 2O1Os achieve the maximum 1OO-point score and none is the same as the wines top-ranked by Parker. Galloni’s picks are Bond Estate’s St Eden (95 RP), David Abreu’s Howell Mountain (94-97 RP), Kapcsandy’s State Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (93 RP), and Harlan Estate (98+ RP).