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Wine Critic Antonio Galloni

Wine critic Robert Parker’s assignment of Antonio Galloni to cover new vintages of California for the Wine Advocate has the whole internet wine world blabbing. It’s About That Time reader Raja Elachkar shares his view below of Eric Asimov’s New York Times response to the news:

Asimov is so full of it. Parker’s influence has waned? People are less interested in Bordeaux? Nobody told me that. Is this why prices of Bordeaux continue to soar higher?

Serious wine buyers ask only one question: What is the RP rating? That’s it. But many critics like Asimov continue to take shots at him.

Asimov covers dozens of wines a month. The bloggers do the same, maybe a few a week (most of them with a different agenda — to sell wine, or advertisement typically). In the Wine Advocate, you get extensive coverage of about 1000 different wines per issue, or every other month (no promotions, kickbacks, or any wine to sell, etc). Only pure, unbiased opinions. It’s time for the NYT to get rid of Asimov and get somebody more relevant.

Incidentally, Parker will continue to cover CA; Galloni will provide more coverage of CA, and together they will cover more wine in CA. Below is a copy of the letter I received from eRobertParker.com:

Dear eRobertParker.com Subscriber:

I am thrilled to announce that Antonio Galloni will have expanded responsibilities for The Wine Advocate and www.eRobertParker.com as of February 1, 2011. I would like to take credit for my powers of persuasion over recent years in trying to convince Antonio of the virtues of covering additional wine regions, but if truth be known, the writing was always on the wall that his enviable talents and passion for this field would ultimately prevail, and the beneficiaries are the world’s wine consumers.

Antonio will continue to focus on the wines of Italy as well as Champagne, but two new areas of responsibility for Antonio will include the red and white Burgundies of the Côte d’Or as well as the crisp white wines of Chablis, and the wines of California. These vast regions will benefit from the increased depth of coverage, as will all the major wine regions of the world.

Additionally, sectors that merit dramatically more attention but have not had sufficient coverage, including Beaujolais and the Mâconnais (now economically as important as the Cote d’Or and Chablis) will be put under a microscope by David Schildknecht, who will continue with his other areas of responsibility but will be freed from covering the Cote d’Or and Chablis.

I will turn to something I have long played around with in The Wine Advocate but have rarely had enough time to do. Older readers may remember the vintage retrospectives called “What About Now?” With Antonio turning his attention to California, I am going to begin a series of horizontal and vertical tastings of perfectly stored California wines that will give readers insight into how they are developing. It has been a long-term ambition of mine to include more reports on older vintages, and this change will allow me to do this not only in California, but also to increase the older vintage reports for Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley.

In all other respects, the staff assignments at The Wine Advocate remain identical. I hope all of you share our great enthusiasm for the fact that Antonio Galloni has finally taken the plunge and will be devoting most of his time to his wine writing career, a job for which he seems particularly well-suited and sure to excel.

All the best in wine and life,
Robert M. Parker, Jr.

P.S. The Wine Advocate writer assignments are:

Robert Parker – Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, older vintages of Bordeaux, Rhône and California wines

Antonio Galloni – Italy, Champagne, Chablis, Côte d’Or, California

David Schildknecht – Germany, Loire, Beaujolais and Mâconnais, Eastern U.S., Austria,
Eastern Europe, Languedoc-Roussillon, Jura

Jay Miller – Oregon, Washington, South America, Spain

Lisa Perrotti – Brown – Australia, New Zealand

Neal Martin – Critic-at-Large overlapping all areas, plus specific reviewer of South Africa

Mark Squires – Bulletin Board supervision and occasional articles on Israel, Portugal, and Greece

And the NYT headline gives you the impression (perhaps Asimov’s hope) that Parker is retiring. My interpretation of Parker’s eNews letter (the same one that Asimov read) is that he is praising Galloni by giving him more work. Parker will be covering more older vintages of CA and Bordeaux. I did not get the impression at all that he will be working less or retiring (from one end, he will cover less CA, on the other end he will cover more older vintages of CA and Bordeaux). I for one am very excited to see this: how the older wines will develop and what the new ratings will be (as in last year with the 1990 Bordeaux vintage).

People like Parker never retire (I see it in businesses all the time), the ones that are truly passionate about their work never walk away.

Raja Elachkar

IATT

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