Parker on Bordeaux 2010: great but not *the greatest*

Apparently the latest issue of Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate came out yesterday with Parker’s reviews for the 2010 barrel samples and in-bottle tastings of 2008s. I say apparently because it is behind the paywall and there’s nary a mention of it on wine discussion boards. (Pin. Drop.) But Parker has given the general comment that 2010 ranks as one of “the three greatest Bordeaux vintages I have tasted in my career” alongside 2009 and 2005. The Liv-Ex blog provides his top scored wines. It will be interesting (at least in a detached, voyeuristic way) to see how some chateaux will price their 2010 wines in the event they received lower scores than in 2009 (and the weak dollar won’t exactly drive prices lower here in the US).

Liv-Ex also remarks on his downgrades of the 2008s:

Following the en primeur tastings two years ago, the general feeling amongst the trade and the critics was that the 2008 vintage was solid, if unspectacular. Against this backdrop then, it’s no surprise that the release of Parker’s generous ’08 scores met with a sizeable dose of cynicism. A couple of years on and it seems that Parker’s enthusaism for the vintage has dwindled significantly.

Related: “Traditional Rioja, the anti-en primeurs wine
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6 Responses to “Parker on Bordeaux 2010: great but not *the greatest*”

  1. If you backtrack all the way to 1985 vintage, Parker has shifted his original vintage and specific wine viewpoints in lots of vintages, pretty regularly. So nothing too new here. Cutting some slack…these wines change significantly, showing better and then shutting down, phase to phase.

  2. After tasting almost all of the 2010’s listed, I’m baffled that any would be in that range with the amount of full on heat showing in their present state.

  3. why are people still talking about RP? We keep hearing ‘he doesn’t matter’… yet he still shows up every time he makes a peep from the same bloggers over and over… feels like CNN reporting on Charlie Sheen.

  4. Adam – Yes, the wines can change significantly from barrel sample to bottle. (In some cases, it may be so great that it calls into question the whole barrel sampling program.) In 2008, as the Liv-Ex quote points out, the prevailing view on the vintage was that it was just okay, then Parker released his exuberant assessment, which sent prices rising for many wines. And this was in April 2009, when the economy was really on its knees. So to dial back his enthusiasm now, after prices would have likely fallen and offered consumers a rare opportunity for lower-priced Bordeaux futures, is exasperating for some consumers.

    Hardy – some left bank alcs came in at north of 15%, no?

    Mark – true, but it’s also interesting how little discussion his assessment has generated this time around.

  5. Yep- some at 15.2% some just peeps just said “above 15%”. Not sure that there was a lot (or anything) below 14.5%

  6. I think we are all being deceived by our friends the french! The world economy is a mess the french are loosing footing in their own country, what a better way to drum up business than to give the emerging markets the vintages of a life time. 2005, wait…2009…hold on 2010. Yes there are good wines to be had, but at what price?, Dont be fooled, shinny labels, high price tags, and the vintage of a life time dont make for a great wine. It rally come down to your personal taste. “the french vintage of a lifetime conspiracy”.


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