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Robert Parker leaves Wine Advocate. Changes are coming, but which ones?

On December 9th we get news of the putting on sale of Wine Advocate and now we hear that the new owners are among the major distributors of luxury wines in Asia

Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Robert-Parker-at-Ultimate-Parker-in-Asia-2010-Singapore (1)

Robert-Parker-at-Ultimate-Parker-in-Asia-2010-Singapore (1)

Since 1978 the bimonthly magazine belonging to Robert Parker Jr has been a cult for lovers of great wines all over the world. This magazine owns its fame and its enormous influence to its absolutely independent character. Printing in two colours, no publicity, absolutely impartial ratings, and great competence in the tastings …. In other words Wine Advocate deserved respect at the first glance.

Everybody expected a rotation and that Robert Parker Jr would have left his creation in the hands of the super expert taster Antonio Galloni. Everything made one think that through the succession there would have been continuity, but now this rotation seems to revolutionize the bases of the famous lawyer’s newsletter.

The new owners are from Singapore and they will put in charge of Wine Advocate Ms. Lisa Perrotti Brown transforming the paper newsletter -which will continue at least for all of 2013- into a digital bulletin.  Wine Advocate will accept advertisements even though not those advertising wineries. Read more…

95/100 from Wine Spectator for the Brunello Riserva 2006

Donatella Cinelli Colombini is exited by this excellent rating obtained by her Brunello wine Riserva 2006 from Bruce Sanderson of the Wine Spectator

 Brunello-2006-riserva Wine-Spectator

Brunello-2006-riserva Wine-Spectator

The news arrived with the “Wine Spectator Advance” which anticipates via internet the best ratings which a few days later will arrive with the real magazine. The Brunello Riserva 2006 is the first among the “Highly Recommended” which is in fact the first and most important list, after which come the selections “to collect” “intelligent buy” “best rapport quality-price”.

<<Well, to see your wine top of the list after the words Wine Spectator is a wonderful experience>> says Donatella Cinelli Colombini with great enthusiasm. Whereas Valérie Lavigne, the consultant wine makers has a more controlled reaction when she gets the news while in the vineyards for her summer visit << J’ai toujours su que c’est un bon Brunello!>> she commented looking askance at Donatella, as if to say: I told you so! In fact the Brunello Riserva 2006 -5 stars- is obtaining plebiscite excellent ratings from all over the world. A while ago “Wine Advocate” rated it 93/100.

 V.Lavigne- F.Bencini-B.Magnani-E.Luche near the Foglia Tonda vines

V.Lavigne- F.Bencini-B.Magnani-E.Luche near the Foglia Tonda vines

This is how Bruce Sanderson director of Wine Spectator tastings and supervisor of the European and Napa Valley tastings which take place at New York commented the wine – A savoury style, with salty liquorice, cherry, plum, herb and underbrush aromas and flavours. Big, yet balanced in its oversized way, with a terrific aftertaste of saline and liquorice. Best from 2015 through 2030.

<<There’s no two ways about it, he really liked the Riserva from Casato Prime Donne>>commented Donatella Cinelli Colombini and then with a sigh << I would rally like to meet this Bruce Sanderson!!!>>



These are the scores for our Brunello wines in the Wine Advocate – 93,92,90

In the language of the ‘Wine Advocate’ these ratings correspond to great wines with exceptional complexity and character. In short they are magnificent wines

Brunello and Brunello Prime Donne 2007 Brunello Riserva 2006

Brunello and Brunello Prime Donne 2007 Brunello Riserva 2006

Definitely Antonio Galloni, the super-taster from the ‘ Wine Advocate’, appreciates Brunello: out of 173 he tasted, he awarded 78% with over 90 points. A stratospheric judgment perhaps unequalled in the world. Indeed no other wine, as far as I can see, has achieved such a high average and homogeneous result as the Brunello. On the hills of Montalcino, our soil, the climate and above all the passion of our winemakers creates a winning combination like no other. In other wine producers you find the highest vertices and the deepest chasms, whilst we, who are amongst the least well known and appreciated, achieved an overall ‘Very good’. So we are a team of champions! My Brunello fared well: 93/100 for the Brunello Riserva 2006, 92/100 for the Brunello 2007 and the Brunello Prime Donne achieved 90/100, this wine, which definitely is the most traditional and austere of all the range also is the one with the most character and the one which sends the strongest message. A blockbuster success, for us and for the whole of the Montalcino territory, which in recent years has been able to regain momentum and achieve international recognition. In fact, the positive reviews are not limited to the U.S.A. Even the magazine ‘Vinum, the most important in Germany, has published a tasting of 87 Brunello wines, with an evaluation of between 15.5 and 18 of out of 20 (scores in Europe are in twentieths) in other words between good and excellent. Ours are inserted amongst the ‘Terroir’, in other words those wines related to a specific territory, and they achieved a score of 16.5 / 20. A positive result in which we rejoice. Because our competitors are so strong, it is the like the feeling of being a tenant farmer toiling on a piece of land, we are forced to work hard and do our best because absolutely all the other tenants working the same land are producing excellent top quality produce.

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

March is the month of resumes: 2011 year of great successes and little income

6 wines with a rating superior to in “Wine Spectator” in 2011, is something exceptional, practically incredible for a small winery like ours.

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Excellent ratings

Excellent ratings

Something of which we are extremely proud and that pays back for the enormous work of replanting the vineyards done since 1998. A result which is especially due to the all female cellar staff . Valérie Lavigne’s conviction in emphasizing the local specificities is also beginning to reap in positive results.

In other words an extraordinary result which has had an immediate effect on the foreign markets. In 2011 the cellar concluded the year with an increase in sales turnover of 5,4% entirely due to the foreign markets who have marked a +44% able to fill the losses of the Italian market. The Brunello has literally taken off with a +19% to be connected with the excellent quality of the wines, the 5 star harvest and the excellent ratings on the most authoritative foreign press: Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate. Read more…

Do you have a good wine palate and can you recognise a good wine when you taste it? Now you can have your say on line!

The site is called Cellar Tracker, it allows wine appreciators to give their personal opinion on wine. It has been created in a formula similar to that of ‘Tripadvisor’ which is a website used for tourism. Judgments both positive and negative and as to the competence of the wine are noted and using this data two researchers made a study comparing the wine appreciation opinions from the experts to those of the actual wine consumers, these researchers were Omer Gokcekus and Dennis Nottebaufm (American Association of Wine Economists, September 2011)

Haut Brion

Haut Brion

These two researchers compared the opinions of the wine community with those of the Wine Spectator, the  Wine Advocate and Stephan Tanzer  and in doing so experienced a substantial correlation of views, although with a greater consistency towards agreeing with the comments of Stephen Tanzer. It seems indeed that the wine drinking community is comfortable to sometimes differ in their views compared  to the views of the two most authoritative wine guides, and appear not to be exclusively influenced by their opinions

This website is a great opportunity for those who like to taste and appreciate wines and who would like their individual voices to be heard. Cellar Tracker is a platform where they can state their opinions and compare them with those of other wine lovers. Any review which they make can be seen by hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. In short, those who want to feel like Robert Parker Jr. for a day need only to write on Cellar Tracker.

Esquin Wine Mercian

Esquin Wine Merciant

Cellar Tracker was created in 2003 by Eric Le Vine, a Microsoft programmer who is very interested in wine. It contains a review of 27 million bottles.
It makes you wonder whether consumers will eventually move away from basing their choice of  wine on the judgements and opinions of important wine publications and famous experts towards using the social network forums to note comments and read opinions from other wine lovers, this is what is starting  to happen in the Tourist industry where people take note of the opinions of other tourists who have visited the hotels, restaurants etc. The growing power of the Web has both advantages and disadvantages. The upside is that the opinions expressed are not easily influenced by the wine producers themselves as they are expressed by private individuals who have personal preferences and no hidden agendas, the downside is of course that the comments are made by a mixture of competent tasters and those who are absolutely incompetent with no experience or knowledge of wine tasting, but only with a desire to be noticed in a public forum. And of course it is virtually impossible to distinguish one from the other. We can only hope that the wine industry does not suffer the same misfortunes as others have in the past, where some of  the individuals using social networks have caused collapses in companies and industries by spreading false news. In conclusion let us hope and request that those who are not truly wine experts should at least be prudent in their comments and avoid making judgements.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini

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