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Bordeaux

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2000

    Pros and cons, but intriguing and worth it on balance.

    Anyone who has looked up this title is probably already aware of its obvious virtues, so I won't belabor them. I point out some flaws here to better show what this book is and what it is not. 1. Parker emphasizes disproportionately the classified (and pricier) growths. Many crus bourgeois make it in the book, but the information on them is more scant than the more glamorous estates. And even on the top tier of producers, Parker neglects affordable alternatives: e.g., of the five first growths, Parker includes significant coverage of only one second wine (Les Forts de Latour). If crus bourgeois and fifth growths merit their own subsections, surely so do Carruades and Pavillon Rouge, no? It would also be nice if the book reviewed more 'undiscovered gems.' Several that it does unearth (Corbin Michotte in St. Emilion, du Moulin Rouge in the Haut-Medoc) leave one thirsting (ahem) for more. 2. Much of the information is of the technical variety. Parker supplies the number of vineyard hectares, average tonnage per harvest, and so on, for most chateaux, but often omits the histories that make each estate unique, which would make for much more interesting reading in many cases. 3. The book's emphasis is very much on tasting notes and numerical scores. This makes it much more of a buyer's guide than an authoritative companion for a Bordeaux lover. Even so, many tasting notes are out of date (last tasted many years ago), so one wonders on these how much information the description (or the score) really communicates. Still a '91' ten years later? Who knows? However, this minor fault is more than compensated for by the sheer volume of notes. Parker reviews for each estate vintages going back decades. The book can keep one occupied and coming back to it for quite awhile, so it's more than worth a purchase price equal to a wine likely to score admirably on the Parker scale.

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