EP 15 Episode #15 – Wine Ratings

2002 Seavey Merlot

2001 Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon

2000 Castello Di Bossi Corbaia

1999 Leasingham Classic Clare Shirz

2003 Stolpman Syrah

Some suprising results as Gary tries 90 point wines.

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luca bercelli

89/100

If GV can rate wines on a 100 point scale I can rate these shows on the same scale. This episode was most notable for GV referring to himself in the third person, and calling Robert Parker ‘Bob’. ‘Tough to argue with Bob there.’

Tags: ratings, review, Video, wine

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  • Russ F.

    Gary,
    Nice show
    very eloquant,you displayed thorough knowledge and on this episode in particular,tremendous credibility(you obviously were sincere and were not just trying to move product)
    vast improvement from the episode 1 vintage
    cameraman more fluid with the zooms and quieter on the breathing
    nice spice on the finish
    drink now through 2010
    Im going to give you an 89
    keep up the good work
    BTW I will be in the store tomorrow and I hope your working
    I’d love to introduce myself and say Hello

  • Russ F.

    Gary,
    Nice show
    very eloquant,you displayed thorough knowledge and on this episode in particular,tremendous credibility(you obviously were sincere and were not just trying to move product)
    vast improvement from the episode 1 vintage
    cameraman more fluid with the zooms and quieter on the breathing
    nice spice on the finish
    drink now through 2010
    Im going to give you an 89
    keep up the good work
    BTW I will be in the store tomorrow and I hope your working
    I’d love to introduce myself and say Hello

  • Zor Gorelov

    Gary,

    This is the first show that i watched. I really like the way you analyzed these wines. I found it very helpful. Also, very professionally done. Keep up the good work.

    Best,

    Zor

  • Zor Gorelov

    Gary,

    This is the first show that i watched. I really like the way you analyzed these wines. I found it very helpful. Also, very professionally done. Keep up the good work.

    Best,

    Zor

  • Dave Brown

    Gary:

    Nice job. This is a Web 2.0 way to build a reputations for you, your site, and the wines you like. What a great idea: wine email videos and wine XML/RSS feeds. I use to live in Summit, NJ but moved to California where it much easier to find new wines.

    I particpate in a wine group where we normal taste 6 white and 6 red and force rank individually and calculate group rank. All tastings are blind. While there is over lap with Parker, there are often highly ranked Parker wines that finish at the bottom.

    Have you considered doing some of your shows using the blind tasting approach where you reveal the brand and other critics ratings after you are done? I often see Tanzer lower than Parker and both lower than Wine Spectator. The question is where do you fit relative to them across your complete body of tastings at Wine Library. It is a pretty simple data base exercise to compare statisitically.

    You are still a relatively early pioneer in using video tastings to humanize and demystify the wine ranking business, but it would be easy for others to copy. I am with you that in the end it is about individual palate, but if you get trusted, it will help the site.

    I am still not sure people want to watch some one spit in a bucket. But it is pretty helpful for new comers to select your recommendations for their next dinner party and for more sophisticated people to discover new wines to purchase on line.

    This is going to force conventional wine retailers to add video to their web sites.

    Dave

  • Dave Brown

    Gary:

    Nice job. This is a Web 2.0 way to build a reputations for you, your site, and the wines you like. What a great idea: wine email videos and wine XML/RSS feeds. I use to live in Summit, NJ but moved to California where it much easier to find new wines.

    I particpate in a wine group where we normal taste 6 white and 6 red and force rank individually and calculate group rank. All tastings are blind. While there is over lap with Parker, there are often highly ranked Parker wines that finish at the bottom.

    Have you considered doing some of your shows using the blind tasting approach where you reveal the brand and other critics ratings after you are done? I often see Tanzer lower than Parker and both lower than Wine Spectator. The question is where do you fit relative to them across your complete body of tastings at Wine Library. It is a pretty simple data base exercise to compare statisitically.

    You are still a relatively early pioneer in using video tastings to humanize and demystify the wine ranking business, but it would be easy for others to copy. I am with you that in the end it is about individual palate, but if you get trusted, it will help the site.

    I am still not sure people want to watch some one spit in a bucket. But it is pretty helpful for new comers to select your recommendations for their next dinner party and for more sophisticated people to discover new wines to purchase on line.

    This is going to force conventional wine retailers to add video to their web sites.

    Dave

  • Chris

    Gary,

    Keep tasting, keep spitting, keep reviewing. Another terrific episode. Don’t change a thing.

    Would love to see an episode on mid level to everyday drinking bordeaux reds. I bought a mixed case of the Calon Segur, Carruades de Lafite, Montrose, Leoville-Barton, Clerc Milons of the world, but I am at a complete loss when it comes to The Chateau du Bedat, Chateau Sainte Marie, everyday drinkers. They are really hit and miss and I usually end up with either great surprises or flat boring nearly undrinkable wines.

    Hope to see you on the floor at the Grand Tour on May 2nd if your going.

  • Chris

    Gary,

    Keep tasting, keep spitting, keep reviewing. Another terrific episode. Don’t change a thing.

    Would love to see an episode on mid level to everyday drinking bordeaux reds. I bought a mixed case of the Calon Segur, Carruades de Lafite, Montrose, Leoville-Barton, Clerc Milons of the world, but I am at a complete loss when it comes to The Chateau du Bedat, Chateau Sainte Marie, everyday drinkers. They are really hit and miss and I usually end up with either great surprises or flat boring nearly undrinkable wines.

    Hope to see you on the floor at the Grand Tour on May 2nd if your going.

  • Peter

    Cool stuff. I added your show to the mefeedia directory. You should see the subscriber reporting showing up in your feedburner stats soon 🙂 Keep it up, regular posting is the secret of success. I’d like to see more about simple cheap wines perhaps. But that’s just me – great stuff 🙂 Your feed page is here: http://mefeedia.com/feeds/6901

  • Peter

    Cool stuff. I added your show to the mefeedia directory. You should see the subscriber reporting showing up in your feedburner stats soon 🙂 Keep it up, regular posting is the secret of success. I’d like to see more about simple cheap wines perhaps. But that’s just me – great stuff 🙂 Your feed page is here: http://mefeedia.com/feeds/6901

  • Wayne Packer

    Gary,

    Wine Library TV just keeps getting better!
    You need to approach the Food Network and become the “The Wine Guy @ Food Network”! Keep it up.

  • Wayne Packer

    Gary,

    Wine Library TV just keeps getting better!
    You need to approach the Food Network and become the “The Wine Guy @ Food Network”! Keep it up.

  • Great show – really enjoyed a “professional”‘s evaluation of critic scores. I myself often find that I disagree with Robert Parker and align myself more closely with WS. Maybe my palate and Mr. Parker’s just aren’t compatible.

    One question I have about this episode though is when did the ratings for these bottles occurred? I know that some of the wines I’ve purchased that listed WS scores, after looking on their website found that the tasting scores were given out in 2002. A lot can change for a wine in 4 years. So I’d warn people to not only taste on their own, but if they are going by score recommendations, they should see when the ratings were made, and if that evaluation would still be relevant after aging x years.

  • Great show – really enjoyed a “professional”‘s evaluation of critic scores. I myself often find that I disagree with Robert Parker and align myself more closely with WS. Maybe my palate and Mr. Parker’s just aren’t compatible.

    One question I have about this episode though is when did the ratings for these bottles occurred? I know that some of the wines I’ve purchased that listed WS scores, after looking on their website found that the tasting scores were given out in 2002. A lot can change for a wine in 4 years. So I’d warn people to not only taste on their own, but if they are going by score recommendations, they should see when the ratings were made, and if that evaluation would still be relevant after aging x years.

  • Bruce

    Gary,

    Very good episode and I am quickly learning that score is not as important as taste or the description of the tastes from the tasting reports. Everyone has certain styles they enjoy and in the description is where you will find the tastes and aspects of a wine that I look for. Of course it is hard not to pay some attention to scores, especially when trying a wine or winery you are not familiar with. I agree with a comment above about you doing some blind tastings. One last comment, I think you should film these in the wine room of the store, would be more impressive background.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Bruce

    Gary,

    Very good episode and I am quickly learning that score is not as important as taste or the description of the tastes from the tasting reports. Everyone has certain styles they enjoy and in the description is where you will find the tastes and aspects of a wine that I look for. Of course it is hard not to pay some attention to scores, especially when trying a wine or winery you are not familiar with. I agree with a comment above about you doing some blind tastings. One last comment, I think you should film these in the wine room of the store, would be more impressive background.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Mark B

    Excellent analysis of the wines. Very honest appraisals. I often disagree with Parker and some of the other reviewers, so it was good to see an expert like yourself find the ratings at odds with reality. (Another pet peeve, from bitter experience: I find that any review of a wine tasted at the winery is almost meaningless.)

    One suggestion: I’m a bit uncomfortable with a tasting that is not blind. Too much goes on with the power of suggestion and placebo effects to make sighted testing worthwhile. You clearly had no agenda here, but all else equal, a blind test has to be a better way to go. Bag those wines next time!

    Otherwise, keep up the great work. Enjoyed it.

  • Mark B

    Excellent analysis of the wines. Very honest appraisals. I often disagree with Parker and some of the other reviewers, so it was good to see an expert like yourself find the ratings at odds with reality. (Another pet peeve, from bitter experience: I find that any review of a wine tasted at the winery is almost meaningless.)

    One suggestion: I’m a bit uncomfortable with a tasting that is not blind. Too much goes on with the power of suggestion and placebo effects to make sighted testing worthwhile. You clearly had no agenda here, but all else equal, a blind test has to be a better way to go. Bag those wines next time!

    Otherwise, keep up the great work. Enjoyed it.

  • Bob

    Great work. Love the reviews. This is becoming one of my favorite wine sites like winebuyer and http://winecentric.blogspot.com/

  • Bob

    Great work. Love the reviews. This is becoming one of my favorite wine sites like winebuyer and http://winecentric.blogspot.com/

  • John

    Hey Gary,

    Several of my friends and I are huge Champagne fans. We buy ( and drink ) lots of high end bubbly like Salon and Krug, but would love to hear more about some of the mid level houses like Gratien, Gosset, Jacquart, Lallement, Pouillon, and Vilmart.

    Also, I’ve enjoyed all of your video blogs so far, and although I understand that you would like to promote good value, there are some of us who want more info about higher end wines….like the best of Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Cali, high end Oz Shiraz……..or maybe even a show on some super high quality, but hard to find, wines that WineLibrary carries.

    How about a show on $50 wines that taste like $100 wines…….2002 Staglin Family Salus Cabernet, 2000 Bodegas Sierra Salinas Mira, 2002 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Altamira Malbec, 2002 Ramey Diamond Mountain Cabernet…..just a few examples.

    Also, two more quick suggestions. I am a sommelier and love to teach people about wine, so its great to see these videos of you teaching people and offering them a place to learn where they don’t have to feel self conscious or deal with someone being snobby with them. First, I’m sure it would be really helpful to many if you did a spot on German Riesling, explaining the difference between Auslese, Spatlese, and Kabinett, and then mentioning TBA and BA. I have so many customers who think that they hate Riesling because they have only tasted an Auslese and found it too sweet or preferred sweeter wines, but had only tasted a Trocken Kabinett.

    Then it would be nice to see a show about sweet wines. Give a little info to people about the differences in varietal, locations, taste, botrytis info, and production methods for TBA & BA, Sauternes, Tokaji & Esszencia, Aussie Muscat, Loire sweet whites, and German Eiswein and Canadian Icewine. Working as a wine retailer, I have found that lately, many people are becoming very interested in sweet wines. I think a video like that would be very informative for those who are finding that they are curious about sweet wines and may spark interest for others. Now, it may take a little longer than usual to make videos with more detailed explanations, but I think that people will be pleased with longer, more explanatory videos. I certainly would. Good luck and keep up the good work.

    PS– it would be great if you could also explain to people the differences between the different types of glasses—Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Sauternes(especially Bordeaux and Burgundy, tho) and why the glasses you use are the best overall wine glass shape that will work for most wine varietals…..tulip shape, thin rim, large bowl, etc.

    John

  • John

    Hey Gary,

    Several of my friends and I are huge Champagne fans. We buy ( and drink ) lots of high end bubbly like Salon and Krug, but would love to hear more about some of the mid level houses like Gratien, Gosset, Jacquart, Lallement, Pouillon, and Vilmart.

    Also, I’ve enjoyed all of your video blogs so far, and although I understand that you would like to promote good value, there are some of us who want more info about higher end wines….like the best of Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Cali, high end Oz Shiraz……..or maybe even a show on some super high quality, but hard to find, wines that WineLibrary carries.

    How about a show on $50 wines that taste like $100 wines…….2002 Staglin Family Salus Cabernet, 2000 Bodegas Sierra Salinas Mira, 2002 Achaval-Ferrer Finca Altamira Malbec, 2002 Ramey Diamond Mountain Cabernet…..just a few examples.

    Also, two more quick suggestions. I am a sommelier and love to teach people about wine, so its great to see these videos of you teaching people and offering them a place to learn where they don’t have to feel self conscious or deal with someone being snobby with them. First, I’m sure it would be really helpful to many if you did a spot on German Riesling, explaining the difference between Auslese, Spatlese, and Kabinett, and then mentioning TBA and BA. I have so many customers who think that they hate Riesling because they have only tasted an Auslese and found it too sweet or preferred sweeter wines, but had only tasted a Trocken Kabinett.

    Then it would be nice to see a show about sweet wines. Give a little info to people about the differences in varietal, locations, taste, botrytis info, and production methods for TBA & BA, Sauternes, Tokaji & Esszencia, Aussie Muscat, Loire sweet whites, and German Eiswein and Canadian Icewine. Working as a wine retailer, I have found that lately, many people are becoming very interested in sweet wines. I think a video like that would be very informative for those who are finding that they are curious about sweet wines and may spark interest for others. Now, it may take a little longer than usual to make videos with more detailed explanations, but I think that people will be pleased with longer, more explanatory videos. I certainly would. Good luck and keep up the good work.

    PS– it would be great if you could also explain to people the differences between the different types of glasses—Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Sauternes(especially Bordeaux and Burgundy, tho) and why the glasses you use are the best overall wine glass shape that will work for most wine varietals…..tulip shape, thin rim, large bowl, etc.

    John

  • Kirk

    Gary,

    Love the TV.. However wine critics like movie critics often do not agree with what you think. Since it is impossible to taste every wine, or see every movie, you need to find a critic that has similar taste to your own. Personally I find in blind tests that I am seldom more than 1 point of disagreement from Robert Parker. But then people think Adam Sandler movies are funny. Taste is a personal thing.

    Keep up the good work.
    Kirk

  • Kirk

    Gary,

    Love the TV.. However wine critics like movie critics often do not agree with what you think. Since it is impossible to taste every wine, or see every movie, you need to find a critic that has similar taste to your own. Personally I find in blind tests that I am seldom more than 1 point of disagreement from Robert Parker. But then people think Adam Sandler movies are funny. Taste is a personal thing.

    Keep up the good work.
    Kirk

  • Enjoy your TV show. Thanks for the information. Go

  • Enjoy your TV show. Thanks for the information. Go

  • I was hoping to find wine number three in my random case….I’ll keep the Arrowood in mind.

    B

  • I was hoping to find wine number three in my random case….I’ll keep the Arrowood in mind.

    B

  • Mike F.

    Love this episode. Scores are not end all. Trust your palate. Gary going head to head with the big boys in scoring. I use the scores in making some decisions, but I understand it is just a guide. Tasting notes are far more helpful than numbers in matching a review to what your palate responds to. Lots of respect for what Gary is saying in this episode.

  • Mike F.

    Love this episode. Scores are not end all. Trust your palate. Gary going head to head with the big boys in scoring. I use the scores in making some decisions, but I understand it is just a guide. Tasting notes are far more helpful than numbers in matching a review to what your palate responds to. Lots of respect for what Gary is saying in this episode.

  • Steve

    I would love to see you do this without prior knowledge of the scores, although it may be hard to find a wine you don’t know =)

  • Steve

    I would love to see you do this without prior knowledge of the scores, although it may be hard to find a wine you don’t know =)

  • David Canada

    The first “Trust Your Palate” reference….YEAH!!!!!

  • David Canada

    The first “Trust Your Palate” reference….YEAH!!!!!

  • vibemore

    This is what makes corkd.com so much fun…you do the rating. There is still a lot to be said for trusting the experts, but even Pennington has his off days. (Go Hasselbeck (Matthew, that is)!)

  • vibemore

    This is what makes corkd.com so much fun…you do the rating. There is still a lot to be said for trusting the experts, but even Pennington has his off days. (Go Hasselbeck (Matthew, that is)!)

  • WA Ambassador

    Your comment about trusting your own palate is totally right on. I’ve found that many wines can taste very different to different people. It is nice, however, to get an opinion from somebody that is more knowledgeable about wine so that you have a starting point, or at least a point of reference when tasting them yourself.

  • WA Ambassador

    Your comment about trusting your own palate is totally right on. I’ve found that many wines can taste very different to different people. It is nice, however, to get an opinion from somebody that is more knowledgeable about wine so that you have a starting point, or at least a point of reference when tasting them yourself.

  • GrapeStuff

    Your own palate is truly your own ultimate critic.

  • GrapeStuff

    Your own palate is truly your own ultimate critic.

  • The Fanjestic

    Preach it brother! But I am curious which critics you think get it right more often than the others, or more importantly which critics do you think get it wrong the most?

  • The Fanjestic

    Preach it brother! But I am curious which critics you think get it right more often than the others, or more importantly which critics do you think get it wrong the most?

  • lawschooldrunk

    good episode. I noticed you didn’t mention price- would be interesting to have an episode of “guess the price based on taste.”

    first mention of cinnamon toast crunch? nope, that was in episode 9.

    why are most top scores 92-93? what happened to 94-100?

    I have never had a scored wine, gary, and am doing just fine with my palate!

    get fa’shnikin!

  • lawschooldrunk

    good episode. I noticed you didn’t mention price- would be interesting to have an episode of “guess the price based on taste.”

    first mention of cinnamon toast crunch? nope, that was in episode 9.

    why are most top scores 92-93? what happened to 94-100?

    I have never had a scored wine, gary, and am doing just fine with my palate!

    get fa’shnikin!

  • Dan Leavy

    great reviews! loved the common press comparisons

    word 15: “few”

  • Dan Leavy

    great reviews! loved the common press comparisons

    word 15: “few”

  • kjdion

    nice ep. scores mean nothing if you don’t like it.

  • kjdion

    nice ep. scores mean nothing if you don’t like it.

  • wayno da wino

    Yo G, Just backtracking (again) thru the old videos. These are really
    cool to watch. Obviously back in the “Lurker Era”, only 24 comments????

  • wayno da wino

    Yo G, Just backtracking (again) thru the old videos. These are really
    cool to watch. Obviously back in the “Lurker Era”, only 24 comments????

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