Whose Ratings Should A Wine Drinker Pay Attention To?

Vinted on September 14, 2011 binned in best of, going pro, wine news

Well… whose ratings should a wine drinker pay attention to?  Or, stated with a tad more more grammatical correctness (warning: sounding-like-douche-bag-potential alert!), To Whose Ratings Should A Wine Drinker Pay More Attention?

An American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) working paper with that tile was just released, though, interestingly, it doesn’t actually answer the question.  I will answer it, in a few minutes anyway, but not before torturing you with exposition and report dissection first. Because, well, I’m really just not that nice of a guy.

Despite the bait-and-switch title, the paper starts with a fascinating premise: given that ratings for the same wines vary between professional wine critics (called “experts” in the paper’s lingo), is there an established expert whose ratings correlate closely with those of the general wine-drinkin’ public?

Turns out, there is one – at least,there is one out of the three expert sources that the paper used.

The paper’s authors, Omer Gokcekus and Dennis Nottebaum (no, I do not know how to pronounce those), chose to examine ratings/scores of 120 Bordeaux wines from the 2005 vintage.  The voice of the people was played by the scores for those wines as recorded in Cellar Tracker, subsets of which were then compared with the scores for the same wines as reported by three pro wine critic sources.  Big-time influencer Robert Parker (via The Wine Advocate) was included, as well as Wine Spectator, so they covered the 1.5 most influential wine critics in the U.S.  The third included was Stephan Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, though to be honest I’ve no idea why they included that last one.  Just kidding, Stephen!

Anyway… It’s important to note the results were aggregated, and this makes them a tad misleading because the same wines were not compared between the three pro critics and Cellar Tracker – a subset of the wines were compared (CT to RP, CT to WS, and CT to ST).  These were not the same wines (or the same amount of wines) in each case, so while there will be some wines in the group that were compared against all four ratings sources, there will also be some wines that were only compared between Cellar Tracker and one of the pro sources.  Got it?  Good!

Overlooking that minor cavil, the results are pretty darn fascinating…

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Get Off Your Duff And Turn The Towels Teal For Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month!

Vinted on September 12, 2011 binned in overachiever wines, wine news, wine review

The important part about Turning The Towels Teal is that you can do some good just by drinking wine, which I’m pretty sure most of you reading will agree is the coolest helping-out-a-good-cause activity variant.

Throughout September (Ovarian Cancer Awareness month), Frederick Wildman and Sons will be donating $.50 of the U.S. sales of every bottle of Folonari and Trapiche wines (which they import) to the Turn the Towels Teal® campaign, which promotes Ovarian Cancer awareness and donations. 

If you friend up Wildman on Facebook, they will also donate $1; tweeting about their donation page via twitter will generate a $.50 donation. Now that I think about it, you don’t even actually have to get off your duff to help out. But since getting off your duff will be a lot more fun, here are a couple of Trapiche recommendations to get you started…

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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini Reviews Round-Up For September 10, 2011

Vinted on September 10, 2011 binned in wine mini-reviews

Uhm, like what is this stuff?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine sample tasting notes via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be fun, quickly-and-easily-digestible reviews. Below is a wrap-up of the twitter reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find them so you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 07 Miss Vicky Wine (Fleurie): Lives up to Fleurie’s feminine, flowery nature w/ its sexy, candied red berries & a sprinkle of violets. $18 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Graff Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese (Mosel): Citrus, apples & stone fruits FTW! For anything from cheese to spicy Indian. $17 B >>find this wine>>
  • 07 Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Blackberry & chocolate are tasty but wrapped up tight (for now…) $48 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Trapiche Varietals Malbec (Mendoza): Enjoyably simple, easy-drinking, raging bargain of a red plum, cherry-filled quaffer. Gulp. $7 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Trapiche Broquel Pinot Noir (Mendoza): There are vibrant & silky red berries in here. Somewhere, under all that toasty toasty-ness $15 C+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Trapiche Oak Cask Malbec (Mendoza): Those oak casks might have had some Funk-tion as well as function. You’d better like em toasty $10 C+ >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Trapiche Broquel Malbec (Mendoza): The dark fruit finish is very long. But also very smoky. Lots of oak, but deftly applied. $15 B >>find this wine>>
  • 06 Chateau Chevalier Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Chocolate & juicy stewed fruit, with sights set squarely on the steakhouse. $24 B >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Cru Appellation Series Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands): Lots of complexity for the price. Lots of butterscotch & booze, too. $27 B- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): A strong case for a Fort Ross AVA. A ways to go, but this horse has legs! $55 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 08 Littorai Thieriot Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): A bit too much heat in here, but this is one GREAT-smelling, spicy kitchen. $70 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Like cherries & raspberries balanced on top of squares of high-end chocolates. $38 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Littorai Hirsh Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Totally comfortable in its own gorgeous, complex & pure coolish-climate skin. $65 A- >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Patz And Hall Burnside Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Silky, sophisticated & certainly worth your time if you like them rich. $65 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Small Vines MK Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): For all the charm, we’ve ventured a bit too far into Cola Territory here… $70 B >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Freeman Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): Focus focus focus! is the mantra. You’ll wanna focus on the gr8 structure. $40 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 09 Cobb Emmaline Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): She’s tart, wearing leather & carrying herbs; you just might fall in love w/ her $69 B+ >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Grafen Neipperg Lemberger (Wurttemberg): If you want pepper aromas any purer, you’ll need to shop for a grinder at Williams-Sonoma. $21 B >>find this wine>>
  • 10 Castell Silvaner Trocken (Franken): Might inspire you to sing Fishbone’s “Lemon Meringue” (or at least queue it up on the iPod). $17 B- >>find this wine>>



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