Parker says no to Bordeaux 2001

  • Tuesday 30 April 2002

The world's most influential wine critic has come out with a resounding 'Non!' on the subject of whether to buy Bordeaux 2001.

Robert M Parker explicitly advises speculators to steer clear of Bordeaux, in the latest edition of the Wine Advocate, a publication of extraordinary worldwide influence.

His editorial page expresses the hope that chateaux will 'break precedent' and release their prices before the Advocate is published.

'Given my reviews,' he says, 'they would be smart to do so. This is not a vintage that will draw interest from speculators, and it is hard to imagine these wines will be significantly more expensive a year and a half from now when they are bottled and released.'

He goes on to list four key reasons for speculating in Bordeaux (is it a great vintage, will it appreciate in price, are the wines available only in limited quantities, and are you buying to guarantee bottle format). For the first two he writes, 'The answer in 2001 is “No”.'

Parker pointedly lists no wines of 'Extraordinary Potential', but some 75 wines – including the five first growths and other favourites such as Ducru Beaucaillou, Quinault L'Enclos, Pavie, Bellevue Mondotte, Monbousquet – get 'Outstanding Potential' billing.

Several UK merchants said they were unsurprised by the scores and the sentiments expressed. 'You could more or less pick out the wines you know he likes and predict the scores,' Mark Thornton of Claret-e said.

Stephen Browett of Farr Vintners said, 'His general comments are about right,' but he pointed out since none of the main properties had released their prices it was difficult to say with accuracy that the wines would not increase in value.

Dylan Parris of Bordeaux Index said, 'Advising not to buy is something I would agree with if the chateaux don't do something drastic about pricing.'

  • In the latest edition of Wine Advocate Parker has dropped hints as to his music tastes. His introduction to the Bordeaux 2001 section is entitled 'After the Gold Rush' – also the title of Young's seminal 1970 album – and a subsection, 'Days of Future Passed', is the title of the 1967 Moody Blues album which spawned the classic single 'Nights in White Satin.' Parker's office in Maryland, USA, confirmed that the critic is a Neil Young fan.

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