Alain Raynaud: “Without Robert Parker, en primeur wines are harder to comprehend”

Monday April 25 2016 by Vitisphere

A single being you lack and all is emptied of focus”, quipped Dr Alain Raynaud, giving a present-day twist to the famous verse by Alphonse de Lamartine during en primeur week in Bordeaux, once again missing its illustrious figurehead. American lawyer and founder of The Wine Advocate, Robert Parker now only tastes marketable Bordeaux wines. Hence, presenting a vintage still in the ageing phase has undeniably lost clarity and lacks a seminal opinion and clear guideline, or at least a clear-cut viewpoint.

This paradigm shift has led to a transition phase that is proving to be rather tense. Michel Rolland’s scathing remarks about journalists in the magazine Terre de Vins is one such example. The celebrated consultant winemaker’s childhood friend Alain Raynaud put the comments into perspective: “Michel Rolland got carried away by his enthusiasm about the vintage”. He admitted though that, “with Robert Parker, en primeur wines were easier to understand”, and pointed out that the future challenge for futures was to reinvent themselves, particularly as regards the balance (of power) between players.

En primeur is now producing a kind of overall judgment. It is just as important to find out what Jancis Robinson, Bernard Burtschy and Antonio Galloni’s scores are”, commented Alain Raynaud. “Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that there is no longer one person calling all the shots, although we certainly miss the irreplaceable olfactory memory of Robert Parker who conjures up the past to analyse the present”.

[ Source: Vitisphere. Photo: Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux ]


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