Harry Cantrell wrote:Robin, I have to side with David on this one. Actually-and this comment comes from my personal observations and NOT meant to criticise anyone in particular-the "point haters" tend to like wine, but do not have the means to chase with the fastest hounds. So, they readjust their likes with realistic eyes to "lesser" crus and develope defense mechanisms (or tastes) accordingly. But, their facade falls at a tasting when their praise of the big Apry point wine is endless when they get to taste and enjoy them. (Again this brush has broad strokes, but it is my observation over years of tastings.)
A very provocative statement, Harry, but not one that I find very compelling. First of all, "pointiness" is a relatively new phenomenon in wine appreciation circles, so what do you make of all those people who were buying and appreciating wine in the '50-'70s and didn't jump on the RMP bandwagon when it rolled into town? Is Michael Broadbent's dislike of the '03 Pavie really just masking an inferiority complex? Jancis Robinson's? In reading your statement, I found myself considering my own trajectory: I bought and drank many California Cabernets and Zinfandels in the late-'70s/early-'80s and continued doing so into the '90s. When price escalation made Cabernets especially a more dear proposition, I re-evaluated my buying (and drinking) habits and started investing more of the wine budget into Bdx, Burgundy, the Rhone, etc. Somewhat coincident with that, I also started consuming more of my wine with meals and began finding that big, blockbuster reds didn't actually go very well with most of the food I was eating (fish, birds, Asian, spicy). Since that time, I've been buying and drinking far more white wine than I used to and moving also into lighter bodied reds, at the same time buying even less Bordeaux than before.
So, where does that put me? I certainly don't have the means to run with the big dogs and don't buy many CalCabs (or First Growths, or '05 Burgs, etc.) but do go to big tastings every so often and get to taste many of those wines. And, guess what? I genuinely don't like most of those RMP 100-pointers, finding them too big, too alcoholic, too much like (as another points-hater put it) "blueberry milkshake." Those wines don't remind me at all of the CalCabs (and Bordeaux) I grew up loving and I certainly see a stylistic shift in several wine regions, critic-driven or otherwise. On the other hand, I love Chave's Hermitage and Ch. Beaucastel and they do receive high scores from Monkton and elsewhere. Am I just engaging in subliminal rationalization? Who knows? It certainly doesn't seem like it from where I sit.