Parker replacement says he’ll “disappoint”

The Wine Advocate’s new Californian critic Antonio Galloni has said he will disappoint both Robert Parker’s fans and detractors.

Speaking of his upcoming scores in the journal, released later this month, Galloni (left) said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: “There’s a certain percentage of people who just think I’m going to do what Bob did… Then there’s the other people out there who are maybe slightly disenchanted with the direction California wine has taken, and they think I’m going to come in and fix all the ills.”

“Neither of them is true. Everybody’s going to be disappointed.”

Robert Parker announced in February this year that he would retire from tasting and scoring new vintages from California and concentrate on horizontal and vertical tastings of wines from California, Bordeaux and the Rhône.

As reported by db at the time, Galloni joined The Wine Advocate in 2006 and was chosen this year by Parker to handle reviewing the latest releases from the Côte d’Or and Chablis, along with California.

In the interview with the Chronicle, Galloni added that he planned to make the changeover as seamless as possible and hoped winemakers would no longer feel they must appeal to Parker’s palate.

“Maybe this is a catalyst to let people say, ‘I want to make the wine I want to make,’” he stated.

Indeed, db’s California Report 2011 included comments from several wineries suggesting that they were changing their winemaking styles in anticipation of Parker’s retirement.

The phrase “Parker is retiring” was overheard at a number of Napa estates; however, Margaret Rand, writing in the report, pointed out that any immediate changes were not possible to detect during a springtime visit.

“At the moment there is no change of style visible in Napa Cabernet. There is no current trend towards less alcohol, less tannin and more acidity,” she penned.

For more on winemaking trends across California see the drinks business California Report 2011.

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