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Merchants await ’05 Parker reappraisal

With months to wait before Parker pronounces on this year’s en primeur, and rumours he might not get to Bordeaux until April, merchants are eyeing up the 2005s.

Gary Boom – MD of Bordeaux Index

“The market has long-suspected he pushed the 2005’s down for political reasons,” said Gary Boom MD of Bordeaux Index on Parker’s somewhat ungenerous assessment of a vintage many regard as at least the equal of the ‘09 and ‘10.

“He’s never acknowledged it, because he stands above all that, but the inside market has long thought he did it to punish Bordeaux for their high prices.”

Joss Fowler, Fine & Rare’s fine wine director, disagreed. “My personal view is that he was afraid of the tannins. I know other people who think there was a bit more to it. I tasted a number of 2005’s three or four months ago. They’re brilliant wines and they’re under-priced. Before the up-score of Mouton – you could pick it up for less than its opening price.”

For Fowler the recent re-scoring of Château Mouton Rothschild simply proves that Parker power is undiminished. “The price of the wine has gone up 10-20% in three weeks, and people are already speculating on up-scores for the other 2005s.” Ten years on, with those bold tannins beginning to mellow, it would the right time for a reappraisal.

In its December report the investment firm – Wine Asset Managers (WAM), wrote: “There is an expectation that other first growths and left bank labels from 2005, which received surprisingly low scores for such an outstanding vintage, will be upgraded. We expect at least one first growth to get a perfect score.” Miles Davis, a partner at WAM, said the 2005s were the company’s second biggest holding after the 2000’s. He confirmed there is plenty of speculation around the vintage.

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