Robert Parker: The Writer, er, I mean David Schildknecht the Writer
When Robert Parker, Jr. is brought up in a conversation he, for obvious reasons, get nailed for making everyone so concerned with numbers and scores. Without getting into the usefulness of scores, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Parker has done as much as any one else to popularize the practice of turning a wine in to a number.
That said, you don’t here as many people talk about his ability to describe a wine. He’s very good at it. I was reminded just how good when I read a recent review of his for the 2004 Hermann Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein A P #24. It’s a German dessert wine that is made from Riesling.
Parker, who gave this wine 100 points, describes it this way:
"As soon as I smelled the 2004 Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein A.P. #24 and tried to wrap my tongue and mind around it, I came to two vivid realizations. First and foremost, it inhabits an entirely different world from the extraordinary #23. Second, if it merely succeeds (and it will) in making a fool of me for trying to describe it let alone give it a rating, I shall count myself lucky that my soul has been spared…What we have here, prosaically put, is the most intense imaginable concentration of fresh, jellied and candied fruits, citrus, and mineral salts. If tasting the #23 was like swallowing an electric eel, this is like getting hooked up to a generator. That is not, however, to suggest that the experience is jarring. “Harmony” and “colloquy” suggest themselves."
Do you get it? I do.
"fresh, jellied and candied fruit, citrus and mineral salts"
With the exception of "mineral salts", which most people would have trouble understanding, this review is not only understandable, but practically visual in the preciseness of its descriptors. What’s good about the entirety of the review is the context it offers. We learn a heck of a lot more than just what it tastes like and that the reviewer….REALLY liked it.
So, drag Parker into the debate on numbers. He deserves to be there. But don’t doubt his abilities as a reviewer/writer as well as a "scorer".
Mark at Uncorked informs me this is not Parker writing, but rather David Schildknecht, Parker’s new German correspondent. Still, a finely written review. Thanks, Mark