US critic Robert Parker has just released his final, in-bottle reviews of the 2009 Bordeaux vintage and the fact that he gave 100-point ratings to an unprecedented 19 wines is causing a stir (by contrast, he awarded 100-point scores to just six wines from the fabled 1982 Bordeaux vintage and only two from the generally highly regarded 2005).
If a critic constantly scores too high or too low, there is necessarily a danger that he will lose credibility. I sometimes worry that there are not enough low scores on this blog to demonstrate how tough and uncompromising I am. Then again, there are very few wines that score over 16/20 so perhaps the balance is right.
Over the weekend, Boekenhoutskloof Syrah 2001. A tertiary note reminiscent of marmite on the nose which belied how youthful and intact the palate would be – concentrated red fruit, spice, bright acidity, fine tannins. Great substance and intensity (underscored by an abv of 15%) but perfectly in balance. Perfection should by definition be rare. Score: 18/20.