This just in from the Royal Economic Society of Britain: The traditional French concept of terroir is a figment of the imagination, but the influence of Robert M. Parker, Jr. on the price of a wine is not.
These two topics were among several presented at the scholarly gathering in Nottingham, England yesterday.
Just when you thought the French wine industry had been beaten down enough. A study from the University of Reims and Victor Ginsburgh of the Université Libre de Bruxelles says, "You know that terroir thing we've been talking about for centuries? Yeah. Well. Um. It's Bunk. Useless. Fake. Imaginary. Doesn't exist." Can you hear the alarms for the pacemakers of old artisan winemakers and French chateau owners from where you're sitting? The study of soil composition and winemaking techniques across the Medoc region of France found that winemaking techniques, not soil, were responsible for the complexity of wine that is normally attributed to terroir.
This will be dismissed, perhaps rightly, as highly contentious and flawed research. Anyone who has drunk enough wine, and in particular, tasted barrel samples from different regions of a vineyard will know that different soils and microclimates, even within a vineyard, will produce wines that can taste wildly different, even given identical winemaking techniques.
Also presented at the conference was a bit of research that wins my vote for the most unnecessary wine related research inquiry of the decade. Apparently a good Parker score adds about 15% to the price of a wine. The more he likes a wine, the higher the price goes.
What I want to know is how much money these guys got paid to figure that one out.
Well, at least they gave us an exact figure. The average "Parker Effect" apparently adds 2.90 Euro ($5.36) to the price of a wine. Seems low to me.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Taste Washington Day One in Brief Vinography Images: Trailing Vine Checking On Some Older CA Pinot Noir Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vinography Images: Tuscan Garden IPOB - The Tasting That Became a Movement Does Vine Age Matter? Vinography Images: The Future Vineyard A Little Vinography Housekeeping 2014 Rhone Rangers Tasting: April 6, Richmond, CA
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy