Returning to the role of Napa Valley reviewer for The Wine Advocate following Antonio Galloni’s shock resignation earlier this year, the world’s most influential wine critic, Robert Parker, has dished up 12 perfect scores.
Listed in the latest edition of the Advocate, the new ratings underline the superlative quality of Napa’s wines from the 2010 vintage, which Parker describes as “gorgeous" and “long-lived.” Ten of the 12 apparently flawless wines are 2010s, with the two remaining top slots occupied by wines from 2009 and 2011.
The 100-point winners include some familiar names, including the “mindblowing” 2010 Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, the “voluptuously textured” 2010 Dominus Proprietary Red Wine, and the 2010 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, which Parker calls “utter perfection.” That's a quality to be hoped for when the wine is listed at an average price of $2,142 per bottle on Wine-Searcher.
Only the 2007 and 1997 vintages of Screaming Eagle have ever garnered the perfect score; they currently trade at $3,347 and $5,075 per bottle respectively.
However, these scores are likely to push demand – and prices – up. Earlier this year, Parker's 100-point scores for the 2010 Bordeaux vintage led to a rapid rise in prices. In addition, this month's Liv-ex Cellar Watch Market Report showed that two of the most-traded wines beyond Bordeaux were 2008 Penfolds Grange, which received 100-points from The Wine Advocate's editor-in-chief, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, and 2010 Opus One, which Antonio Galloni marked 97.
The only non-cabernet sauvignon or Bordeaux blend to be anointed in Parker's latest 100-point rankings is Colgin Estate's Syrah. In total, the Pritchard Hill-based producer received an insurmountable three perfect scores from Parker, with top ratings also going to its cabernet-based 2010 Colgin Cariad Proprietary Red Wine and 2010 Colgin IX Proprietary Red Estate.
Galloni has today posted his own scores for Napa's 2010, '11 and '12 vintages. Just four 2010s achieve the maximum 100-point score and none is the same as the wines top-ranked by Parker. Galloni's picks are Bond Estate's St Eden (95 RP), David Abreu's Howell Mountain (94–97 RP), Kapcsandy's State Lane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (93 RP), and Harlan Estate (98+ RP).
However, there are many wines in the rival lists where the pair are in close agreement, such as the 2012 Dominus, which receives 98–100 points from both critics.
Bond Estate, Abreu and Dalla Valle dominate Galloni's list of favorites from the three vintages, occupying 10 of his top 15 slots.