In February 2013, Robert Parker once again posted a review that sent the wine world into a tizzy. Returning to the phenomenal 2010 vintage, the guy who makes or breaks a Bordeaux château with a stroke of the keyboard published one of the most extraordinary reviews of his career, sending the price of Saint-Émilion’s newest superstar estate, Troplong Mondot, into the stratosphere.
In his 99-point review, Parker described proprietress Christine Valette’s 2010 as having “a gorgeous bouquet of mocha, chocolate, blackberry and cassis fruit, an unctuous texture, a full-bodied, viscous mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like, multilayered finish.”
From a collector’s perspective, the quality-to-price ratio of the 2010 Troplong Mondot was unrivaled. Two years ago, a researcher pursuing her Ph.D. in statistics explained to us, in great detail, the math behind that statement. She had just completed a study of the impact of Parker scores on the price of highly rated Bordeaux.
The study in question had apparently been commissioned by a client of l’INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research), who had asked the young statistician to compare how Bordeaux prices are influenced by reviews penned by English MW Clive Coates and by Parker.
Not surprisingly, the brilliant 27-year-old confirmed what we already knew: Coates’s scores “have little or no effect on prices,” while Parker “truly sets the market.” Then the young mathematician threw us a bone, adding, “but I did uncover some interesting anomalies in the data, where prices are somehow misaligned with scores.” The most salient outlier is undoubtedly the case of the 2010 Château Troplong Mondot!
One of the great wines of St. Emilion
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