Galloni recently posted a TN for the 2016 Poggio Scalette Piantonaia and gave it 50 points saying the wine was undrinkable and should never have been released. 

I wondered how often Galloni has handed out a 50 point score, so I did a search: in all his years of reviewing he's given four 70 point scores and four 60 point scores, but this is his one and only 50 pointer.

That made me wonder why he even scored it. 

At dinner this week a few friends whose palates I trust (OTW was one of them) said they tasted the 2016 at the winery and thought it was excellent. Which for me casts some doubt on Galloni's credibility. Did he have a bad tasting day? But if it was an off day for him, you'd think with all his experience he'd recognize it for what it was and either retaste at a later date or not write a review at all.

And if the wine was truly that flawed - which I find hard to believe - why not give it a NR score, as he has done many times in the past? Giving it a 50 - the lowest score possible - seems petty and vindictive.

Original Post

They need to revise the whole scoring system.  If a wine with a score of 50 is UNDRINKABLE, why not give it a score of 7, leaving room for wines that are even less drinkable than one that is undrinkable.

With so many 90+ scores being handed out these days, what credibility do the critics have anyway.  Some of my local wine shops like to list Luca Maroni's ratings, who routinely gives 98 and 99 point scores to $10 Italian wines- completely laughable.

Personally, I'd love to see a score of 90 and above for wines that are truly special, and if a wine sucks, give it a score of 37 or 42.

Abryce, this is the lowest score (by a 10 pt margin) given by any reviewer on Vinous in their entire historical archive of reviews.

winedrmike - I agree that the 100 pt system is silly, when it’s really a 50 pt system at best, and a 20 pt system in practice.

Every wine gets 50 pts by default - even before the tasting has begun. So no wine can score less than 50. Which means that Galloni found absolutely nothing positive about the wine to move the needle from the base 50 points. Not the colour, not the nose, not the palate. 

Sorry - yes he and Giacomo Conterno (at Aldo Conterno) do not see eye to eye. Galloni gave his wines bad reviews at one point. But not a 50 pt review. 

I find it hard to believe that a producer with the track record of Scalette could produce the worst wine he’s ever tasted.

sunnylea57 posted:

I find it hard to believe that a producer with the track record of Scalette could produce the worst wine he’s ever tasted.

This was my first thought when reading the original post.  Something else is happening here. I pay much less attention to notes and critics than I used to, but I wonder...  how many bottles did Galloni open before posting this review?  

PH 

And Bruce Sanderson quite liked the wine. He gave it 90, Kerin O'Keefe at WE gave it 89, and I'm sure others have rated it fairly well. Galloni gave the prior vintage 94.

No idea, but it really seems like something else is going on besides disliking the wine.

And not for nothing, but if you're routinely tasting a few hundred or thousand wines a year, you're going to find some real crap more often than you would like. I can't believe this is the worst wine he's tasted.

All the scores Galloni gave to Scalette's wines suggest that he was perhaps having a bad-hair day when he visited them in August 2019.  Or more likely, something got under his skin. 

Piantonaia may have taken the biggest hit, but all his scores were unimpressive and down noticeably vs prior vintages:

2016 Carbonaione  - 92

2016 Chiara Aurora - 89

2016 Capogatto - 86

2016 Piantonaia - 50

Pretty lacklustre scoring in an era when even crappy wines get 90 points!  This even beats what Antonio did to Giacomo Conterno after they had their little spat.  I've known both Vittorio and Jurij Fiore for many years and it is hard to imagine what they might have done to bring this on.

On our visit to Scalette in November last year, we tasted both the 2015 and 2016 Piantonaia and I preferred the 2016 (by a relatively small degree).  But Antonio rated them 94 and 50.  

We will be going back for another visit in a couple of months and I'll be interested in hearing the back-story on this.

I can't comment on Galloni's review of the Piantonaia 2016. However, Wine Spectator has reviewed this wine in 7 vintages since the 2003 -- all in official blind tastings, and every wine rated 90 points or higher. I have confidence that Bruce Sanderson, who scored the 2016 at 90 points (and the 2015 at 91 points), has a good handle on the wine. It's expensive, but if it's to your taste, I would suggest you can buy with confidence.

I did a bit of research into the online database of Wine Spectator reviews. Fewer than two dozen wines have official reviews of 50 points. Almost all were given years ago, to older vintages during vertical tastings, wines that were poured for the sake of completeness but from bottles that were dead. 

thomasmatthews posted:

I can't comment on Galloni's review of the Piantonaia 2016. However, Wine Spectator has reviewed this wine in 7 vintages since the 2003 -- all in official blind tastings, and every wine rated 90 points or higher. I have confidence that Bruce Sanderson, who scored the 2016 at 90 points (and the 2015 at 91 points), has a good handle on the wine. It's expensive, but if it's to your taste, I would suggest you can buy with confidence.

I did a bit of research into the online database of Wine Spectator reviews. Fewer than two dozen wines have official reviews of 50 points. Almost all were given years ago, to older vintages during vertical tastings, wines that were poured for the sake of completeness but from bottles that were dead. 

Thanks for the comments Thomas.  Good to see you posting.

Bytown Rick posted:
thomasmatthews posted:

I can't comment on Galloni's review of the Piantonaia 2016. However, Wine Spectator has reviewed this wine in 7 vintages since the 2003 -- all in official blind tastings, and every wine rated 90 points or higher. I have confidence that Bruce Sanderson, who scored the 2016 at 90 points (and the 2015 at 91 points), has a good handle on the wine. It's expensive, but if it's to your taste, I would suggest you can buy with confidence.

I did a bit of research into the online database of Wine Spectator reviews. Fewer than two dozen wines have official reviews of 50 points. Almost all were given years ago, to older vintages during vertical tastings, wines that were poured for the sake of completeness but from bottles that were dead. 

Thanks for the comments Thomas.  Good to see you posting.

Welcome back.  Bring the rest of the gang.

Thanks for the updates

Clearly Galloni must have been having a bad hair day and got something under his skin, which like the Aldo Conterno episode, is highly unprofessional.  I only visited Poggio Scalette once but found Jurji extremely gracious.  As for the wines, I've enjoyed many vintages of Il Carbonaione, a couple of Capogatto, a few of the Chianti and several vintages of Piantonaia.  While the wines vary from vintage to vintage, I've never had a bad wine from Poggio Scalette.  To me it spells buy signal if Galloni's behavior affects prices at retail for the 2016s.  It will be interesting to see OTWs comments after his visit to the winery...

 

Galloni replied to my post on the Vinous forum.  I won’t quote it all here, but the gist of it was this:

  • He has long loved Scallete wines and rated other Scallete wines he tasted that day much higher.
  • The 2 bottles of Piantonaia he tasted that day were “abysmal”, but maybe he just was unlucky and if he tastes it again in the future and it turns out differently, he has no problem writing a second TN to say so.
  • He’s insulted by the “BS that’s out there” on the internet about having a personal agenda. He can’t imagine coming to your place of work and questioning your integrity.

“Abysmal” in what way?  Flawed? How? Were there turds floating in the glass?

As  for his hurt feelings, he should have known he couldn’t just drop a 50 point nuclear bomb with no explanation beyond ‘abysmal and undrinkable’ and then walk away expecting no one would notice. If I came to your place of work and then publicly stated your work was garbage, I’d fully expect my reasoning to be questioned. I’d need more than “I’ve always like your work but today it was lousy”.  

A more fulsome explanation of exactly what about the wine he found ‘abysmal’ would go a long way. And give his fans, subscribers and the winery an idea of his thought process in arriving at the score he did. 

 

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