Monday, December 5, 2016

Can our bureaucrats pick wine? Let's see. (Part 2)

Once again it is time to see if those who pick the wines that Pennsylvanians are allowed to buy agree with real wine professionals, or if we're getting second rate service from the wineocrats in Harrisburg. Wine Spectator's top picks for the year are rolling out, and as we have for several years, we're checking to see how few of them Pennsylvanians will be allowed to purchase. The PLCB managed to bat .500 for picks 10 through 7 — better than usual! — but will they be able to hold on to that average? Past history says probably not.

One of 12 different labels

The #6 wine as selected by Wine Spectator is: Orin Swift Machete California 2014 (MSRP $48: cases bottled: 15,500). You ain't gonna find any of those 15,500 cases anywhere in Pennsylvania...legally.

Wine Spectator's #5 pick is: Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Asili Riserva 2011 (MSRP: $59; cases bottled: 1,100) 

While the PLCB doesn't stock this actual vintage, they do claim to be able to special order an older vintage, if you want twelve of them. Though you might have some trouble finding it: the PLCB spells it wrong in their database. Classic.

The #4 Wine Spectator pick for 2016 is Château Climens Barsac 2013 (MSRP $68; cases bottled 1,417). Much as you might like to try it, this one didn't make it into the state either.

The #3 wine as selected by Wine Spectator is Beaux Frères Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2014 (MSRP $90; cases bottled: 2,405). Sorry, no luck. Our cube rats aren't doing so well in this batch. They're 0 for 4 so far.

Wine Spectator picked this as their #2 wine of 2016: Domaine Serene Chardonnay Dundee Hills Evenstad Reserve 2014 (MSRP $55; cases bottled: 2,000). 
We'll go half a point on this one. It's not really in stock on a shelf, but they say you can order it SLO. We'll give them half a point simply because you can get it in Pennsylvania, even though the PLCB buyers have nothing to do with SLO orders since they don't select them at all. Half a point is generous.

If you're playing along at home, don't try spelling any of these correctly, like Château or Frères, as you will only confuse the hell out of the inept PLCB search engine.

So as predicted by history, the PLCB "wine specialists" score has dropped to two out of the top nine actually on the shelf, and you can maybe get one more...if you want to wait a few weeks for your SLO order.

Can they redeem themselves by having the #1 wine? Does anybody want to buy a bridge?

No comments: