Bordeaux by Robert Parker
When connoisseurs speak of wine as a long-term investment that can appreciate in gustatory (and monetary) value for decades, they usually refer to red Bordeaux, France's biggest and longest-lasting wine. But as the cachet of Bordeaux continues to attract legions of wine fanatics across the globe, the 90s have seen Bordeaux prices skyrocket. The importance of informed buying has never been more acute, and Parker's guide is simply the best available. Updated from the original 1985 edition, the third edition of Bordeaux is organized along the same lines as the region's wine classifications. After introducing the style, history, and techniques specific to each principal appellation, Parker discusses the featured châteaux in detail--from the techniques of the vintners to the peculiarities of the all-important terroir. Parker's ratings for the tasted vintages, based on the 100-point scale he popularized through The Wine Advocate, are the real crux of each winery's listing. Performing all his tastings in "single blind" style--where each wine is judged without knowledge of the price or producer, and only in context with similar wines--assures a measure of independence in the tastings. Big-name wines are often deflated, and many "also-rans" from the landmark quality classification of 1855 finally win their deserved recognition. The third edition naturally highlights the series of (mostly good) vintages that Bordeaux has seen since the release of the second edition in 1991, but it also includes updated tasting notes on the vintners and vintages Parker has revisited since that time. His opinions command such worldwide attention that, given time, either your palate or your wallet is bound to benefit from keeping up with Parker's advice.