99 Point Wines

A new line of wines promoted by Robus Parkowania

 


With the wine industry’s dependence on point scoring, it is surprising no one has thought of this before. So simple and deceptive, yet there it is, the newly unveiled “99 Points!” line of wines being promoted by Robus Parkowania at his new Arpy Vineyards.

Robus has harnessed the power of points by doing away with the related baggage.

As he puts it, “ there’s no review, no critic involved, this is point pure and simple, just the way the consumer likes it!”

When asked about the need for additional promotional material, Robus simply shook his head, glancing at me like a frustrated professor. It was obvious that I simply did not get the concept, so he continued his explanation.

Photo courtesy Dinner Series via Flickr/CC

“We’re not really selling the wine, in fact we don’t even make the wine, well not exactly. This is bulk juice that we’ve blended with our careful curated starter wines to match the palate preferences of most consumers. We’re really lucky actually, since there is an allowance for matter other than grapes in wine making, we were able to get some vineyard workers to drop a few jars of Smucker’s into the fermenting vats, along with some Kenya AA coffee beans, a Phillies Blunt and several blueberry smoothies. On occasion, a ham bone might have been used, but we really weren’t very successful with our Syrah,” Robus added almost as an after thought.

The wines, there are four at this point, are all being sold under the 99 Points moniker, though Robus has already responded to criticism in the marketplace by commissioning designs for his next wine: 88 Points! Red and White. As Robus explains:

“You have to very careful how you play the market. People who are buying generic wine don’t want to be seen as being snooty. I mean folks might take these boxes home (the 88 Points! line of wines will debut in the new 22 liter bag in box format) and serve them to their friends who will take one look at a 99 Points! Wine and think their friend has hit the lottery or something!”

In order to avoid the stress that might result from such a misconception, Robus choose the 88 Points! moniker, and the 22 liter format. This allows for a pricing program that equates to $4 per liter, or “always only a dollar a point!” as the 88 Points! marketing material lays it out. While reviewing the marketing material with Robus, I learned that a Chinese version is in the works for 88 Points! Wines, because “the Chinese, they love their eights!”

It sounds like an exciting time to be in the wine business, though as with any business, even wine is ultimately about the Benjamins.

Speaking of pricing, I asked Robus about the pricing of his 99 Points! Wine and while he was obviously a little hesitant to set the prices for his wines, he did say that they were the least expensive 99 Points! Wines in the marketplace, “selling for a fraction of other 99 point wines.” A brief check of the online shopping site Thoons.com revealed a variety of prices for the 99 Points! Wines, generally ranging between $19 and $79 per bottle. When asked about this disparity of pricing, Robus just shrugged and blamed it on the aggressive discounting that is part of their roll out plans.

While a single case of 99 Points will run a retailer $600, even smaller drops see discounting of 5% on 10 cases, 20% on 50 cases, all the way up to 110% on 1000 cases. When I pointed out that this in effect is a rebate to stores that can take such volume, Robus replied that they would be making it up on volume, but that the real underlying strategy at work is to have stores tie up all their storage with 99 Points! Wine so that other products would have to give up the valuable shelf space.


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Comments

  • Really???!!! He called his wines 99 points ???!!! ... pretencious

    Apr 02, 2012 at 9:05 AM


  • Snooth User: badbobby
    200769 15

    Most people would be very happy to have someone like yourself tasting and blogging about his wines to a discerning, enthusiastic audience. Beware. Something fishy sounding here.

    Apr 02, 2012 at 1:59 PM


  • Snooth User: tomglip
    502946 25

    You left out the most important part - They make only 50 cases a year of their reserve cuvee -sold only at the winery. Called "The 100 Pointer", every year the label features a picture of a super-model in a bikini caressing a bottle of wine, and the words "A Perfect Score" written below. l.

    Apr 02, 2012 at 2:02 PM


  • Snooth User: Gamelorn
    689561 70

    Cute April Fools article.

    Apr 02, 2012 at 2:38 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 213,437

    Tom, You know what happens to that bikini when you chill the bottle don't you?

    Apr 02, 2012 at 2:38 PM


  • Snooth User: cdh
    152896 12

    Hilarious!

    Apr 02, 2012 at 2:44 PM


  • Snooth User: Villa Ragazzi
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    973965 51

    Second wine-related giggle today, and it's not even April Fool's Day. Thanks!

    Apr 02, 2012 at 3:25 PM


  • Snooth User: courgette
    124481 148

    I give this piece 101 points!

    Apr 02, 2012 at 3:26 PM


  • I don't get it-he's rating his own wines 99 points then selling them based on that alone? Really? Or am I missing something?
    I for one will not be spending $20 or $30 on a wine based entirely on the distributor's claim that it is worthy of the rating.
    Is this a joke?

    Apr 02, 2012 at 3:43 PM


  • Snooth User: courgette
    124481 148

    Katy, Fredi, BadBobby et al.-- please note the date of the article.

    Apr 02, 2012 at 4:02 PM


  • Snooth User: EMark
    Hand of Snooth
    847804 6,119

    I was at a local wine retailer, yesterday, and they were offering tastings of 99 Point WInes. They most they would offer me, though, was $15. I passed.

    Apr 02, 2012 at 4:08 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 213,437

    Hey Emark, So what's you going rate for tasting 100 pointers?

    Nice one!

    Apr 02, 2012 at 6:45 PM


  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 7,434

    Unfortunately, the article didn't arrive in my mailbox until April 3 Tokyo time, late 2nd yours.... ;-(

    Why wasn't this posted on the eRobert Parker site? ;-)

    Apr 02, 2012 at 7:47 PM


  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 7,434

    Oh yeah, meant to add before my premature 'approve' click that you need to ask Arpy if the Zinfandelighter didn't actually rip off the original Coca Cola recipe...

    Apr 02, 2012 at 7:53 PM


  • Snooth User: jamessulis
    Hand of Snooth
    426220 1,500

    Delightful aromas of burnt ham fat, coupled with essence of pineapple. Perfect for your Easter fondu buffet. Strong taste of Starbucks g Guatamala blend with chunks of cookie dough with a lasting finish. Pass the mouthwash please

    Apr 04, 2012 at 7:48 PM


  • Snooth User: Forrealz
    1107531 18

    Did any of you even read to the end of the article? If you could read this:

    "200* 99 Points! Putiton Now from Sonmona Burkina Faso
    This at least pours from the bottle, though it is a bit chunky and I think I found bits of a ham bone in my glass. Full of earthy, palate staining flavors of Smucker’s, coffee and blueberry smoothie, with a hot finish."

    ... and still take it seriously, then you deserve to sit there all high and mighty on your pedestal of misery. I, for one, thought this was absolutely hilarious.

    Jun 01, 2012 at 2:59 PM


  • Snooth User: Helen Poole
    1337036 29

    interesting..

    Aug 30, 2013 at 5:58 AM


  • Snooth User: anvilpep
    1370081 34

    amaizing

    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:52 AM


  • Snooth User: anvilpep
    1370081 34

    nice

    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:57 AM


  • interesting

    Sep 27, 2013 at 2:28 AM


  • nice

    Oct 06, 2013 at 11:30 PM


  • great

    Jan 21, 2014 at 1:04 AM


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