Parker & the French (v.2005)
This news is going to help the French wine industry – but not overall.
At least the higher end will get a boost from this, which is good when you consider that French imports were down as much as 26% when the US had its un-official “ban” on all things French over the past few years. Though they are now recovering from the "ban", which is likely in response to revelations that there were no WMD's in Iraq at the start of the war, demand is still down from levels prior to March 2003.
Bad news for them (and the EU & French gov’ts which are the ones footing the bills for the excess French wine glut) is that the mid- & low-end wines are the ones hurting the most. High-end French wines have generally maintained their demand (and high prices).
Only the phrase that 'there will be an ocean of very high quality wine available at reasonable prices' leaves one hopeful...
But hearing the caveat that “top wines may be 'stratospheric' in price” is an instant buzzkill.
Unfortunately, increased demand for the 2005 vintage probably won’t do anything extraordinary to alleviate the excess from previous vintages, and it’ll take a few years for these “phenomenal” wines to get beyond the en primeur stage and be available to the public.