Yikes this is a hot one!
A producer sent a letter to another producer that scored wine critics in a manner that is similar to how they score wine and it is both illuminating and incendiary. Somehow the letter got leaked and Don Kavanagh wrote an article for Winesercher.com about it, find it here. With thirty seconds of internet sleuthing, the offending letter is found in original french. Check it out here in low resolution (Ouch!).
I must admit, I have never been a wine critic follower. There are some wine writers I really appreciate, but more for their stories about wine regions and history of producers than the notes they give on actual wine flavors and then scoring them. I have my own method of evaluating a wine based on it’s region and grape typicité.
Unfortunately for very expensive, hard to get wines a wine critics notes may be the only way to determine if a wine should be purchased for aging or for selling in a restaurant or retail shop. This is a sad reality. There are some wine critics who I vaguely pay attention to when I have no other option, but I am careful to judge the ratings with a major dose of suspect. I trust my own palates experience with a producers and that producers history more than most critics. However, if I hear of a producers style changing or a new winemaker or viticulturist, I look further into things to see if there could be problems.