There are a list of names that have become icons in their own right, each creating a picture of authority reflecting their own style and philosophy on an industry that has become recognized as a money making machine for the investor. Each claim to adapt an approach that is directed towards ´purity´; without monetary influence or design, but despite this, their thoughts and opinions when tasting the worlds famous wines are responsible for success or failure.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. is a leading influential wine critic. The most influential impact of Parker’s writing is his 100-point ranking system. The scale ranks wine on a scale from 50 to 100 points, on colour and appearance, aroma and bouquet, flavor and finish, and overall quality level or potential.
The scale was developed to counter what Parker believed to be confusing or inflated ratings by other wine writers, many of whom Parker also accused of a conflict of interest, as they often had a financial interest in the wines they rated. His 100 point ratings and florid tasting notes define wine criticism, and are a major contributor to the prices for newly-released Bordeaux wine.
Vintage after Vintage, Chateau owners, wine merchants, brokers, and collectors all wait for Robert Parkers opinion and scores before setting their own strategies. A recent example is the 2008 Vintage; whilst other critics suggested it would be an ‘average’ to good year, Parker claimed ´magical´. His scoring of these wines created panic buying and the wines he had marked highly and overnight their value rocketed!
Fine wines that we recommend to our clients reflect Parkers scoring system and the majority have a score of 95 points or above. However, there are obviously exceptions to this rule and other wines with lower scores may still be included in a clients portfolio.
Robert Parkers 100 point system is as follows:
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this calibre are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.
An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
Other notable critics which the wine world listen to include:
Jancis Robinson (UK)
James Suckling (USA)
Neal Martin (UK)
Jeannie Cho Lee (HK)