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The lawyer who revolutionized the wine world retires

Robert Parker sold his Wine Advocate a few years ago but now he has officially retired. Even if you don’t see the advantages of scoring a wine on a 100-point scale you can’t deny the impact Robert Parker has had on the wine world. He was the lawyer who became a wine critic and who created, or at least made popular, the now widely used 100-point scale.

He became known in the mid-1980s, not least because he “discovered” the greatness of the 1982 vintage in Bordeaux. Having high points in his newsletter The Wine Advocate meant high prices and secure sales for those wines. No wonder some producers changed their style in the hope that their wines would appeal to Parker. Who was, rightly or wrongly, accused of enjoying rich, lush, oaky wines.

On the other hand, the 1990s was the golden age of new oak barrels and new technology, and on top of that new markets emerged with new taste preferences. Everything was definitely not Parker’s “fault”.

In any case, today’s abundance of wine sites and wine blogs guarantees that one single person will never again have such influence that Parker enjoyed. For better or for worse. Each one will decide.

Travel: Come to Bordeaux on a wine tour this autumn.

The wine cellar at Chateau Grand Barrail Lamarzelle, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux

The wine cellar at Chateau Grand Barrail Lamarzelle, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, copyright BKWine Photography

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