Attorney Robert McDowell Parker Jr., from Baltimore / USA (* 1947) the most influential wine journalist and wine critic of the world. At the end of the 1970s, the then unknown in the wine world disempowered the leading British wine journalists. His nose was supposedly insured for a million dollars, which is why he was also called "The Million Dollar Nose" or "Wine Pope".
The impetus for wine was a trip to Alsace at the age of 20. In 1978 the first issue of the magazine "Wine Advocate", which has been published every two months, appeared, which contains reviews of individual wines. Today there are over 45,000 subscribers in around 40 countries worldwide. In 2013 Parker sold shares to an investor group from Singapore represented by Soo Hoo Khon Peng and withdrew from the editorial board of Wine Advocate. His successor is the American journalist Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Finally, Robert Parker finally retired to the guest house in May 2019.
For the wine review Parker did the usual thing in US schools 100-point system one, which then became an international standard due to its rapidly increasing influence. According to his own goals, he wanted to be "a consumer advocate" who, in contrast to many wine authors at the time, did not wine trade was connected and therefore had no conflicts of interest. Parker first received worldwide attention when he saw the 1982 Bordeaux as an outstanding vintage exclaimed. This was completely contrary to the opinion of many other colleagues from the industry, who believed that the year was far too low in acid. There has been an endless debate about whether or not 1982 is an aging year.
Since there is a wine during the aging or bottle aging Parker does not leave it with a one-time evaluation, but changes it according to the standard again tastings by. The latest year is rated "en Primeur" in the April issue with a range of points (for example 92 to 96 points), these are Parker's "first thouhgts" (first thoughts). A year later, Parker rates the vintage again "prior to bottling" and then "from the bottle" again when the wines appear on the market. In addition, it may well be the case that when evaluating a wine, older vintages of the same wine are mentioned and evaluated again. A summary of the Wine Advocate ratings is given in the "Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide". This appears at irregular intervals, up to now in the years 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2007. On average around 8,000 wines are rated, among them only very few German and even less Austrian (but the trend is increasing).
Parker's particular interest is clearly French wine, about which he wrote several successful books. In 1985 "Bordeaux" appeared, in 1987 "The Wine of the Rhone Valley and Provence" and in 1990 "Burgundy". In his most active time, Parker regularly tasted over 100 wines a day, which was later reduced by the expansion of his team. Between 1978 and 2010, the team tasted a total of around 300,000 wines. Only around 160 of them received the highest rating with 100 points. It is a phenomenon that well-rated wines rise significantly in price immediately after the rating is announced.
His critics chalk him that he low-acid, fruity wines ( fruit bombs ) or wines with high alcohol content and pronounced tannins prefer. Parker himself denies this. In any case, this led to quite a few wineries changing their techniques in the vineyard and cellar to the "Parker style". This phenomenon is called parkerizing designated. Parker's reviews are not without controversy, but it is a fact that he has had a positive impact on the wine world. The documentary "Mondovino" by American filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter, shown in 2004, shows the effects of globalization, In it, Robert Parker and his friend Michel, friends of his Rolland (* 1947) as diabolical protagonists of a worldwide wine uniform ( Coca-Cola wines ), which is not justified by experts.
Of course, for many years he has not been able to personally taste the myriad of wines evaluated, but instead uses the help of employees who are responsible for certain countries or regions. Naturally, there are often changes in personnel. At the end of 2014, the crew consisted of Jeb Dunnuck, Luis Gutierrez, Monica Larner, Neal Martin, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Stephan Reinhardt, David Schildknecht and Mark Squires. Parker reserved himself for Bordeaux and Northern California. Antonio previously worked for Parker Galloni, Jay Miller, Daniel Thomases and Pierre Rovani.
Parker has received many honors and awards for his performance in wine ratings. In 1992 he received the order "Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite National". A year later, he received the Wine and Vine Communication Award from Moët Hennessy ( LVMH ) for his French editions on Burgundy and Bordeaux. In 1995 he became an honorary citizen of the wine-growing community Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone Valley. The absolute highlight was the decree signed by French President Jacques Chirac (* 1932) in 1999, which made Parker a knight of the Legion of Honor.