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The first The Wine Advocate newsletter (yes, a printed paper) appeared in 1978 as an insert to catalogs of major wine retailers. The rest is history! Today, Parker stands for the 100-point system and for a taste in wine that in the meantime was very much characterized by massive wines, a lot of fullness and concentration, but is now very balanced by the team of evaluators.
Robert Parker, founder and longtime head of the Wine Advocate, is generally considered one of the most influential wine critics in the world. And a good rating in his 100-point system as a decisive criterion for success for winemakers and wine merchants. But here, too, caution must be exercised; Robert Parker has his own personal taste, just like each of us.
Who is Robert Parker?
A US American with the highest official honors in France - not everyone manages that. It's not surprising that he has made a name for himself in wine. Because Robert M. Parker discovered his love early, for France, for his wife and for wine. He met all three during a trip in 1967, and none of the three loves left him. At home in Baltimore, things were much more sober for the fresh law graduate. At the urging of family, he joined a law firm and practiced law for several years. Always present in his mind was wine, which he indulged in from time to time. Much more exciting than the pleasure was then the excellent sensory of Robert Parker, which allowed him to describe wines in detail.
Around 1978, the landscape of wine critics was considered to be clear and, moreover, closely rooted to winemakers and merchants. Truly independent opinions on a wine were few and far between, with, on the other hand, individuals with financial interests and an agenda dictated by the winery being the norm. Parker turned the tables and wrote as a wine lover for wine lovers - independent and always oriented towards the consumer. With this approach, he drew attention to himself and his newsletter, and then made a name for himself in 1983, when he judged the 1982 Bordeaux vintage.
The wine world was certain: the '82 vintage was not a good one. It lacked potential and was overripe. Only Robert Parker was of a different opinion and praised the vintage. And the market confirmed his verdict, prices soared, as did subscribers to the Wine Advocate. To this day, the twice-monthly newsletter is one of the most important references for wine critics, even though Robert Parker has only been the name giver for years and no longer writes reviews. A team of 10 international wine connoisseurs, who are absolute luminaries in their field, sees itself responsible for this. Because where Robert Parker started with wines from the Bordelais, Burgundy and Côtes du Rhône, The Wine Advocate today rates wines from all corners of the earth.
What are Parker Points?
The Robert Parker 100 point system is one of the most common wine rating systems that describes various facets of a wine, according to The Wine Advocate. These include bouquet, appearance, taste, finish, potential and overall quality level.
An extraordinarywine with a profound and complex character, which combines all the attributes expected from the wine and grape variety. This wine is worth seeking out, buying and enjoying.
An excellent wine with exceptional character and complexity. A fantastic wine.
An above average to very good wine that shows different facets of finesse and flavor and no flaws.
Average wine with no distinguishing features. Solidly made, uncomplicated and "harmless" wine.
Below average wine that shows significant flaws, for example, high acidity/tannin, dirty aromas, or poor taste.
Wines that are said to have brilliant results from prolonged aging receive a + in addition to the Parker points.
Are the Robert Parker points relevant to me?
If you like full-bodied as well as fruity wines with strong barrique notes, such as those coming from Bordeaux, then the Robert Parker rating can be quite helpful, because that is how its taste is described. However, since today a team of 10 wine critics tastes the wines, the "taste" of the Wine Advocate has diversified. Experts from all corners of the world try to create as objective a picture as possible of the wines tasted. The points are primarily an indication of the rough quality level, a more detailed description for the corresponding wine can then be found in the newsletter The Wine Advocate or on the official website robertparker.com.
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