The ‘Power of Parker Perfection’

Robert Parker Jnr has probably been the single most influential individual on the modern fine wine market, becoming the trusted authority on quality whose opinion has moved markets in the most valuable wines in the world.

A wine awarded 100 points by Parker is extremely rare, has the highest quality rating and should, by association, command the highest prices. Market forces have an ongoing influence over price performance and there are times when these wines can offer amazing value.

We should remind ourselves that his retirement from rating Bordeaux wines for The Wine Advocate has meant there will be no more ‘Parker 100’s awarded and those in existence will get rarer over time. A Perfect Parker wine should be on the wish list of every serious wine investor and a collection of them can only reap dividends in the long term.

An American lawyer by training Parker’s passion for wine as a young man led him to a  second career in wine writing and to establishing ‘The Wine Advocate’ forty years ago in 1978. The Bordeaux 1982 vintage really established his palate as the go-to ‘litmus test’ for fine wine quality assurance and producers and trade around the world came to look for the Parker seal of approval. The ultimate of which being the perfect 100 point Parker rating. His system scored wines out of 100 and is outlined below. The numerical point score is then supported with detailed tasting notes on each wine reviewed and published normally in The Wine Advocate or Hedonists Gazette.

PARKER POINTS® the ratings explained:

90-100 is equivalent to an A and is given only for an outstanding or special effort. Wines in this category are the very best produced of their type. There is a big difference between a 90 and 99, but both are top marks. There are few wines that actually make it into this top category because there are not many great wines.

80-89 is equivalent to a B in school and such a wine, particularly in the 85-89 range, is very, very good; many of the wines that fall into this range often are great value as well.

70-79 represents a C, or average mark, but obviously 79 is a much more desirable score than 70. Wines that receive scores between 75 and 79 are generally pleasant, straightforward wines that lack complexity, character, or depth. If inexpensive, they may be ideal for uncritical quaffing.

Below 70 is a D – F, and is a sign of an imbalanced, flawed, or terribly dull or diluted product that will be of little interest to the discriminating consumer.

MOVING MARKET PRICES There have been many occasions when publication of a Parker score or rescore has affected the global price of a wine, the Bordeaux 2005 vintage rescore in 2015 was a classic example. In the months leading up to the planned 10-year critical review, the key wines of 2005 saw increased trading activity on Liv-ex in expectation and prices started to rise. Looking specifically at La Mission Haut Brion 2005, Parker upgraded it from 98+ to 100 points and between January and the rescore in June 2015 the Liv-ex trade price grew 47.7% from £3,200 (12 x 75cl) to £4,506

In November 2014, Parker published his 100-point score of Chateau Haut Bailly 2009 in the Hedonists Gazette – three days later the Liv-ex trade price had increased 45.2% from £775 (12 x 75cl) to £1,125.

THE HIGHEST HONOURS: Robert Parker Jnr is the only wine critic to have been awarded the highest presidential honours by French presidents Jacque Chirac and Francois Mitterand, an Italian President and the highest civilian honour in Spain was granted by King Juan Carlos of Spain. Chirac commented that “Robert Parker is the most followed and influential critic of French wines in the world.” The late Pulitzer Prize winning media critic, David Shaw stated in the Los Angeles Times that “Robert Parker is “the most powerful critic of any kind, anywhere” and “is largely responsible for the vastly improved quality of wines made throughout the western world and sophistication of those who drink wine.”

MARKET INFLUENCE Parker has been instrumental in helping to establish the brand profiles of a number of iconic Californian cult wines including Screaming Eagle. His handover of Bordeaux tastings to other Wine Advocate personnel, initially Neal Martin until his recent move to Antonio Galloni’s, has led to many seeking out the future ‘weathervane’ to fine wine perfection but left wanting. The evolution of the market and technology proliferating the commentary and information now available on fine wine has surely meant that one individual will never have such sway again over this global market. Trust is an important component and the market trusted Parker’s view. As Perfect Parker 100 point wines become increasingly rare over time, those that own them are sure to see future values recognise the special cachet associated with the wine world’s most influential critic probably of all time.

PARKER 100 LIMITED OFFER: Vin-X has the following PARKER 100 POINT WINES from the extraordinary 2009 and 2010 vintages available at competitive prices now:

 DON’T MISS THIS SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY TO OWN PARKER PERFECTION If you are just starting to create a fine wine portfolio, building a vertical or looking to enhance your existing collection we have a very limited parcel of Perfect Parker wines available NOW – CALL US ON 0203 384 2262