'LONDON— Robert M. Parker Jr. , widely regarded as the world’s most powerful wine critic, has announced he will no longer taste Bordeaux en primeur.
The Wine Advocate founder, credited as the creator of the 100-point wine rating scale, says the time is right for him to step back from the pressure of reviewing more than 600 wines from barrel.'
Although it is hardly surprising that a scale used to assess American wines in the mid 19th century didn't immediately grab the wine world's attention, Parker's remarkable and so far unique success is probably due to a blend of right place, right time, his energy and focus plus people's liking for ratings.
“Assuming 100 to be the standard for best”: The 100-point wine scale predates Robert Parker’s by 125 years
During my recent visit to Albuquerque I came across numerous
references indicating that the wines of Bernalillo, located just north
of Albuquerque, were celebrated next to those of El Paso in what is now
Texas. One such example appears in Colonel James F. Meline’s account of
his summer tour Two Thousand Miles on Horseback (1866).
Colonel Meline took time to stop and taste several of the wines in
Bernalillo. He found that the “wines are capable, with proper
treatment, of being made excellent” from the “superior” grapes.
Unfortunately, the wine was “inexpertly handled” and “used almost as
fast as made”. Thus old wines were “almost out of the question.” It
was later in Albuquerque that he was able to drink a Bernalillo wine
“that was quite as good as any made at El Paso.”