The Robert Parker Wine Rating System
The Robert Parker wine rating system (Parker Points) is a commonly used scoring system to rate fine wines. Although there are various, universally adopted rating methodologies, usually based on 20-point scales, Robert Parker’s 50-100 point scoring method has been very popular in the fine wine industry.
Robert M. Parker Jr. is undoubtedly the world’s most renowned wine critic. Since the late 70’s Robert Parker has been a prominent figure in the world of fine wine; his publication ‘The Wine Advocate’, an independent wine consumers guide, first published in 1979 draws a following of at least 50,000 subscribers to date.
Ever since the relatively new market of fine wine investment has taken off, wine connoisseurs, financial experts and investment brokers have been paying close attention to Robert Parker’s ‘million dollar nose’. Due to the fact that Parker’s ratings have been known to significantly affect the value of wines and cause severe price fluctuations in the market, any investor in the fine wine industry should be well aware of Robert Parker’s opinions.
Robert Parker introduced his own wine rating system because he felt that critics often undervalued or overestimated a fine wine, mainly due to conflict of interest, for example the critic having a financial interest in the wine they are rating. Additionally, Parker felt that the commonly used 20-point system did not offer enough flexibility, and often resulted in unjustified, misaligned ratings. Therefore, Robert Parker’s 50-100 point quality scale (referred to as ‘Parker Points’) offers a widely accepted industry standard by which to gage fine wine quality.
Robert Parker Wine Rating System
96 – 100
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.
90 – 95
An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
80 – 89
A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70 – 79
An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
60 – 69
A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.
50 – 59
A wine deemed to be unacceptable.
(The above information is taken from Robert Parker’s website www.erobertparker.com)
“The Wine Advocate takes a hard, very critical look at wine since I would prefer to underestimate the wine’s quality than to overestimate it. The numerical ratings are utilized only to enhance and complement the thorough tasting notes, which are my primary means of communicating my judgments.”
Robert Parker Jr.
A quality score of 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 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.
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