Defining Robert Parker
Always lots of talk about Robert Parker among wine lovers. We’ve got books on Parker, articles on Parker and just about every wine store you go into has some sort of Parker quote. Not only does he have an impressive palate, but his palate breeds debate.
But it strikes me that in large part Robert Parker is what he writes and rates.
So with that in mind, here is list, by varietal, of the percentage of California wines that received 90 points or more from Parker and the highest rated wines for each varietal. These stats were taken from searching the e-RobertParker subscription web site:
CABERNET SAUVIGNON…..45% Rated 90 points or more (2,630 wines listed)
1997 Abreu Madrona Ranch: 100 Points
1997 Bryant Family Vineyard: 100 Points
2002 Colgin Tychson Hill Vineyard: 100 Points
1997 Screaming Eagle: 100 Points
SYRAH…44% Rated 90 Points or more (1228 wines listed)
2002 Sine Qua Non "Just for the Fun Of it: 100 Points
CHARDONNAY…39% Rated 90 points or more (2703 wines listed)
1998 Marcassin "Marcassin Vineyard": 99 Points
1996 Marcassin "Marcassin Vineyard": 99 Points
1995 Peter Michael Winery "Point Rouge": 99 Points
PINOT NOIR…33% Rated 90 Points or more (2384 wines listed)
2000 Kistler Occidental Vineyard Cuvee Elizabeth: 99 Points
ZINFANDEL…27% Rated 90 point or more (2319 wines listed)
1994 Martinelli Jackass Vineyard: 97 Points
1995 Martinelli Jackass Vineyard: 97 Points
1998 Martinelli Jackass Vineyard: 97 Points
1996 Turley Wine Cellars Hayne Vineyard: 97 Points
2001 Turley Wine Cellars Hayne Vineyard: 97 Points
VIOGNIER…27% Rated 90 Points or More (261 wines reviewed)
1992 Beringer Hudson Ranch: 94 Points
(Sine Qua Non had two wines rated higher, but they are sweet viogniers)
MERLOT…24% Rated 90 Points or higher (871 wines listed)
1996 Pahlmeyer: 97 Points
2001 Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintners Select Mountain Top Vineyard: 97 Points
SAUVIGNON BLANC…18% Rated 90 Points or higher (512 wines listed)
1997 Robert Mondavi To-Kalon Estate I-Block: 94 Points
So, what does all this tell us? Not all that much really. More than anything, what’s interesting are the playful conclusions we can draw from the number of wines reviewed by varietal. Parker does seem to concentrate on those wines he thinks are best, leaving "less best" wines out of the Wine Advocate. That leads us to conclude that he’s not found nearly as many interesting Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs to review.
Draw your own conclusions about who Robert Parker is.