Profiling Robert Parker’s 100 Point Wines
Yes, the 100 Point rating scale is not perfect.
OK, with that out of the way, I find the 100 point rating system fascinating on a number of levels. Most fascinating of all is the degree to which it effects those wines that receive very high scores. Even more fascinating is the degree to which a wine that receives the elusive 100 Point rating is helped. Much more fascinating is the degree to which a 100 Point Robert Parker rating helps a wine.
Quite simply, a 100 Point rating from Robert Parker guarantees a wine not only sells out, but sells out at an extraordinarily rapid pace. With this in mind, I thought I'd take a look at this breed of wine.
Using eRobertParker.com's Advanced Search engine, it appears that Mr. Parker has bestowed 100 Points on a total of 224 wines. This is a minuscule percentage of the total wines he has tasted. So we are talking about a select group.
ORIGIN OF 100 POINT PARKER WINES
The region has produced the most 100 Point Robert Parker wines is the Rhone Valley in France with 69 such wines. Bordeaux is second with 53 wines, followed closely by California. Interestingly Champagne has produced a total of Zero 100 Point wines. Champagne is accompanied in that distinction by Oregon, New York, Chile, New Zealand, Argentina, and Austria. See the accompanying chart for regional sources of 100 Point Parker Wines.
CURRENT MATURITY LEVEL OF 100 POINT PARKER WINES
Robert Parker gives a range of years during which a wine will be drinking at its best. Depending on how deep a wine is into this range or how far outside the range it currently falls based on its age, Mr. Parker will describe that condition with a simple word.
Of the 224 wines that have received 100 Point Scores, currently they are at this level of maturity:
No Maturity Given…….48 Wines
COLOR OF WINES
White/Dessert: 28 Wines
Red: 196 Wines
VOCABULARY ASSOCIATED WITH 100 POINT PARKER WINES
Of course no 100 Point rating is complete without a description of the wine. Parker's descriptions of 100 Point wines tends to be elaborate and complete in every way. What was interesting, however was too look at the frequency with which particular descriptive words were used in reviews of 100 Point wines.
"Rich" is the descriptive word that appears to show up most often in a wine that receives 100 Points from Robert Parker. 101 of these wines have this word in the review. This isn't a surprise and I'd be willing to bet that most reviewers would discover the word "rich" appears quite frequently in their highly reviewed wines.
The term "Intens" (as in "intense" or "Intensely") also shows up frequently to the tune of in the description of 64 100 Point wines. "Concentrate" follows with 63 wines having this word in their review. Again, this isn't too surprising. And for those who are curious, the very Parkerian term, "Unctuous" appears in reviews of thirty-four 100 Point wines.
See the accompanying chart for a fuller picture of the frequency of use of particular descriptive words.
OTHER INTERESTING TIDBITS
Oldest Wine: 1811 (d'Yquem)
Least Expensive Wine (Listed Price): $59.00—1995 Chateau La Graviere Tirecul Vendange Tardive Cuvee Madame
Most Expensive Wine (Listed Price) $57,666—1811 Chateau d'Yquem
Winery With Most Wines Rated 100: Chapoutier (13)
Wine Rated 100 Points Most Often: Guigal Cote Rotie la Mouline (9 Different Vintages)
Vintage With Most 100 Point Wines: 2007 (27 Wines)
It should be noted that I understand the meaning of the phrase "Lies, Damned lies and Statistics". Yes, statistics can lie. However, they can also tell very compelling stories. I honestly am not sure what story this set of statistics and items tells. However, this I know. As long as Mr. Parker continues to enjoy his work and continues to rate wine, his 100 Point rating will be among the most coveted third party endorsements any wine can ever receive.