For nearly three decades, Robert Parker has been the most influential wine critic in the world. And no matter how much flak he occasionally takes for his overall preference for big, fruit-driven, intense wines, his power (and talent) as a taster are unarguable, even if your palate doesn’t necessarily agree with his. (And it has to be said that, as the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jon Bonné put it in his excellent article, “Parker and his palate have provided far more nuanced criticism than he gets credit for.”)
Now, this past weekend, word got out that he is no longer going to be the main reviewer of the wines of California for The Wine Advocate. And while this may seem like a small thing, it has the potential to reverberate throughout the wine world.
There have been thousands of words written since the announcement, endless prognostications about what this means. The best I’ve read so far--the one that covers all the ground that needs to be covered--was posted on the San Francisco Chronicle’s web site. It’s linked up right here, and more than worth the time it takes to read.