End of an era: Robert Parker relinquishes Bordeaux
Robert M. Parker Jr is to relinquish his tasting of Bordeaux to the British-born Neal Martin as of 1 May 2016, according to his PR agency. Martin will take full responsibility for coverage of the wines of Bordeaux, in both the Wine Advocate and at erobertparker.com.
The announcement will come as no surprise to regular Bordeaux watchers. In 2014, the world’s most influential wine critic delivered his en primeur verdict on the previous year’s vintage two months later than usual. And last year, despite favourable early reports of the 2014 wines, Parker announced that he would not be tasting the en primeur wines at all, leaving the task to Martin. Until now, however, Parker has continued to take responsibility for re-tasting bottled Bordeaux. These reappraisals have on occasion stoked demand, and raised prices for wines whose marks have risen over the months or years.
This duty will now also now be handed to Martin who is sometimes said to have less of a preference for the rich ‘opulent’ style with which the American has traditionally been associated. Historically, there have been wines such as Chateau Gazin 2001 which was rated as a 94 by Parker, but only 16/20 by Jancis Robinson and 86+ by Martin.
Despite any differences between the two men’s tastebuds, Parker has no doubts about his successor’s skills. “Neal is clearly the most experienced and seasoned veteran to assume the tasting responsibilities of Bordeaux barrel tasting,” he said in the statement. “He has been doing it well for nearly two decades, having started as a young man. I have full confidence in his ability, experience, integrity, independence and work ethic to make this an easy transformation. While I loved the challenge of tasting en primeur every spring, it is time for a change and an injection of younger talent.”
Read more at End of an era: Robert Parker relinquishes Bordeaux