The 100-point Wine Rating Scale of Robert M. Parker

Robert McDowell Parker Jr. (b. July 23, 1947) is a renowned retired American wine reviewer. He is famous for his wine evaluations on a 100-point scale, as well as his newsletter “The Wine Advocate.” Both these works have a significant impact on the winemaking industry. Consequently, his scale plays an integral role in pricing newly-released Bordeaux wines. Due to his influence, he has become the world’s most well-known and influential wine reviewer.

Until the 1970s, wine criticism was usually supportive of wine production (or trade). Hence, most consumers were unconcerned about the potential conflict of interest that could arise from a tight association. They would read wine reviews to learn about the world of wine, not necessarily for guidance on acquiring quality value for their money. Consequently, before the advent of Robert Parker’s rating system, wine critics almost always had an exclusive connection to wine production (or trading).

Parker’s 100-point rating system—Created in association with his friend, Victor Morgenroth—is one of the most influential and contentious aspects of his wine criticism. Parker created a technique to combat what he deemed as ambiguous (or exaggerated) ratings by other wine writers. He accused many other reviewers of having a conflict of interest because they often had a financial stake in the wines they assessed.

The scale he created has since been widely duplicated by other popular publications, such as Wine Spectator. This scale assigns a specific score to each wine based on its odor, color, appearance, bouquet, flavor, and overall quality level (or potential).

Robert Parker’s 100-Point System / the Wine Advocate:

96–100 – Extraordinary on a 100-point wine scale

90–95 – Exceptional

80–89 – Slightly above average to excellent

70–79 – Average

60–69 – Lower than Average

50–59 – Unacceptable

Besides his famous scale, Parker is also well-known for independently tasting and rating some of the world’s most prominent and expensive wines. Moreover, he has undoubtedly sampled most of the world’s most expensive wines.

On this Day

July 23, 1947 – On this day in 1947, the world-famous wine reviewer Robert M. Parker was born, who created a 100-scale wine rating system.

1970s – In the 1970s, consumers started becoming concerned about the potential conflict of interest that could arise from the always supportive criticism of all types of wines. Consequently, the creation of a quality scoring system became imperative.

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