The scores given by Robert Parker have long had the power to make or break a wine. They have also succeeded in putting the spotlight on some of the world’s finest wine makers and producers. And we have an impressive selection of the best here.
Founded in 1979 by the famous American wine critic Robert Parker, Wine Advocate is today the most widely known revues of wine tasting in the world. A lawyer by training, Parker became a veritable wine guru, building his renown over the years with particular success from 1982 onwards. His comments and scoring system have influenced the wine world at large, even having an effect on production, with some talking of ‘Parkerisation’. He retired in 2019, and it is clear to see that many of the highest-scoring wines have experienced many benefits from Parker’s approval. What we’re offering is a selection of wines with particularly high scores – fortunately, the tasting (and scoring!) torch has been taken up by greats like Neil Martin and Lisa Perrotti-Brown, so the value of these reviews is set to endure.
There are numerous Bordeaux wines in this selection, with many from the 1855 classification, though not exclusively. Let’s begin with the 2000 Château Mouton-Rothschild, scored 97/100, much like the 2016 Lynch Bages and Doisy Daene’s 2016 Extravagant, an exceptional dessert wine. Fans of Château Léoville Las Cases will be delighted to find bottles in several vintages, such as the 2008, 2011 and 2012, all three given 93/100. Our favourites among the cream of Wine Advocate’s crop? The 2016 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and the 2015 Pontet Canet. In terms of wines from Pessac-Léognan, we love the sublime 2016 from Domaine de Chevalier, the 2016 reds from Carmes Haut-Brion and Mission Haut-Brion, and for a more accessible price, the 2012 Fieuzal.
From the right bank, the quality and rarity of Pomerol make this region as attractive as ever. The rare Château Le Pin is offered here in its 2016 vintage, blessed with a score of 98/100. Château La Violette also makes an appearance with an impressive 96/100, as well as Château La Conseillante with its 2015 and 2016 vintages, marked 96 and 98 respectively. As for Saint-Emilion, we particularly recommend the 2015 from Château Figeac (97), Cheval Blanc’s 2017 (96), Angélus’ 2016 (98) and Pavie Macquin’s 2005 (96). For a more attainable price bracket, have a look at the 2015 vintage from Château Grand Corbin d’Espagne (91) and the 2016 Fonplegade in magnum format (96).
Many wines from the Rhône have also been distinguished, most of these being from the north of the region and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The 2014 Beaucastel Hommage à Jacques Perrin is a must-have (97), as is the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine de la Vieille Julienne (93). Several wines from Chapoutier have received excellent scores, such as the 2015 Hermitage Le Pavillon, the 2010 Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée (93) and the 2014 Hermitage Ermitage de l’Orée (98). The same goes for Guigal, whose 2013 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne, 2006 La Turque and 2012 Hermitage Ex Voto received 98, 96 and 96 respectively. There are some smaller prices to discover here as well such as the 2016 Cairanne Oratoire Saint-Martin Haut-Coustias, and the 2016 Gigondas La Bouissière.
From Burgundy, the experts recommend Armand Rousseau’s Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze from 2008 and 2009, as well as his 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin. Also to be tried are the wines from Dugat-Py, Mugnier, Mortet, Ponsot, Verget, Pataille and Château de Chamirey.
With so many other cuvées on offer, all that’s left is to make your choice!