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Fine wine is subject to rigorous and constant review by a number of wine critics, and journalists worldwide. A handful of the world’s best known and most highly acclaimed critics have the power to make or brake a particular wine or vintage – sometimes before it is even released onto the market!

We have included a brief bio for some of the notable wine critics – in particular, those that typically have the most profound effect on the prices of investment-grade Bordeaux wines.

Robert Parker Jnr

The American-born wine writer and critic is considered by many to be the most influential name in the fine wine business. His 100-point scoring model and uniquely styled tasting notes in his publication The Wine Advocate are without doubt the most widely used by firms and collectors worldwide.

Having previously studied Law, Parker practiced as an attorney in Baltimore MD for ten years, writing a wine guide book in his spare time. In 1978, he sent out the first issue of his publication The Wine Advocate (The Baltimore-Washington Wine Advocate at the time) free of charge, accumulating six hundred paid subscriptions before the second issue was sent out two months later. More than 20 years late, the bi-monthly WA has over 50,000 subscribers worldwide, with Parker labelled as the man with the “Million Dollar Nose” – his nose and palate being insured for $1 million.



Jancis Robinson MW

Jancis Robinson is a British wine critic and journalist, with the highly respected title of Master of Wine. One of the leading commentators of the wine community, she composes numerous articles and tasting notes through her website as well as contributing a weekly column for the Financial Times.

Robinson studied Mathematics and Philosophy at Oxford University, briefly working for a travel company after leaving university. Her writing career began in 1975, when she became the assistant editor for Wine & Spirit Magazine. In 1984, she became the first person outside of the wine trade to become a Master of Wine – the highest recognized qualification in the wine trade.

Probably considered by the majority of people as the second most influential authority in the world of fine wine, Robinson’s 20-point rating scale has become increasingly important in recent years, in reaffirming – and in some cases countering – the corresponding scores from her ‘senior’ counterpart Parker..



James Suckling

Formerly Senior Editor and European Bureau Chief of Wine Spectator magazine, Suckling is an American wine journalist and critic. Having started out with Wine Spectator in the early 80’s, he was at the magazine throughout it’s expansion from a small publication with a meagre 800 subscribers in 1981, to its current standing as one of the top-selling wine magazines worldwide.

In 2010, Suckling officially announced his resignation from the publisher M. Shanken Communications (where he was also European Editor of Cigar Aficionado). A short period after his retirement from M. Shanken, Suckling launched his new website in October 2010, stating that it would mainly focus on the video content featuring “key wine figures around the world”. The inclusion of ‘tasting videos’ on his website is what makes his reviewing style unique and this innovative visual aspect of wine tasting has proved insightful and popular in recent times, with a number of other reviewers following suit.

Suckling himself, is a noted supporter of Bordeaux wines and his website continues to amass a wealth of tasting notes, which he rates using the ‘Wine Spectator 100-point scale’ – nearly identical to Parker’s.



Neal Martin

A protégé of Parker, Neal Martin is a journalist and critic for the erobertparker website and The Wine Advocate publication. Since it began life on eRP in March 2007, over 500 articles have been published on Martin’s Wine Journal section, with tens of thousands of tasting notes in the archive.

After attending Warwick University, Martin spent several years dabbling in a variety of jobs before his first foray into the world of wine, with a Japanese export company where he was responsible for the likes of “Latour” and “Petrus”. To further his knowledge of this new and fascinating world, Martin enrolled onto a WSET diploma course, passing four years and many tasting notes later. “Bored one rainy Monday afternoon” in 2003, he created an independent website,, which by 2006 had attracted the attention of over 100,000 readers and a certain Robert Parker, who requested Martin’s skills for his own website, where the Neal Martin Wine Journal has been an exclusive contribution since.



Tim Atkin MW

Tim Atkin is a British wine critic, writer and Master of Wine. His written articles are wide-ranging both in terms of the topics and the variety of publications, but he can frequently be found appearing on television, appearing regularly on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen. Atkin also teaches at ‘Tim Atkin’s Wine School’ based at Vinoteca, London.

Having acquired a BA in Modern Languages from Durham University and a Masters in European Studies from London School of Economics, Atkin turned his attention to journalism and won the Glenfiddich Wine Writer of the Year Award in 1988 – an award he would go on to win another 4 times in ’90, ’93, ’04 and ’06. Other awards include:
• UK Wine Guilds Wine Correspondent of the Year ’91, ’92, ’94 and ’96
• Wines of France Award ’94
• The Bunch Award for Wine Journalism ’95
• Waterfood Crystal Wine Correspondent of the Year ’95
• Lanson Black Label Award ’99, ’02, ’03, ’04
• Wines of Portugal Award ’05
• International Wine & Spirit Communicator of the Year ’07
• World Food Media Awards Best Drink Journalist ’07
• Louis Roederer International Wine Columnist of the Year ’09

Atkin is the Editor of Off Licence News, wine columnist for Woman and Home as well as writing for World of Fine Wine and Intelligent Life magazine. Regularly attending tastings, restaurants and vineyards of the world, Atkin publishes numerous reviews and tweets of his experiences through his website, using a 100-point rating system for wines.




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