Robert Parker is the most influential wine reviewer/writer in the world. His well known publication, The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com) can make or break a wine or winery with one simple sentence, really, he has that much power.
Parker seems like a regular guy and has been positively featured on “60 Minutes” and interviewed by hundreds of media folks, oh his palate is insured by Lloyd’s of London. While a subscription is only $100 per year I’ve never seen fit to subscribe as his reviews are normally for wines in a price range that I’m not part of but thousands of people love or hate him.
I relate this to you as a bit of background perspective to the events I will now relate. Parker has, after denying rumors of the same, sold the WA to foreign investors based not in Napa or Bordeaux but Singapore. He had also recently brought on a new sidekick, Antonio Galloni to handle California, Italy, Burgundy and Champagne as Robert is of course quite busy in France, actually he’s in my age range and just getting a little tired of tasting 100 wines a day. It was also thought that Galloni would step into Parkers shoes at some point. By the way Galloni was being paid $300,000 per year plus travel to cover the wine regions previously mentioned since all tasting are done on site or at least in the region.
So Galloni is in the middle of compiling his Sonoma tastings report when he announces on his website that he is leaving WA and taking his notes to his new web page. Well guess what – Parker just sued him for “Fraud, Breach of Contractual Obligations and the intentional and unjustifiable withholding of tasting notes and articles.”
According to the website, “The Wine Seller Insider” “… this is shocking news to many wine lovers. Websites all over the Internet have been buzzing over the past few weeks that a lawsuit was inevitable after Robert Parker took on investors from Singapore for the Wine Advocate and Antonio Galloni resigned. Shortly after the abrupt departure of Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker stated he would return to writing about, and rating California wine again, much to the pleasure of his enthusiastic, subscribers…Robert Parker is currently in Bordeaux at the moment, tasting the 2012 and 2003 vintages.”
I really feel that Parker has gotten ripped off and I can’t imagine what Galloni was thinking, that nobody would see through his thinly played hand of “…well I just didn’t have time to finish my report for your publication so I’ll just put it on mine.” Wow!
Well I just thought you should know in case you see any Sonoma reviews that are signed by “Antonio”