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Three Epic Wine Critics & The Wines They Love

No need to simply gush over the wine ratings by three of the world’s most significant wine critics when you can drink their favourite bottles now!
A wine critic as an occupation evinces a variety of responses that range from curiosity to fascination and jealousy for the ‘chosen ones’ who basically get to drink the good stuff and get paid for it. For the seasoned practitioner though, the truth is as clear as a light bodied Chardonnay. It is life itself, a limitless pursuit and a way of life. the remarkable palates and voices of individuals who have influenced and shaped the modern wine market, tasting through thousands of wines, guiding wine drinkers and impacting the way wine itself is made. At least three wine critics have in their own way come to define the way the modern generation perceives and drinks wine. Each of them have enriched wine enthusiasts and beginners alike with thousands of infinitely helpful tasting notes and also stirred up delicious debate through their fearless, feisty opinions. Underneath all that knowledge and deserved snobbery though, they’re just wine lovers and here are their personal favourites which we also happen to have in store. Enjoy.
Robert Parker Digs Southern Rhone
Yeah, that’s a wine influencer and first among the equals is perhaps the world’s most recognised wine critic, Robert Parker. Hailed as the most influential wine critic of his generation, Robert Parker is a self-taught wine professional whose tasting notes, published in his newsletter Wine Advocate, have decided the fate of wine estates and driven consumer decisions. A Robert Parker 90 point rating at one point was the pursuit of a lifetime for many a winemaker. While he has his share of detractors including some prestigious Burgundy winemakers and a raft of old school traditionalists, Parker ploughed on with his points driven approach, projecting his opinion and preference of style on the wine producers to such an extent, right or wrong, that some changed their own winemaking philosophy to suit his. And even though Parker sold the Wine Advocate and is no longer as prolific, his legacy of ‘Parkerised’ wines continues to endure.

Now while Robert Parker is a self-confessed Bordeaux fan, he loves Rhone Valley too, especially our very own Southern Rhone estate of Roger Sabon. Mr Parker has been a frequent visitor to the estate and has high regard for the Roger Sabon Chateauneuf Du Pape Les Olivets, singling out the 2018 vintage for “seamlessly combining intricate, complex herbal notes with ripe black cherries and plum,” rating the Grenache led blend a deserving 93 points.

Roger Sabon, Chateauneuf Du Pape Les Olivets 2018
James Suckling Rates Bibi Graetz
James Suckling, celebrated wine critic, wine writer and at his core, a lifelong oenophile. James Suckling’s love affair with wine began over 30 years ago when he began writing for leading wine publication, Wine Spectator. He made Wine Spectator the go to wine magazine for trends and recommendations not just in America but the world over. Suckling spend more than 20 years at Spectator, tasting and reviewing 4000 wines a year and today runs his own popular videos driven website and continues to prolifically write about wine. Much like Parker employed the 100 point rating system though his approach was less pedantic and hinged more whether he simply liked the wine rather than ostensibly influencing winemakers.

During his long Wine Spectator stint, he took the lead on Italian wines, invariably fell further in love with them and now in fact lives in Italy. By the way he loves Tuscany and dotes on Bibi Graetz’s wines, describing them as expressing elegance, beauty and depth. He especially likes Soffocone di Vincigliata, praising the organic Sangiovese for its finesse and palate of roses and wild strawberries, rating it 94 out of 100.

Bibi Graetz, Soffocone di Vincigliata,”Super Tuscan” 2018
Tim Atkin’s Vinous Argentine Diet
A modern wine genius whose palate, wit and energy make the vinous universe turn! Raise your glasses to Tim Atkin MW (Master of Wine) — Wine Critic, Wine Writer, Wine Journalist and a recipient of a ton of awards and honours in all of those roles. Tim Atkin’s own website is one of the world’s most reliable repositories of tasting notes spanning thousands of wines, written in his inimitable style. Tim is also one of the most followed wine personalities on social media. And Tim’s also quite enthusiastic about Argentine icon Susana Balbo’s wines. Tim adores Susana’s wines, waxing eloquent about the Mendoza’s estate’s labels in his recent 2021 Vintage Report.
He rated the Crios wines for delivering superb quality at great value, rating the Malbec and Torrontes at 90 points. Tim also loved the Ben Marco Malbec, scoring the red 92 points for its sublime balance and elegance. So go on and taste Tim’s favourite Argentine wines and raise a glass to this most versatile and busiest of wine influencers.
Susana Balbo Ben Marco Malbec 2017
Susana Balbo, Ben Marco Malbec 2017