After rating and promoting Californian wines for more than two decades, Parker announced on Saturday that he is relegating coverage of the region to Antonio Galloni, who will also assume responsibility for the Cote d'Or and Chablis. In an email to Erobertparker subscribers, Parker announced that he would use his new-found time to begin "a series of hoizontal and vertical tastings of perfectly stored California wines that will give readers insight into how they are developing". These vintage retrospectives will also cover Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley.
For many readers, the announcement comes as a clear reminder that, at 63, Parker's retirement is looming ever closer. And given the powerful effect that his opinions have had on international demand and prices over the years, full retirement would indeed mark the end - and beginning - of an era. Whether or not the Wine Advocate's stamp of approval will have the same influence on pricing after its founder's departure is up for debate, though only time will tell. Of more immediate interest, perhaps, is how Galloni's coverage of California and Burgundy will compare or differ from that of his predecessor - particularly given Parker's taste for rich, ripe styles.
Since the announcement was made two days ago, a number of wine bloggers have published responses to the news. You can view their blog posts by following the links below.