Wine Advocate slams branded cases claim7th June, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, editor-in-chief of The Wine Advocate, has slammed recent claims that Robert Parker is involved with the sale of branded wine cases.
As reported on db.com earlier this week, négociant Bordeaux Vins Selection (BVS) announced it was to release cases of wines given 100-point scores by Parker in specially designed wooden gift boxes signed by the US wine critic.
However, Perrotti-Brown dispelled the claims yesterday on The Wine Advocate bulletin board, stressing that Parker never authorised the use of his signature.
“Robert Parker did not give permission for his signature to be used on any such packaging, and after speaking with Bordeaux Vins Selection, they will no longer be using his signature at all.
“We spoke with BVS last night to confirm that Robert Parker’s signature was not to be used in their packaging, in the format of our logo or otherwise,” she said.
“Some of the claims in the media suggest that we are profiting from the marketing and packaging of wines. This is not true. We continue to maintain our strict policy of not profiting from the sale of wine.
“Endorsing wines for profit is in direct conflict with the policy we have maintained for more than 34 years. We have no plans to change this policy,” she added.
The Wine Advocate recently moved into the sale of commercial licenses, allowing merchants like Bordeaux Vins Selection to market and sell cases using Parker’s perfect scores for the wines as a commercial hook.
The license allows merchants to reproduce Parker’s tasting notes and scores, though the use of Parker’s signature is not permitted within the agreement.
“This deal is in no way exclusive to BVS – other merchants are free to put together their own selections of Robert Parker rated wines,” Perrotti-Brown clarified.
“Neither Parker nor the TWA team have had any part in the selection of wines. We are not endorsing or profiting from the packaging or sales of the BVS cases,” she added.
In addition to commercial licenses, The Wine Advocate has also moved into the sale of bundles of subscription gift cards to eRobertParker.com to retailers.
“They are no different from the subscriptions available on the website; it’s just in a fancy card format that makes for a more presentable gift,” said Perrotti-Brown.