USA: Exclusive - Robert Parker in legal crackdown on wine-score "abuse"
The 53-year-old former advocate warned that merchants found quoting his scores for commercial purposes could in future be taken to court.
Parker said of wine merchants across the globe: "They have abused my scoring system to sell wine: I strongly disagree with what they've done."
Talking exclusively to just-drinks.com, Parker revealed that he has briefed a team of lawyers to stamp out misuse of the 100 point scale.
A solicitor's notice has already been sent to the Chicago Wine Company in the US. And Parker also disclosed that a number of British merchants are high up on his hit list.
Offenders will first receive a letter from his legal enforcers but Parker cautioned: "If we do not see immediate compliance we will ratchet up the level of threat.
"People assume I don't always know about the offences … but once they receive a letter they normally comply - fast."
And although he said that there have been times when plagiarism of his scores have made him wild with anger his solicitors have in the past advised him that a courtroom showdown would be inappropriate.
Such leniency may become a thing of the past.
Today's announcement comes ahead of the launch of the online version of Parker's magazine, The Wine Advocate, which will be going live by the end of December.
On the website, visitors will be able to delve, on a cash-per-search basis, into an archive of Parker's scores and their acclaimed tasting notes dating back over a decade.
The moratorium on the use of the scores is therefore being instituted to protect the integrity and value of data held in the archive.
Parker told just-drinks.com: "I'm in the process of launching a website and I will be becoming very strict about the whole thing (plagiarism)."
And he added: "I have an interest in trying to control this and monitor this use of my output."
Although The Wine Advocate has a readership of just 40,000, Parker is fully aware that his scores are used ubiquitously with flagrant disregard to his own agenda in order to influence sales.
Parker adds that the website's archive will allow him to say, "These are the actual reviews" in distinction to illegal copycat versions.
As well as those who quote the Parker score while rejecting the essential accompanying notes, Parker says he will be specifically targeting abuses in the en primeur sector.
When he tastes wine that is still in tank the Parker score often covers a range to allow for the unpredictable nature of maturation; for instance, a great Bordeaux may be given 92-96/100.
But Parker says he is fed-up with seeing only the highest figure for any given wine used in print.
And there are other merchants who will soon find themselves struck-off Parker's Christmas list for attributing his scores to their tasting notes.
His lawyers, Parker revealed, will be pressing the campaign to reassert his "electronic rights" through the US legal concept of the Fair Use Doctrine.
Parker also used the interview with just-drinks.com as an opportunity to defend his controversial scoring system that he insists is "pro-consumer" because it keeps him accountable to the public.
He claims that if his scores do not tally with the reality, he will be quickly discredited as an authority.
Parker also conceded that some traditional producers - the French in particular - find it "extremely disturbing" to be scored against the same criteria as parvenu wines from the New World.
Parker claims that it is not his intention to trigger the "demolition of the traditional hierarchy" of wine producers but he asserts it is vital to be objective.
The scoring system cannot have done too much damage in France as the International Academy of Gastronomy in Paris last week awarded Parker with their Grand Prix - the first time a wine critic has received their ultimate accolade.
Using the scores in conjunction with their tasting notes is, Parker claims, his ideal and he points out that if he had just developed a scoring system without the words he would never have become the most powerful wine critic ever.
But his critics point out that neither would he have become famous if he hadn't decided to give wines a numerical score.
To paraphrase a wine merchant who spoke in a leading UK Sunday paper recently: "If Bob Parker scores a wine under 90 you can't get rid of it, but if he scores the same wine over 90 you can't get hold of it in the first place."
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