Why do The Wine Advocate scores still carry an “(RP)?”

An improvement on the ‘reckless pomposity’ when he was in charge


Fully agreed, and I reckon they could go straight to large print ‘Michelin’ and small print sub-title ‘Wine Advocate’, or indeed just straight to Michelin

I was born in the year 2000. I didn’t start getting into wine until 2018 (and I’m pretty much alone in my age group). I read a book by Robert Parker once. But what does he have to do with wine?

I think this is basically right.

Separately, I don’t think the Parker name has the clout it once did. Heck, I’ve been in the hobby for over 10 years now and he’s basically been a non-factor during that time. I imagine that’s even more true for everyone else who has gotten into wine after I did. Which is a long way of saying I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference whose initials are listed.

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This gets the closest to what I think is going on. From the RPWA website, in a section devoted to how people with commercial subscriptions are supposed to display content:

“The correct and consistent way to include Parker Points is to include “RP” before the score (e.g. RP90). Other ways such as ”WA90” are discouraged.” The term “Parker Points” is apparently copyrighted.

I support WA, and loved reading RP’s notes. I think he was instrumental in pushing more people to drink wine thoughtfully and critically, which helped make lots of advancements in wine production. I think that there were few better to hold the position that he held, but unfortunately humans have biases, and even he has biased the world into thinking wine is suppose to be a certain way, with his limited human perspective.

The fact that RP is still used is a demonstration that his initials and name carry weight in drawing attention. If they carry weight in drawing attention, they still carry weight in driving purchases and prices. It is unfortunate that the name has accrued so much power that it outweighs the note or actual reviewer. In short, I am for removing it. Would love to see the initials of the reviewer after WA and I am happy that WA is a group of somewhat varying perspectives today.

It used to be the actual reviewer’s name was behind the score… as in 93WK or 96RP if Parker actually reviewed. That was within WA. When scores are published the reviewing publication should be listed first… as in WS92, VN93, JD93, or WA94. Parker took on additional reviewers long before he sold out so you can’t assume WA=RP unless you go back decades.

Thank you for the additional details.

This is logical from a business standpoint as Jürgen pointed out above. It is misleading from a journalistic standpoint.

Perhaps a distinction without a difference. As many have pointed out, us old-timers know they are not Parker’s reviews and newcomers may not know or care who he is. Even though it’s inherently misleading, few are being misled.

isnt his name still on the publication? or is it not “Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate” anymore?

Also, in the poll, is an “I don’t care” vote not also a “youre being overly sensitive”?

Maybe this Robert Parker Wine Advocate will help.

Hey Matt-

The poll is only about your opinion on the question: Should TWA stop publishing “(RP)” with every score? “I don’t care” means just what it says. Doesn’t matter to you one way or another.

There could be any number of reasons why someone might not care. Some of them might be consistent with thinking I’m too sensitive, others not.

The thread is for explaining and for your opinion on whether I’m too sensitive. Which I’m perfectly willing to accept. I’m coming at this from the perspective of a peer reviewer for several journals and editorial board member of one. I expect my perspective to be well on the nit-picky side of the mean.

These are some pretty speculative assertions. Just as likely, I think, is that (1) as Andrew said above, this is just how the antiquated systems used by many wine websites display the reviews, and/or (2) the boomers in charge think the Parker name carries more weight than it still does.

just to point out: that question actually doesnt show up anywhere in your OP. which is probably just ME being nit picky lol, but thats where my confusion came from.

but at the end of the day, my thought is, if the publication is called “Robert parker’s the wine advocate” then its just as OK as saying (WS) or (VM) instead of specifying the reviewer as Galloni or other, because in that case its referring to the publication and not the person.

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Thanks Matt I’ll fix that.

Very possible that they are all wrong, but that is a lot of stores that are are sort of putting their money where their mouth is on this, as well as the buyers of WA. With the internet, slight changes like using RP vs WA could be the difference in 3-4% CVR. I would hope some stores have done some A/B testing on this at this point, but I think I would agree that the weight his name holds is lessening.

Are you saying that William’s reviews carry an RP at the end?

I’m calling shenanigans.

As for the original question, I’m so far past “I don’t care” that I’m out the other side.

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then I don’t really understand the issue