For the past three decades, wine critic Robert Parker has provided recommendations that have served as a foolproof buying guide for numerous consumers and wine retailers. For others, Parker’s numerical rating system is flawed. In short, his influence is either lauded or loathed. Filmmaker Ed Burley explores the positive and negative impact of this wine king in his new documentary, Escaping Robert Parker.
The central character of the film is Julian Faulkner, a young, passionate French winemaker striving to escape the need for Parker’s scores. As a character, he is diametrically opposed to Peter Herbst, a wine consumer who reads The Wine Advocate and relies on Parker exclusively for recommendations of what to buy.
In the film, you’ll also see cameos by Bottlenotes CEO Alyssa Rapp, social media giant Gary Vaynerchuk (formerly, Wine Library TV), John Kapon, the head of "America’s Oldest Wine Shop" Acker, Merrall, & Condit, John Jannarone, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and more.
The film also includes interviews with Napa Valley winemakers Nils Venge, the first American winemaker to receive a 100-point score from Parker for his 1984 Groth Reserve, and Jean Hoefliger, who speaks movingly about not believing in a perfect wine but still wanting a 100-point score. If you like documentaries but more importantly love wine, this film is for you.
Escaping Robert Parker is now available on demand by clicking here.