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Published on September 3rd, 2013 | by Ruben

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Robert Parker: 100 points for sherry wines

Even though the Parkerization has been criticized extensively, Robert Parker is still the most influential wine critic in the world. Until now, only a handful of Spanish wines (Pingus, Contador…) achieved the maximum score of 100 points in his magazine The Wine Advocate. Now, for the first time, three sherry wines reach the highest rank at the same time.

In reality only two of them are really sherry wines. Toro Albalá produces sweet Pedro Ximénez wines in the nearby Montilla – Moriles region. In fact this is just a technicality, as so many Andalusian wine regions share the same traditions when it comes to Vinos Generosos or generous (fortified) wines. No doubt this will be a significant impulse for the sherry market, especially in the USA.

 

Sherry wines to get 100/100 from Parker

These are the three sherry wines that are now part of Parker’s 100:

  • Barbadillo Reliquia Palo Cortado
    The only dry wine of the trio. It comes from a solera of 120 casks that was constructed around stocks bought by the Barbadillo family around 1850. It is bottled from the last scale of the solera – younger versions from other criaderas are also available. Easily € 250 or more if you can find one. Update: after the Parker score the price saw a big increase.
  • Toro Albalá Don PX Convento Selección 1946
    A Pedro Ximénez wine that is actually from the Montilla-Moriles region. A vintage PX produced in 1946, the first harvest after World War II, bottled in September 2011. This house has several old wines that are quite similar.
  • Valdespino Moscatel Toneles
    This is probably the oldest Moscatel on the market, believed to be 80 to 100 years old. Only 100 bottles are extracted each year from one single cask. Very hard to find – over € 100 for a small 37,5 cl bottle.

Apart from these wines, several sherries achieved 99 points:

  • Pérez Barquero Solera Fundacional 1905 Amontillado
  • Valdespino Coliseo Amontillado VORS
  • Valdespino Cardenal Palo Cortado VORS

And four more wines achieved 98 points:

  • Barbadillo Reliquia Amontillado
  • Equipo Navazos La Bota de Palo Cortado n°41
  • Pérez Barquero Solera Fundacional 1905 Pedro Ximénez
  • Valdespino Niños Pedro Ximénez VORS

 

As a side note, this is the first time Luis Gutiérrez scored wines for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, as the new man in Spain for Parker.

Update 2022: a maximum score again for Barbadillo, this time for the Palo Cortado San Roberto 1/1

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About the Author

is a Certified Sherry Educator who fell in love with sherry some 25 years ago, but switched to a higher gear in 2013 and started writing about it. Lived in Madrid for a couple of years, now back in Belgium. I also run a whisky blog over at www.whiskynotes.be



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