Robert Parker has fallen from the top of the Decanter Power List, ceding pole position to the head of the world’s biggest wine company.

Richard Sands, 58-year-old chairman of Costellation Brands, heads the bi-annual listing of the most powerful figures in the wine world.

Parker, number one in 2007, drops one place amid ‘signs [that his] omnipotence is waning ever so slightly’, as his entry says in the July issue of Decanter.

The reasons for this are two-fold, the magazine suggests. Outside the US, there is less and less interest in the ‘big, ripe, high-alcohol wines’ Parker favours, and in his homeland he is facing increased competition, and ‘sharp criticism over the perceived questionable ethics’ of two of his contributors – as reported in the

Written by Adam Lechmere