Power List 2009: Parker gives way to Constellation

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