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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Roger Voss & Kathleen Buckley

Robert Parker is creating a stir over the 2002 Bordeaux vintage, without tasting a thing. Rumours are flying from Bordeaux to San Francisco that Parker may not post his annual 100-point en primeur ratings in the April issue of his publication, The Wine Advocate. But Parker, contacted by Harpers at his Maryland home late last week, said the rumours were untrue. I will be there for eight days, tasting the wines, and in all likelihood will issue a report in the April issue, as I normally do,' Parker said. But he was clearly irritated. Why do I have an obligation to cover it?' he asked. The whole world doesn't revolve around Bordeaux. I am just one person and the Bordelais had better have another way to sell their wines, because eventually I am going to retire.' Parker said he believed that the rumours started because of questions posted on his website about whether to review wines in April, or wait for the Bordelais to price the wines and issue a report in June. The arrest of his former Bordeaux associate on fraud charges may have further fuelled speculation about a Parker no-show. Whenever it is released, the Parker report may include as few as 50-75 wines. I will be tasting the First Growths and Classified Growth and the garage wines. The only question that remains at this point is, do I want to look at petits chteaux, where values are,' he said. While several Bordelais said that a retrenchment by Parker would be devastating', Stephen Browett, of Farr Vintners, said: It doesn't matter what the wines taste like, the market doesn't want them en primeur.'