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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW has just read Elin McCoy's biography of Robert Parker and he wonders what the world of wine would be like without his Bobness'.

According to Atkin, Parker is the most powerful critic of any kind on the planet'. He's a bit too sensitive to criticism, mind, and tends to react with the venom of a cobra poked with a stick'.

Atkin doesn't entirely go for the same fruit bombs' as favoured by Parker, but he does think the American critic has improved the quality of what we drink'.

This said, his wine recommendations of the week reflect the sort of genuinely elegant' wines that don't receive enough attention from Parker and his followers.

These include 2003 Rosso Riva Vecia (7.49; Majestic) and 2004 Southern Right Pinotage, Western Cape (9.99; Oddbins).