100-point ceiling smashed for the first time

Pic: Rob Johnson

The drinks world passed a milestone today when a bottle of Chateau Lafite became the first ever wine to score over 100 points in a tasting.

The record-breaking 2010 was clocked reaching 101 points on the Parker scale at a Wine Spectator ‘100 Best’ event in California yesterday.

‘Even a decade ago, people didn’t think that a score over 100 points was possible,’ said the Speccy’s head of tasting, Ove Hyped. ‘So this is a truly historic occasion – right up there with the discovery of Michael Broadbent in 1826.’

However, Dr Qi Pon Rai-Sing from the University of Wine Stuff in Shanghai was more phlegmatic. The pen-twiddler has long predicted that the 100-point barrier might not represent the limit of human tasting capabilities.  

‘Scoring technology has really come on over the last few years,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘Even pretty average wines can get up into the 90s nowadays, and most big wine reports would expect to register at least half a dozen in three figures.

‘With so much upward pressure it was obvious that something was going to have to give.’

‘Higher equals better’

Conditions on the day of the ground-breaking event were unusual, with good visibility and plenty of nibbles. There was also a higher than average number of over-excitable tasters who thought that every single wine was brilliant.

‘It’s true that several things came together,’ admitted Ove Hyped. ‘But this has shown that anything is possible. Why not 103, 105… even 110 points in the future? Higher scores is just proof that the wine is getting better!’

Within minutes of the 101-point Lafite story breaking, Fake Booze heard rumours of a bottle of Sassicaia caught on camera at 102 points in New York, and a 40-year-old Islay malt touching 103.5 points for a short time at a whisky event in Japan.

‘Score inflation is a real problem,’ said Dr Rai-Sing. ‘At the moment a wine would literally have to be toxic to score below 85 points. But by next year we could end up with a ten point scale where everything scores between 100 and 110 points.

‘Unless it’s corked or from Chile.’