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Parker star eclipsed by Constellation CEO

The most powerful person in the wine world according to the Decanter Power List for 2009 is Richard Sands, chairman of Constellation Brands best known in the UK for Hardys and Banrock Station. Sands was last at the top in 2005 but dropped to third place in 2007 when US wine critic Robert Parker beat him to the number one slot. Parker drops one place to number two in 2009, a sign according to his entry that his popularity is waning ever so slightly.

Decanter magazine suggests the reasons for this are two-fold. 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 ethics of two of his contributors – as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

The top ten includes three new entries – teetotal French premier Nicolas Sarkozy, Jean-Christophe Deslarzes of screwcap manufacturers Alcan, and Pernod Ricard chief Pierre Pringuet.

The Power List is published in full in Decanter magazine's July issue.