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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

Influential wine critic Robert Parker Jr has made 12 predictions on how the global wine trade will look in 2015 and claimed, I am confident they will come true sooner rather than later.' The most controversial of his suggestions, published in US magazine Food & Wine, is that Bordeaux first growths and other top wines will become even more expensive and difficult to obtain'. Parker said: Americans may scream bloody murder when looking at futures prices for the 2003 first growth Bordeaux (an average of $4,000 a case) but 10 years from now a great vintage of the first growths will cost over $10,000 a case at the minimum'. Parker based this opinion on the burgeoning interest in fine wine in Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and Russia. It is simple: the quantity of these great wines is finite, and the demand for them will become at least 10 times greater,' he explained. According to Parker, the future is not quite so bright for the rest of the French wine industry, however. Apart from the top 5% of estates, which will continue to do well, he said France's obsession with tradition and maintaining the status quo will result in the bankruptcy or collapse of many producers who refuse to recognise the competitive nature of the global wine industry'. So who will take over from France? Parker said France's neighbour Spain will be the leading light of the 21st century: Today Spain is emerging as a leader in wine quality and creativity, combining the finest characteristics of tradition with a modern and progressive winemaking philosophy.' He also tips Spain's finest wines to come from Toro, Jumilla and Priorat, rather than Ribera del Duero or Rioja. Also tipped for the top are southern Italy and California's Central Coast. Other predictions include: Malbec will make it big'; unoaked wine will find a wider audience'; corks will come out'; and the wine web will go mainstream'. For the full list visit