Since the announcement yesterday that parts or the whole of “Wine Advocate” were being sold and the confirmation of this by Parker himself, the Mondovino has only one question: who bought this magazine, the flagship of the Parker fleet? According to “The Wall Street Journal” the buyers are a mysterious group of businessmen from Singapore who, as is usual is these matters, wants to remain anonymous. The question is: are these people working as a screen, a cover, as kingpins, or on their own behalf?
Of course, pieces of gossip, various hypotheses and the craziest rumors have dominated the word of wine in the last 24 hours. One name keeps coming back in the corridors and the virtual parlors of wine. That name is Soo Hoo (Soo Hoo Khoon Peng, in the picture above).
The 40 year-old businessman recently quit the management of l’Hermitage one of the leaders in the import of fine wines in Singapore, which he founded in 2002; no precise reason was given to justify this resignation; the only confirmation was, on November 22nd, that Soo Hoo was removing up all his financial stakes in the company.
Soo Hoo had organized many flamboyant events surrounding wine in Singapore. One such event was a spectacular confrontation of Pinots Noirs from all over the world, tastings with top names such as Aubert de Villaine, but also American-style shows with Robert Parker himself. He is also said to be very close to Lisa Perrotti-Brown, the new editor-in-chief of “Wine Advocate”.
More recent information allege that he formed an alliance with two investors outside the world of wine, motivated solely by commercial interests; it is said that he settled an account of 15 million dollars with the backing of Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, 10 of which were allegedly pocketed directly by Robert Parker.
As if by chance, Soo Hoo, the man who (might have) bought Parker was in Baltimore* five days ago, 25 miles from Monckton, Uncle Bob’s retreat. It was surely a leisure trip… Information or hoax? We shall probably know this very soon. Meanwhile, the ‘rumor’ stays the course according to reputable sources in Singapore…
* According to his Facebook page