Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Ken, fair enough. I was just pointing out that they do very regular updates now so there is more than one train leaving the station. Too late now...
And in fact, to be clear, it is NOT the last set of reviews from Jay per the WA: http://jimsloire.blogspot.com/2011/12/s ... necht.html
-Eric LeVine (ITB)
It rhymes with wine...
That's how I read it. My apologies if I misinterpreted.
Current avatar - Torres del Paine National Park, Chile - November 2013
From Gawker: "Jay Miller has stepped down from his job as a wine reviewer for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, a wine publication which is considered very well-well-well by the la-dee-da set."
I am not a member of the la-dee-da set.
I sometimes belong to the AFWE but not always.
I sometimes hum "la de daah" but that is quite different than la-dee-da.
Sorry for the interruption with my confessional; carry on.
Limit of 32 characters; I am #33
The Baltimore Sun has picked up on the story -- and scored an exclusive interview with Miller.
Budd is quick to say he's not necessarily accusing Miller of bribery — but that the bouquet of the situation is somehow, clearly, off.
"I'm not saying that Miller pocketed this money," the blogger explained. "I'm not saying these were prices Miller was demanding. It was much more Pancho Campo."
Miller said he doesn't know if Campo attempted to bribe any wineries. "That's the 64,000 dollar question," he says. "But in the end, only he knows."
Robert Parker, meanwhile, is standing behind Miller, even as he launches an international investigation focusing in particular on Campo, who he has worked with in the past and introduced to Miller.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/bs ... 4257.story
Seems like it will be a while before things settle down.
Nola - I'm sure Neal will figure out something. It's one thing to be in the US and talk to importers here in the US, quite another to be in Britain and talk to importers in Britain who may have wines with different labels than here in the US, and who may have wines not available here. I don't think Neal is stupid and he has to be sensitive to the fact that the appeal of the WA is in the US. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to contact him somehow.
I HOPE that he goes back to the original WA philosophy and I hope that he spends some time seriously learning too. There are a lot of people who are happy to teach him and there are a lot of people who know Spain far better than he, so if I were him, I'd try to tap into that. Meantime, I greatly respect David but I'm thinking that he tends not to write a lot, so it will be interesting. Both David and Neal however, have palates that differ from what came before, so I'm really curious to see how some wines fare.
G . T a t a r
Thanks Greg, I sent him a PM through TWA.
Interesting post by Ryan Opaz http://catavino.net/cha-cha-cha-changes-spanish-wine-needs-to-learn-from-the-pancho-affair/
Bodega Dominio Buenavista
D.O.P. Granada, Spain
Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP
Thanks for the link to Ryan's post, Nola.
One thing that puzzles me is:
To my mind, and I'm by far no expert on Spanish wines, this statement just does not ring true. I think most wine geeks, least the ones that I hang with, regard
Spain as a producer of great wines every bit the level of France or Italy.
But I think Ryan is right on chastising the Spanish wine industry for relying so much on getting big scores from WA and WS for marketing their wines.
They all need to get their oars into the water and pull together, both on a regionwise basis and a national basis. I don't see much signs of this being
done on an organized basis in this country.
I am with Bill Klapp on David Schildknecht's explanation and defense of the Jay Miller resignation announcement. David sent his missive to me a couple of days ago and I have answered it with my own questions on my blog. I think David, who has in impeccable reputation for honesty, thought he was throwing some light on the situation and offering a defense of sorts for a fellow TWA critic, but in my view, he threw a lot more gasoline on the fire.
If as David says, they all knew that Jay Miller was resigning and Parker still let him go ahead and put on these dog and pony shows with Pancho Campo, it is more cynical still, because there was no evidence that either Campo and Miller informed the regulatory councils and wineries of Navarra, Murcia, Madrid, Malaga, and Valencia (where they charged 35,000 Euros for their appearances just three days before Miller resigned, that Miller's resignation was imminent).
Does anyone here think that the Murcia and Valencia organizations would have paid a total of 64,000 Euros for Jay Milller to give these tastings (which some attendees said were "a joke") if they knew Miller was not going to be filing notes in The Wine Advocate any longer and would announce his resignation within the week after the tastings?
From what I hear from Spanish sources there is a "very high level of tension" at the Valencia regulatory council. Stay tuned. I am sure that there will be some reports coming soon from some of the regions taken in on Miller's last majestic sweep through Spain with Pancho Campo.
Some of you may also be interested in these entries:
[url]David Schildknecht of The Wine Advocate's Statement On The Resignation of TWA Spanish Wine Critic Jay Miller Raises More Questions Than it Answers http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/ ... cates.html[/url]
[url]"(Robert M.) Parker is God’s fool for associating with and trusting in some of the people that he has over the years." - Poster Bill Klapp on Mike Steinberger's Wine Diarist" http://www.gerrydawesspain.com/2011/12/ ... l-for.html[/url]
Huh? It seems to me you and Ryan are saying the same thing, Tom.
“All these characters spend their time explaining themselves, and happily recognizing that they hold the same opinions … how important they consider it to think the same things all together.” --- A.R.
CT handle: grafstrb
Gasoline in fire.
Very high level of tension; stay tuned and reports coming soon..............
Last edited by Peter Chiu on December 8th 2011, 5:53am, edited 1 time in total.
Just back from a long trip and don't have time to read the whole thread, but here is my take on Jay Miller:
I met and tasted with him ~15 times in a professional capacity since he rejoined the Wine Advocate, and half a dozen times in a non-professional capacity a long time ago. During these tastings our discussions would digress from wine to memories of people in the business we both knew and occasionally other topics. I disagreed with him about wine more than is usual with most professional wine critics. I sometimes thought his ratings and comments were generous to a fault. Over the years I felt that his work for the Wine Advocate improved substantially. I very much appreciated his introduction of 'haiku' tasting notes (my term, I'm referring to his very brief descriptors of good wines that were not of enough interest to merit full-blown prose; IMO he succeeded in conveying a lot about them in a few words, while wasting little time or paper).
I don't claim to have an exceptional BS detector, but I think Jay Miller to is an open and honest person. I find it very hard to believe that he was 'selling' access to the WA and would have to see smoking gun proof.
I wish him well in the future.
Being a Spaniard, and tasting for elmundovino.com here in Spain all of this is both good and bad news. I would rather have someone with more credit, love and background of Spanish wines writing for the Advocate. Nevertheless, the situation could not continue as the former writer of the WA was ever questioned.
I grew to learn many of the wines and regions through Parker's newsletter. Although I made mistakes along the way, it provided a wealth of information and fun. Also his board was great, with the most amazing group of knowledgeable people I have ever seen. But RP has stopped reviewing lots of regions, and whilst some are covered by knowledgeable people others are covered by people that do not know the region, the history, and the characters involved in making Spanish wine. In this shrinking tasting role, Parker has introduced some tasters in some regions they do not know or understand. Some have done a good job (Squires) and others clearly have not.
Although to assign points to a wine you just need to be a consistent taster, it is also true that to review such a complex and historical country as Spain is a complex task. Spanish wines range from Sherry to Rioja, from Albariño to Monastrell; from Artadi to Tondonia; from the sunny South to the cold North. Without an open mind, passion, an understanding of the place where the wines are made, and knowledge of the people that make the wine, I personally think that the reviews lack perspective.
Don’t get me wrong. Let me say that Neal’s palate is more tuned with mine than other critics’, but has made some statements in the past in which he admits he does not understand some of the styles, grapes or wines made here.
On the whole Pancho / Miller situation, it did not sound right from the start. Miller had no clue about Spanish wines and Pancho was a newcomer with no known background of wine that became “the first Spanish MW” in an astonishing timeframe. The combination was a time bomb that could and has exploded.
I never met Miller, but have been told that Big Jay is quite a nice guy and knows wine. Nevertheless, his reviews are all over the place and so have little credit; and his name has moved from one scandal to the next, which was no good news for the Spanish wine scene. I think that the fact that he will no longer review the wines from Spain is positive.
Pancho is quite a character. On the plus side, someone that has taken promotion and networking to a level the wine industry had not previously seen, and has helped to promote Spanish wines abroad. On the minus, a let me call it “fishy” way of working in such a difficult environment as the Spanish wine market is; with a clear agenda; and attitudes that are far away of the WA standards.
All in all, I hope we move away from all of this ASAP. I think the wine scene here is one of the most interesting in the world. It is ever changing and dynamic. It is fascinating. We need someone that loves the wines. If it is Neal, so be it. Best of luck to him.
Finally, I would like that the Wine Advocate took a more humble approach to the complex world of wine. In order to regain credit they need to hire subject matter experts for each region, with a balanced view of wine. Coverage by experts on the field could then be deeper and the page will have regained interest. Then, I will re-subscribe
Dan....thanks for your information regarding your observation and comments towards Jay Miller.
It only makes sense that Miller has to let go by WA due to recent event. But who started all this....? Open and honest is of course important but working for WA as a wine writer should need more than that....?
Why an organization like WA engaged someone likt that, is well beyond logic.
Sneak, without a head, does not go anywhere !
Dan - my last comment, needless to say, is not about you.
ah ha...little slow today!
MS must just be pissed...not only does he get passed over for a "promotion" he spends all day taking stuff like that down...
Nicely done Jeff.
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According to David Schildknecht, Jay's departure was in the works last summer, long before the most recent mess. Maybe his previous problems forced his hand. Whether he would have been booted out had he not already been planning to leave is a question we will never be able to answer.
Jay did TWA harm. It was past time for him to go. I have difficulty seeing Neal Martin fill that particular spot, but he has the credibility, the writing skills, and (to me anyway) the palate to make those reviews of consequence again, so I am happy about the change.
I don't have to speak; she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one
Just curious if you give kudos to Squires for having his software blank out "berserkers" in the first place? I don't support bothering to try to sneak it in over there, but can you really give kudos to Mark for this?
Ken V @ s t o l @
The Fine Wine Geek
Click on the W W W button under my name to see my website.
"Don't be meek, embrace the geek." -Terry Theise
Kudos to Squires for sharp eyes. Shame on Squires and the Wine Advocate for blocking posts that have something to do with wine and are not obscene or inciting to violence.
Squires is a worm. I was a paying member of TWA for years. Shortly after the Squires board first started, I questioned why Bob Parker should taste at the wineries rather than at an independent location. I also thought that Bob should have to buy the wine like you and me. My post was deleted and I got an email warning. I then posted a few more negative comments. I was banned from the board but not from my WA online access otherwise.
I never knew that also happened to others. I just quit wine boards all together.
A year or so ago, I went in search online of wine geeks like myself. I found Beserkers.
I had no idea that others ha been banned. I had no idea so many like minded folks existed out there. I am proud to be a berserker!
Ste ve C o yl e
Steve...perhaps someone can not handle the truth.
I heard that Bob gave awards ( as a contest ? ) to some of the posters there. I am not sure but perhaps Hank ( who posts here too ) got it. I am very happy for him .
Someone mentioned above that Jay harmed TWA. While true, in my view, it was really Bob who harmed TWA by putting Miller in that job and keeping him there (the same could be said for Squires as board moderator). I can attest from personal experience and knowledge that many people warned Bob about Jay and Squires and he was deaf to any feedback.
Wilfred van Gorp
Hostile to feedback, ultimately, privately and temperately given years ago by many, including you and others who previously had a friendly personal (as opposed to online) relationship with Parker.
What kinds of awards Peter? For what?
Ste ve C o yl e
True, but Jay was (and I suppose is) Bob's friend. Loyalty and friendship can blind us to the faults of others, and I have some sympathy for those who make mistakes for that reason. I know I have. Loyalty dies hard, and on the whole I think that's a good thing
I don't have to speak; she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one
Bob did a wine-question kind of contest. The awards were special wine glasses ( hand-crafted or something like ). The info should be in a form of thread there.
I learned about it ( from friends ) because Hank ( Mr. Gillespie who posted there and here ) was one of the winners. Hank very nicely and politely expressed his thanks to Bob in one of the threads there.
Hank is the one who posted the following message ( link : http://wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtop ... =1&t=55663 ) ( in reply to a message passed by Neal Mollen ) in the thread : More Dr. Big Jay Miller and The Spanish Wine Industry Controversies
Pleaee note that I know Hank and that I have nothing but good admiration for him
Last edited by Peter Chiu on December 9th 2011, 9:43pm, edited 2 times in total.
Like I said, I got banned quickly. I was on TWA's board for a very short while (weeks at most - then I was locked out).
BUT ... like an idiot, I kept my hard and online subscriptions to TWA for years. (I was a dope).
Finally cut the cord this summer.
Ste ve C o yl e