Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
User avatar
scamhi
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2485
Joined: January 30th 2009, 2:31pm

Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #1  Postby scamhi » August 14th 2012, 9:13am

From the newsletter today
"Wine is constantly moving, and as it turns out, so are people. With just these two factors in frame, it is increasingly clear that placing a label on a wine in the context of freeform tasting notes which serve to do nothing more than speak to how a wine used to be is of decreasing value to me, and I believe to those that actually buy, share and drink our wines. With this in mind, I will start to remove all professional commentary on our website, my blog relating to past and in my opinion expired reflections on my wines. The wines have moved on, so should the commentary.

Alright, now that the big part is over, I can get to the more minor part of this post. I've decided that our wines will not be offered for professional reviews for the foreseeable future. Please keep in mind, I have nothing but respect for those that are in this profession, I just see a different direction for our winery and for our specific wine culture. Any amateur that visits us is encouraged to write as many notes, impressions or thoughts of our wines as they like. Our hope is that this will encourage people that actually drink our wines to think of wine (our's and others) outside of numerical, emotionless, outdated and exclusive boundaries. There will continue to be notes on wines and there will always be countless variables which cannot be expressed or communicated to the reader, but if what we are left with is just the Mixed voices of our community, I'd say that we are moving in the right direction."

full article
http://blog.maison-ilan.com/2012/08/14/a-shift-in-commentary/#comments

I just don't understand the reasoning behind this pulling back from the professional wine community.
S u z a n n e C a m h i
instagram: suz_cam

Advertisement

User avatar
Tim Heaton
 
Posts: 659
Joined: September 8th 2011, 4:11pm
Location: Castle Rock, Colorado or Piemonte

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #2  Postby Tim Heaton » August 14th 2012, 9:22am

scamhi wrote:From the newsletter today
"Wine is constantly moving, and as it turns out, so are people. With just these two factors in frame, it is increasingly clear that placing a label on a wine in the context of freeform tasting notes which serve to do nothing more than speak to how a wine used to be is of decreasing value to me, and I believe to those that actually buy, share and drink our wines. With this in mind, I will start to remove all professional commentary on our website, my blog relating to past and in my opinion expired reflections on my wines. The wines have moved on, so should the commentary.

Alright, now that the big part is over, I can get to the more minor part of this post. I've decided that our wines will not be offered for professional reviews for the foreseeable future. Please keep in mind, I have nothing but respect for those that are in this profession, I just see a different direction for our winery and for our specific wine culture. Any amateur that visits us is encouraged to write as many notes, impressions or thoughts of our wines as they like. Our hope is that this will encourage people that actually drink our wines to think of wine (our's and others) outside of numerical, emotionless, outdated and exclusive boundaries. There will continue to be notes on wines and there will always be countless variables which cannot be expressed or communicated to the reader, but if what we are left with is just the Mixed voices of our community, I'd say that we are moving in the right direction."

full article
http://blog.maison-ilan.com/2012/08/14/a-shift-in-commentary/#comments

I just don't understand the reasoning behind this pulling back from the professional wine community.



I do, and I applaud the move [cheers.gif]
ITB
CT: Wine-Strategies
Robert Panzer
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 1456
Joined: June 30th 2011, 8:17pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #3  Postby Robert Panzer » August 14th 2012, 9:23am

I can understand the reasoning as detailed above, and compliment Ray on the bold move away from the reductionist fetish quality of numerical scores. He wants to replace it with broader wine lover created input, which is a move that I applaud. In brief, one could say that he is looking to replace the 'top down' model of the critics telling the consumer what to buy, and replace it with a 'bottom up' model, where wine lovers build their impressions themselves, and share that with one another.
It is my hope that this type of outlook spreads widely....
I T B - Down to Earth Wines
ybarselah
 
Posts: 4131
Joined: July 15th 2009, 2:29pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #4  Postby ybarselah » August 14th 2012, 9:35am

from day one, Ray has demonstrated that he's going to be doing things differently. In Burgundy, any small variation will seem like a very bid deal. This doesn't surprise me one bit.
Yaacov
Oliver McCrum
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 1354
Joined: August 5th 2010, 11:11am
Location: Oakland, CA; Cigliè, Piedmont

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #5  Postby Oliver McCrum » August 14th 2012, 9:39am

Not sending bottles to journalists is not the same as 'pulling back from the professional wine community.' I applaud his decision.
Oliver McCrum
Oliver McCrum Wines
User avatar
NickC
SubscriberSubscriber
pycm
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: February 19th 2011, 2:17pm
Location: columbus, ohio

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #6  Postby NickC » August 14th 2012, 9:43am

ray's in a unique position to sell out his inventory without the aid of WA/BH/etc.
ch ee k (like on your face)
User avatar
Richard T r i m p i
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 5070
Joined: September 11th 2009, 1:29pm
Location: Close to William Penn's Walking Purchase

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #7  Postby Richard T r i m p i » August 14th 2012, 9:52am

I suspect a lot of wine producers would love to follow suit. Ray has had remarkable success and it appears that financial considerations are not currently constraining him in the same way they might be impacting other small/new producers, especially in less popular wine regions. Many producers are almost desperate for an opportunity to have their wines professionally reviewed (i.e.: don't forget the Pancho/Big J pay-to-play tempest). Positive recognition of that kind could, in some cases, "save the farm". It's a complement to Ray's hard work and passion that he can take this step.

RT
User avatar
G. Greenbaum
 
Posts: 2100
Joined: January 29th 2009, 8:45am
Location: Up in here

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #8  Postby G. Greenbaum » August 14th 2012, 9:55am

The more I read about Ray and Ma. Ilan, the more respect I have for his vision. He has hit the nail on the head so to speak with regards to outdated crtiques, info and data points. Wine critics are becomming less important, certainly to me, but more & more to consumers. I especially like this:

Our hope is that this will encourage people that actually drink our wines to think of wine (our's and others) outside of numerical, emotionless, outdated and exclusive boundaries.


I hope I get a chance to make it back to Burgundy and visit Ray soon.
Regards,
Gregg


ITB
Michael Lewis
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 999
Joined: June 11th 2011, 11:05am
Location: Washington DC

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #9  Postby Michael Lewis » August 14th 2012, 10:05am

I just hope that one day someone will open a bottle so I can finally try one of the wines, since I can't find them anywhere.
Michael Lewis
Twitter: @MichaelLewisDC
Instagram: michaellewisdc
Brian Newman
 
Posts: 42
Joined: June 2nd 2010, 9:20am

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #10  Postby Brian Newman » August 14th 2012, 10:23am

Michael,
I had no problem finding maison+ilan from a reputable source.
Here you go: http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/maison+ilan/1/usa
B Newman
User avatar
Jay Miller
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 8090
Joined: June 19th 2009, 5:18pm
Location: Jersey City

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #11  Postby Jay Miller » August 14th 2012, 10:24am

While not submitting wine for professional review is rare but nothing new (and I'm happy he's doing well enough that it need not be a consideration) I'm surprised that he's also removing his own observations on the wines. While I don't own any Maison Ilan that's something I've always found quite useful from other producers as no one else is likely to know them as well.

On the other hand I can see how it might be hard to be objective with something you've worked so hard on.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.
Peter Chiu
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 3482
Joined: January 28th 2011, 2:39pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #12  Postby Peter Chiu » August 14th 2012, 10:34am

I admire Ray's courage...... [cheers.gif]
Vincent Fritzsche
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 1508
Joined: February 11th 2009, 12:40pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #13  Postby Vincent Fritzsche » August 14th 2012, 11:19am

I think it's a cool move. Good job Ray.
User avatar
Paul Jaouen
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 3459
Joined: January 30th 2009, 1:48pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #14  Postby Paul Jaouen » August 14th 2012, 11:35am

What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How are we going to know if we like them? [scratch.gif]
Best,
Paul Jaouen
Michael Lewis
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 999
Joined: June 11th 2011, 11:05am
Location: Washington DC

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #15  Postby Michael Lewis » August 14th 2012, 11:35am

Brian Newman wrote:Michael,
I had no problem finding maison+ilan from a reputable source.
Here you go: http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/maison+ilan/1/usa


But these are all prearrivals. What if I want to taste one NOW? I am not very good at delayed gratification, which perhaps does not bode well for my young cellar. I revert back to my original position, which is that someone should open some bottles for my benefit.
Michael Lewis
Twitter: @MichaelLewisDC
Instagram: michaellewisdc
User avatar
Loren Sonkin
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 3070
Joined: January 27th 2009, 1:37pm
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #16  Postby Loren Sonkin » August 14th 2012, 11:52am

I applaud Ray for following his vision. I suspect that Galloni, Meadows, et al., will still buy his wines ro taste with people who do. I wonder if Ray requests that no reviews be published if they would oblige him or not (although it does not sound like he made this request). Funny, isn't his picture in the most recent wine spectator? Maybe he didn't like it. neener Just kidding Ray, it was a nice shot. [cheers.gif]
With regards,

Loren
Sonkin Cellars
ITB - California Syrah Blends
User avatar
larry schaffer
 
Posts: 4021
Joined: January 28th 2009, 10:26am
Location: Santa Ynez Valley, CA

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #17  Postby larry schaffer » August 14th 2012, 12:12pm

I too applaud what Ray is saying and doing . . .

He certainly is in a 'fortunate' position of having built up his mailing list and name recognition to the point where he really 'does not need' professional reviews to move inventory, and that is awesome. He is also fortunate enough to have many active CT folks open and try his wines, sharing their opinions with others, as well as having had many 'gatekeepers' on this site talk about his wines.

But let me be a 'devil's advocate' for a second here, and say that while Ray can do this now, many others would be 'challenged' to follow suit, regardless of what their stances are when it comes to 'professional reviewers'. I can attest to how difficult it is to have your wines 'noticed' among the sea of wines currently available, with new labels coming out of the woodwork each and every year. How many of these will be 'championed' by a local wine shop or a regular poster here or a CT user that many people follow?

So therefore, though many don't 'believe' in the concept of these reviewers, they do play an integral part of raising awareness, both positive and negative, to wines that otherwise may not have been noticed at all (and I can remember more than once someone jumping on here after RMP or WS or (fill in the blank) gave a positive review to a winery few had heard of) . . .

Cheers.
larry schaffer
tercero wines
User avatar
Bruce Leiser_owitz
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 10226
Joined: June 16th 2009, 12:54pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #18  Postby Bruce Leiser_owitz » August 14th 2012, 12:31pm

Paul Jaouen wrote:What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How are we going to know if we are supposed to like them?


Fixed.

Bruce
"Bruce you are correct."--Andrew Kaufman, 3/24/13.
User avatar
todd waldmann
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4016
Joined: June 5th 2009, 7:51pm
Location: boise, idaho

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #19  Postby todd waldmann » August 14th 2012, 1:05pm

Excellent.

Cappellano. 'Nuff said.
“Burgundy is, well, Burgundy. A minefield of potential disappointments beloved by elitists and pseudo-intellectuals who like to discuss ad nauseam growers and terroirs—not quality.” RMP
k s h i n
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2870
Joined: August 17th 2009, 1:23pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #20  Postby k s h i n » August 14th 2012, 1:46pm

Ray and Kevin can do no wrong. It was like that for AM as a critic once.
Kevin
User avatar
Berry Crawford
 
Posts: 9959
Joined: February 9th 2009, 9:16pm
Location: Near the Sierra Foothills

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #21  Postby Berry Crawford » August 14th 2012, 2:24pm

I can totally understand where Ray is comming from.

I know the whole points thing has been beaten to dealth here, but for a small producer with a loyal fanbase that trusts the wines, what is the actual utility?

Ive come to believe that if you really like the style/philosophy of a producer you are generally going to like the wines every year. All the reviews can do is drive prices up, so they are not really in the established consumers bennefit.

Like Larry mentions, a new and upcomming producer may bennefit from a good mention from a professional critic but in the brand new world of "social media" and wine message boards word of mouth marketing is probably at least as important. I know personally that every time I find a new producer its because 1) I took a chance on a new name at a wine shop or 2) someone on this board recommended it. CT reviews are good backup source.
User avatar
scamhi
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2485
Joined: January 30th 2009, 2:31pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #22  Postby scamhi » August 14th 2012, 2:27pm

Kevin Shin wrote:Ray and Kevin can do no wrong. It was like that for AM as a critic once.

[winner.gif]

I wonder how many that have commented have actually tasted the wine out of bottle.
S u z a n n e C a m h i
instagram: suz_cam
User avatar
c fu
ModeratorModerator
Domaine De La Husky
 
Posts: 22086
Joined: January 27th 2009, 2:26pm
Location: DTLA/Pasadena

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #23  Postby c fu » August 14th 2012, 2:29pm

I think the only review I've seen so far was from the OC crowd and it was a "bad" bottle.
Ch@rlie F|_|

"Roulot is Roulot"©
User avatar
Todd F r e n c h
Site AdminSite Admin
Head Babysitter
 
Posts: 33073
Joined: January 27th 2009, 9:46am
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #24  Postby Todd F r e n c h » August 14th 2012, 2:32pm

Charlie Fu wrote:I think the only review I've seen so far was from the OC crowd and it was a "bad" bottle.

Other than Saxon, we're not knowledgeable enough to be professionals, so it was not a 'professional review' [snort.gif]
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP)
User avatar
Berry Crawford
 
Posts: 9959
Joined: February 9th 2009, 9:16pm
Location: Near the Sierra Foothills

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #25  Postby Berry Crawford » August 14th 2012, 2:41pm

scamhi wrote:
Kevin Shin wrote:Ray and Kevin can do no wrong. It was like that for AM as a critic once.

[winner.gif]

I wonder how many that have commented have actually tasted the wine out of bottle.


I have
C 0 R E Y M.
 
Posts: 1260
Joined: February 3rd 2010, 9:39am
Location: New York, NY

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #26  Postby C 0 R E Y M. » August 14th 2012, 2:46pm

I'm going to take the other side of the argument here: how can it be bad for consumers to have access to as much information and as many opinions as possible? Why intentionally limit it?

I also don't understand why amateur tasting reports are to be encouraged while professional reports are not. What do amateurs do better than professionals do? Ray makes a lot of sound points about problems with the tasting note form, but all of these criticisms apply equally to amateurs writing notes as to professionals. Is the premise that amateurs will be less score-focused and less clinical/emotionless? I see no evidence for that. Some amateurs write great notes, some don't, some write clinically with little emotion, some effusively write only their emotional reaction, some use scores, some don't, some are experts who have experience tasting barrel samples, some are not, etc.

The only reason I care at all is that I find professional reviews useful. It would be great if I could taste all the wines in Burgundy every year before buying, but that's a practical impossibility. It would also be great if I could buy my full allocation of every cuvee ever year, but for me that's financially unrealistic. Professional reviews are one useful factor (although by no means a dispotitive one) in making buying decisions.
M = M i l l er
Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
 
Posts: 5489
Joined: April 29th 2010, 1:36pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #27  Postby Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » August 14th 2012, 3:05pm

I have almost no faith , at this point, in "professional" tasters/reviews. They've proven-- to me-- to be almost worthless, though they can provide good anecdotes and up[dates on news from their regions. They mainly do barrel tasting, which is very subjective and personal...and can be influenced by which barrel one tastes from.

I have no idea what Ray's motivation is. If he really sells out everything he makes, he has no need to curry favor with the "professionals". So, it's not that gutsy of a move.

I'd rather hear a compendium of tasters' opinions rather than depend on any of the "known" pros' impressions. They've mislead me on whole vintages....and mislead others on whole scammers' "produce".

Of course everyone can't get to Burgundy to taste, so...we all need to depend on others to a degree. But, I'd much rather buy a known producer/wine in a vintage I have not tasted than depend on these guys' pronouncements.
User avatar
Brian G r a f s t r o m
SubscriberSubscriber
up to no good
 
Posts: 15066
Joined: February 3rd 2009, 1:54am
Location: westside

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #28  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » August 14th 2012, 3:42pm

scamhi wrote:
Kevin Shin wrote:Ray and Kevin can do no wrong. It was like that for AM as a critic once.

[winner.gif]

I wonder how many that have commented have actually tasted the wine out of bottle.

This is not relevant. This thread is about an *idea*, not wine in a bottle.

Take your favorite winemaker -- any one of 'em --, or a winemaker you respect; now, pretend it was him or her that made this decision: does your reaction remain the same? I'm guessing it does not. If your reaction does remain the same, perhaps you could explain why (i.e.: talk about the idea, not the person, seeing as how this thread is about the idea).
“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
Tom Blach
 
Posts: 2437
Joined: May 30th 2009, 10:09am

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #29  Postby Tom Blach » August 14th 2012, 3:45pm

I'm guessing that Ray doesn't want his wines opened early for 'assessment'. A lot of people think they can do that; but almost no one can.
Vincent Fritzsche
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 1508
Joined: February 11th 2009, 12:40pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #30  Postby Vincent Fritzsche » August 14th 2012, 3:46pm

scamhi wrote:
Kevin Shin wrote:Ray and Kevin can do no wrong. It was like that for AM as a critic once.

[winner.gif]

I wonder how many that have commented have actually tasted the wine out of bottle.


I don't think it's about that. People send wines to be rated in order to get scores that supposedly sell wine, or for professional validation, mostly the former. Ray is not going to the professional critics (the old way). Instead he's looking to open source buzz to differentiate his wine (the new way). He's not turning his back on the professional wine world. And it's not simply because he's in a darling phase and doesn't "need" scores to sell wine. Plenty of wineries have scores. So what? It's no solution. He's established something unique and different and the last thing he should do is get in line with everyone else and send off wine to get rated and discovered. My kids would ridicule that as 20th century behavior. So good for Ray.
User avatar
Scott Brunson
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4202
Joined: November 15th 2011, 3:55am
Location: in between coastal SC and south FL

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #31  Postby Scott Brunson » August 14th 2012, 4:59pm

BRAVO RAY
Hi everyone--I've been unforgivably absent most of the summer
Tous les chemins mènent à la Bourgogne!
On CT, I'm S1
User avatar
Ken V
SubscriberSubscriber
Fine Wine Geek
 
Posts: 34972
Joined: January 27th 2009, 1:42pm
Location: Delmar, NY

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #32  Postby Ken V » August 14th 2012, 5:03pm

todd waldmann wrote:Excellent.

Cappellano. 'Nuff said.

Somewhat different. Teobaldo asked critics not to score his wines. He did not object to tasting notes.
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
Twitter: @FineWineGeek
User avatar
Brad England
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 509
Joined: June 3rd 2009, 11:14am
Location: Minneapolis/Beaver Creek

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #33  Postby Brad England » August 14th 2012, 5:19pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Charlie Fu wrote:I think the only review I've seen so far was from the OC crowd and it was a "bad" bottle.

Other than Saxon, we're not knowledgeable enough to be professionals, so it was not a 'professional review' [snort.gif]


Todd, no doubt your therapist would be happy with your self realization.
CT=BradE
User avatar
Joe Benyak
 
Posts: 17
Joined: February 10th 2011, 11:36am
Location: Seattle/Dijon

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #34  Postby Joe Benyak » August 14th 2012, 6:11pm

To everyone who has ever looked at this board, even once-
As people who are researching, buying, discussing and writing about wine online, we are an extremely small percentage of the wine consuming population. Because of this we can carry a large amount of influence for the people around us. Whether we like it or not, we are the ones people recommend for picking out a bottle at dinner or the person who is called on for recommendations before a party. Our friends do this because they trust us and our opinions, and the normal wine drinker doesn't trust the scores or even really care about them. They aren't looking for hints of lavender or gooseberry. "Screw the poetic tasting notes" our friends say. People just want to enjoy their bottle and have fun and those notes make it confusing, whether they come from amateurs or professional critics.

I'm sure when John Gilman comes by NSG as a guy who wants to taste the wines and not as a wine critic, he'd be welcome to come in to Ray's cave, taste the wines and write some notes for himself. He just can't score them and publish them. What really is the point when Ray is in a position where his wines speak for themselves and don't need a "great score from whoever". They manage to sell out through word of mouth from the people who matter most; the consumers. That is the way the wine industry should be not rely on scores. Ray is helping move toward this.

Our opinions and recommendations as serious wine drinkers actually matter and the scores and long free form tasting notes don't. If everyone on here tasted a wine and said it was absolutely amazing, but a critic scored it an 81, I would still try it. But if I asked if a wine was good and someone sent me a paragraph worth of descriptors talking about how it makes them feel as if they were rolling down a hill in Jura with bumble bees and flowers floating above them, bringing wafts of plum and sage into their nostrils, I would shake my head and tell them to chill out. If you really enjoy writing those kind of tasting notes, more power to you. But if you are the wine person in your social group and doing that, I'd hate to break it to you, but you are the reason why so many other people don't drink wine.
Because if I don't make moves in
User avatar
G. D y e r
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2200
Joined: December 26th 2009, 5:07pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #35  Postby G. D y e r » August 14th 2012, 6:16pm

NickC wrote:ray's in a unique position to sell out his inventory without the aid of WA/BH/etc.


^^^This. He may even be in a position where critics can do more damage than good with some mediocre ratings.
Greg
“That would be a rusty, filthy island where people wear ripped jeans and stay in hotel rooms that are half price,” tight end Dustin Keller said. “But they would serve wine, and only the finest for Nick Mangold.”
User avatar
Paul Jaouen
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 3459
Joined: January 30th 2009, 1:48pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #36  Postby Paul Jaouen » August 14th 2012, 6:25pm

Bruce Leiserowitz wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How are we going to know if we are supposed to like them?


Fixed.

Bruce


Merci!
Best,
Paul Jaouen
User avatar
Paul Jaouen
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 3459
Joined: January 30th 2009, 1:48pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #37  Postby Paul Jaouen » August 14th 2012, 6:27pm

How am I going to flip them if they have no scores????? [scratch.gif]
Best,
Paul Jaouen
User avatar
Markus S
 
Posts: 2682
Joined: May 20th 2010, 7:27am

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #38  Postby Markus S » August 14th 2012, 6:28pm

Anything involving dogs and critics here?
Mark $ v € ® e ¡ k @
User avatar
Jonathan Favre
 
Posts: 1932
Joined: May 1st 2010, 8:34am
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #39  Postby Jonathan Favre » August 14th 2012, 6:42pm

My notes after tasting the wines at the winery this past November:
Maison Ilan with Ray Walker – Thanks for spending time with us Ray!! We really liked your wines:
2010 Maison Ilan Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Monts-Luisants: 2yo barrels used. Pure fruits here – touch of reduction to start. Dark cherry with a touch of heme – medium length in the mouth. 91pts.

2010 Maison Ilan Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Les Chaffots: Bordered by Clos St. Denis? Darker in texture and fruits and seems more Chambolle in style – elegant and transparent in flavors and textures. 91+pts.

2010 Maison Ilan Charmes-Chambertin Aux Charmes Vieilles Vignes: Pretty and airy soft cherry fruit – I can get Gevrey here – elegant and pure. Liked this the best from the line-up – Nice! 93+pts.

2010 Maison Ilan Chambertin Vieilles Vignes: Next to Leroy’s vines :o). Smoke and lighter cherry here – Chambertin personality in a silk glove. 93pts.

I'm no expert - but - you should try the wines if you can whenever bottles show up or friends open one. I can see these wines adding weight and layers with time - only time will tell!
Jeremy Holmes
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 4804
Joined: April 28th 2010, 3:50pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #40  Postby Jeremy Holmes » August 14th 2012, 6:48pm

Watch out Jonathon, Ray will take those points down!
ITB
User avatar
Jonathan Favre
 
Posts: 1932
Joined: May 1st 2010, 8:34am
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #41  Postby Jonathan Favre » August 14th 2012, 6:49pm

Jeremy Holmes wrote:Watch out Jonathon, Ray will take those points down!


Oooops - sorry Ray - let me know if I should cull the points from the post neener
User avatar
L e o F r o k i c
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2250
Joined: January 27th 2009, 1:40pm

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #42  Postby L e o F r o k i c » August 14th 2012, 7:17pm

Paul Jaouen wrote:What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How are we going to know if we like them? [scratch.gif]

[welldone.gif]
"Hey Justin -- yer a fookin' dork!" Bob Wood
My wife is ITB
User avatar
Howard Cooper
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 9334
Joined: May 30th 2009, 8:37am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #43  Postby Howard Cooper » August 14th 2012, 8:03pm

Ray, my question is not about the professional notes, which come out after I buy the wines anyway. Instead, I question your not writing notes. I have used your descriptions of the various wines to determine style and which wines to buy. How should I determine which of your wines to buy?
Howard
john stimson
(Online)
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 2139
Joined: January 24th 2010, 9:11pm
Location: seattle

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #44  Postby john stimson » August 14th 2012, 8:06pm

I'm happy that Ray has the freedom to make this kind of decision, but I'm still not sure that I get it. Perhaps I didn't quite understand his comments, or perhaps he didn't really quite say what he wanted to say...

I too don't have much use anymore for most of the individual tasting notes from the professionals, although I do quite value their general comments (which are sometimes way too politically guarded). But I certainly don't think that the wine boards necessarily have a leg up up these folks interms of their chops in assessing wines, the context in which they drink them, or whatever. If I've tasted with someone on the boards, or for some other reason have a pretty good calibration of their palate, well, that might qualify. while the aggregate database of the wine boards can be pretty useful, you have to be pretty careful about who you truly trust enough on the boards to help you make buying decisions.

So for a tiny domain, who's wines are not necessarily cheap, and who's winemaker now won't publish his comments, and if you are someome who is not going to make it to France more than once in a blue moon (me), How are you to kow if this is a domaine to pursue?

Obviously, try a bottle. But what if it's an off day, or you ate the wrong thing before hand, or it's just not showing well that day? So try several bottles. That's a few hundred dollar flier. I don't know--again, i'm not so sure that I get it.
David Henry
 
Posts: 240
Joined: June 6th 2009, 7:56am
Location: Mequon, Wisconsin

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #45  Postby David Henry » August 14th 2012, 8:23pm

I wish Ray nothing but the best. But, unless you've got deep pockets, the less well-healed in the WB community might want to step back a bit and see where these wines go. This is a new guy on the block and if you can't afford to take some hits as Ray finds his sea legs, be a little bit careful. As the initial euphoria of his bold new adventure tempers, he will have to hold up against Dujac, Rousseau and many others who have been at this a long time and have deservedly solidified their place in the red burg hierarchy. If he senses that the pros may be poised to rain a little on his parade, then it may be to his commercial advantage to be proactive and suggest to his early admirers that he doesn't need the pros to sell his wines. But the truth will only emerge when the corks start popping in earnest, whether by the knowledgeable amateurs or the pros, and it may be at least a few years before any kind of experienced consensus begins to emerge. I hope Ray pulls it off, but I'm afraid he has reduced his long range chances of broadening his base by aiming a little too low. Nonetheless, I respect and admire his convictions and if he's OK with taking the risk, then cheers to he and his family and I earnestly hope they prosper and enjoy the good life as a vintner in one of the most beautiful places in all of the wine kingdom. [cheers.gif]
User avatar
Ray Walker
 
Posts: 1961
Joined: April 23rd 2009, 3:10pm
Location: Nuits-Saint-Georges, Côte d'Or, France

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #46  Postby Ray Walker » August 14th 2012, 8:46pm

I'll be around next week to answer any and all questions that have and will come up regarding my position on this. For now, since I happen to be awake, I'll address Howard and John's comments.

Howard Cooper wrote:Ray, my question is not about the professional notes, which come out after I buy the wines anyway. Instead, I question your not writing notes. I have used your descriptions of the various wines to determine style and which wines to buy. How should I determine which of your wines to buy?



Hey Howard,
I appreciate that you use my descriptions inside of the newsletters in order to be more informed on potentially what to buy. I never said that I would stop writing descriptions of vineyards or speaking of the history of the vineyards, I won't actually change a single aspect of what I say or write. I've just never written notes or impressions on my own wines and don't plan on changing that.

Someone earlier in the thread mentioned something similar as well. Rest assured, what I have done in the past will, (for better or worse) continue. But, this includes not telling tasters what I think they are, should or could possibly be tasting. I just haven't and will not do it.

john stimson wrote:I'm happy that Ray has the freedom to make this kind of decision, but I'm still not sure that I get it. Perhaps I didn't quite understand his comments, or perhaps he didn't really quite say what he wanted to say...

I too don't have much use anymore for most of the individual tasting notes from the professionals, although I do quite value their general comments (which are sometimes way too politically guarded). But I certainly don't think that the wine boards necessarily have a leg up up these folks interms of their chops in assessing wines, the context in which they drink them, or whatever. If I've tasted with someone on the boards, or for some other reason have a pretty good calibration of their palate, well, that might qualify. while the aggregate database of the wine boards can be pretty useful, you have to be pretty careful about who you truly trust enough on the boards to help you make buying decisions.

So for a tiny domain, who's wines are not necessarily cheap, and who's winemaker now won't publish his comments, and if you are someome who is not going to make it to France more than once in a blue moon (me), How are you to kow if this is a domaine to pursue?

Obviously, try a bottle. But what if it's an off day, or you ate the wrong thing before hand, or it's just not showing well that day? So try several bottles. That's a few hundred dollar flier. I don't know--again, i'm not so sure that I get it.


Hello John
your question ties in well with Howard's so it is easy to address the both of them together in my tired state and still remain somewhat precise in what I communicate. I understand that my wines aren't cheap if you look at them in a certain light. I respect your opinion of this. And I agree that not having an idea about a wine that is being produced in another country makes it more difficult to pull the trigger with confidence to a lot of people. Tasting notes and impressions from professionals and amateurs alike can be something that people feel to be a help to them, at least some people feel this way. In addition to this, some like a producer to describe the wines while others don't. A lot of these things fall into the personal preferences department for me. I can't say what is right or wrong. But, what I can do is act according to what my own preferences are as a consumer and what I see of value as not only a producer but as a member of the wine community (here and generally speaking).

I have to be specific and mention that no small degree of my preferences as a consumer being that I don't want to hear tasting notes from a producer (one thing that truly bothers me) on their own wine. The conditions during the growing season, general comparisons in this respect to other vintages, vineyard history, details on their specific experience with the vineyard, how the wines went from one stage to the next during fermentations, and details of inputs performed are what most interest me.

If I may be allowed to dip into the earlier comment about what a community of tasters can do better or differently than what a professional can do I'd lie to say that I never expressed a belief that an amateur could do anything a professional couldn't or vice-versa. But I did mention that I wanted to have an open door policy about amateurs speaking about my wines. These impressions do not place a lasting number or set of flavors and aromas on a wines shoulders. They seem by nature to be more a snapshot in a wine's life which I believe is part of the experience. There are still flaws in the line of communication between any writer or reader of these impressions, but in my opinion, it reinforces what I personally see and appreciate in the culture of wine.


I am considering setting up a page off of my website that will provide consumers a place to record their experiences of our wines. This is not about censoring, it is about focusing on what I believe is important and of value to anyone interested in enjoying our wines. There are countless facets to this, trust me.
Last edited by Ray Walker on August 14th 2012, 10:07pm, edited 1 time in total.
ITB
Maison ILAN
User avatar
Berry Crawford
 
Posts: 9959
Joined: February 9th 2009, 9:16pm
Location: Near the Sierra Foothills

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #47  Postby Berry Crawford » August 14th 2012, 8:56pm

john stimson wrote:But I certainly don't think that the wine boards necessarily have a leg up up these folks interms of their chops in assessing wines, the context in which they drink them, or whatever.



I actually pretty strongly (but respectfully) disagree with this. The average professional tasting note for Burgundy is done from wine out of a single barrel before the wine has finished elevage. They usually quickly taste a wine and then move onto the next. They visit many producers in a day. For these reasons I take barrel tasting notes with an enormous grain of salt. While that approach is necessary for a professional critic it is far from an optimal manner in which to make judgment on a wine.

While I don't put much importance on the average "amature" tasting note, there are a few people here whose judgment I trust. Very importantly they are not usually tasting wines in artificial contexts but are drinking wines in a way I would: with dinner or sharing a few bottles with friends. This is an infinitely better way to make a judgment about a wine than a quick barrel tasting experience during a marathon tasting day. Letting a wine develop in the bottle and glass is critically important to really get a measure of it. Furthermore, too many critics try and be "objective" with their scores and will rate a wine high even if it isnt really their style. While I understand the idea behind that approach an amature taster is more likely to make a subjective judgment on a wine. If I share a similar set of palate preferences with that person, then their opinion means alot to me. Lastly, I think the desire for a critic to maintain "access" to a producer is a very strong subconscious motivating force to not give a bad score/review. I think that is one of the sources of critics trying to give "objective" reviews. "Well its not my style, but those who like oak charcoal flavored chocolate shakes will love it! 93 points!".
Last edited by Berry Crawford on August 14th 2012, 9:37pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Ray Walker
 
Posts: 1961
Joined: April 23rd 2009, 3:10pm
Location: Nuits-Saint-Georges, Côte d'Or, France

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #48  Postby Ray Walker » August 14th 2012, 9:04pm

David Henry wrote:I wish Ray nothing but the best. But, unless you've got deep pockets, the less well-healed in the WB community might want to step back a bit and see where these wines go. This is a new guy on the block and if you can't afford to take some hits as Ray finds his sea legs, be a little bit careful. As the initial euphoria of his bold new adventure tempers, he will have to hold up against Dujac, Rousseau and many others who have been at this a long time and have deservedly solidified their place in the red burg hierarchy. If he senses that the pros may be poised to rain a little on his parade, then it may be to his commercial advantage to be proactive and suggest to his early admirers that he doesn't need the pros to sell his wines. But the truth will only emerge when the corks start popping in earnest, whether by the knowledgeable amateurs or the pros, and it may be at least a few years before any kind of experienced consensus begins to emerge. I hope Ray pulls it off, but I'm afraid he has reduced his long range chances of broadening his base by aiming a little too low. Nonetheless, I respect and admire his convictions and if he's OK with taking the risk, then cheers to he and his family and I earnestly hope they prosper and enjoy the good life as a vintner in one of the most beautiful places in all of the wine kingdom. [cheers.gif]



Hello David
thank you for your response and sincere concern. I understand that it comes from a good place. I'm not too sure that passing on professional tasters will limit our wines from reaching consumers. There are many details to this, but my goal isn't to have too much wine as it is anyhow. And, yes, I feel that my experience in Burgundy has been brief, this we agree on. If you believe that this means that our wines are different regarding to quality (not that you have stated this in any way) or a risk in your eyes, I would never say anything to change your mind.

Regarding my timing, it is fair to say that my wines have sold out already. A critic liking or not liking my 2011s wouldn't change a thing if that was indeed my intention. In fact, I'm quite pleased with my wines, especially with the vintages we've been having...2011 included. Likewise, my 2009s and 2010s did not improve just because positive things were said of them. The wines are as they are. Simple as that. They don't taste like Rousseau or Dujac. And, while I enjoy wines from both of these producers, I am perfectly happy that mine are different and that they are different from each other.

Now, I have to mention one thing about experience, if this is alright with you. With everything that I actually do from getting grapes to packaging up everything there aren't really a whole lot of things that I do. I could list literally everything that I do. I can make you a bet that you'd be hard pressed to point to where years more of experience would yield a dramatic difference in the resulting quality of my wines. I say this because things such as taking poor grapes off of a sorting table, hopping into a tank to press them down, opening a valve to allow the barrels to be filled, shoveling out grape skins and moving them over to a press and then walking a handle around that same press...well, you either do these things or you don't. I'm not good at them or bad at them, or increasing in my skill. It is either done or not. I really don't know how else to explain it, but it is really that simple.
Last edited by Ray Walker on August 14th 2012, 9:21pm, edited 1 time in total.
ITB
Maison ILAN
User avatar
Berry Crawford
 
Posts: 9959
Joined: February 9th 2009, 9:16pm
Location: Near the Sierra Foothills

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #49  Postby Berry Crawford » August 14th 2012, 9:17pm

Ray Walker wrote:Now, I have to mention one thing about experience, if this is alright with you. With everything that I actually do from getting grapes to packaging up everything there aren't really a whole lot of things that I do. I could list literally everything that I do. I can make you a bet that you'd be hard pressed to point to where years more of experience would yield a dramatic difference in the resulting quality of my wines. I say this because things such as taking poor grapes off of a sorting table, hopping into a tank to press them down, opening a valve to allow the barrels to be filled, shoveling out grape skins and moving them over to a press and then walking a handle around that same press...well, you either do these things or you don't. I'm not good at them or bad at them, or increasing in my skill. It is either done or not. I really don't know how else to explain it, but it is really that simple.


Said in another way: I don't think Ray feels he deserves much credit if the wine is good or bad. He is super low interventionalist and pretty much lets the wine take care of itself. I know alot of producers say this, but ray really does approach wine like this.

I'll use an example from my own experience: I made some Pinot Noir grown in California from the 2011 vintage. The wine turned out pretty good and here is the sum total of what I did:

1) Took the berries off the stems on put them in a fermenter
2) Added a small dose of s02 half way through the fermentations (because I chickened out when I smelled VA. In retrospect I wish I hadnt. The VA took care of itself when the fermentation really got going)
3) pushed down the floating grape skins into the must about once every two days
4) Pressed the wine off the skins
5) Put the wine into carboys to age

That is litetally all I did. It turns out the wines were suprisingly good. Am I a good amature winemaker? Well no, I didn't really do anything. I can't take any credit. A five year old could have done it. I literally just let the wine ferment and looked over it to make sure it didnt spoil. I mirrored my approach on what Ray does and what Gideon Bienstock of clos Saron does. In other words they dont really do anything. They just give the wine a chance to ferment and try to keep it from spoiling.

I know this may sound like Im marketing for people whose wine I like and who I admire as indivduals, but they already sell out and don't need my help. I just find the appoach fascinating. Its an interesting approach to making wine and I like the results.
Last edited by Berry Crawford on August 14th 2012, 9:40pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stewart Johnson
SubscriberSubscriber
 
Posts: 575
Joined: December 12th 2009, 7:37pm
Location: Marin, CA

Re: Maison Ilan- no more professional reviews

Post #50  Postby Stewart Johnson » August 14th 2012, 9:31pm

I appreciate Ray's point about the limits of snapshots, and I think Berry is right that professional critics tend to get those snapshots at particularly inopportune points in a wine's development -- generally too early. Even for domestic producers who are reviewed after bottling, the really long lag between submission and publication usually means that wines are tasted by reviewers well before they are ready for release. I think it's pretty valid to expect that amateurs will at least take their snapshots during points in a wine's development when it stands a better chance of hitting on all cylinders.
ITB
Kendric Vineyards

Return to Wine Talk

logo
Food Advertising by