Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

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Joe G a l e w s k i
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Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#1 Post by Joe G a l e w s k i » November 3rd, 2019, 1:06 pm

I just finished reading the October Wine Spectator, which has a cover story of California pinot noir. I thought it was odd that Rhys wasn't mentioned anywhere in the article, but whatever, there's a lot of California pinot wineries to talk about. But then, they have a listing "Alphabetical Guide to California Pinot Noir", and Rhys isn't even listed. They managed to list Kirkland, Layer Cake, and Toad Hollow but there's nothing for Rhys. Does anyone know the backstory here? This has to be more than an oversight.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#2 Post by Nick Ellis » November 3rd, 2019, 1:12 pm

They clearly didn’t pay Laube and co. enough of a bribe.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#3 Post by Kris Patten » November 3rd, 2019, 1:32 pm

Does it really matter Rhys wasn't mentioned?
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#4 Post by John Davis » November 3rd, 2019, 1:37 pm

I don’t that Rhys wasn’t mentioned matters, either. Is it possible Rhys doesn’t send wines to WS to taste and thus the omission?
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#5 Post by Wes Barton » November 3rd, 2019, 1:46 pm

Not carried by BevMo, Total Wine, Safeway and the like. No plush, fancy "wine lifestyle" tasting room to feature. Don't advertise in the mag.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#6 Post by Scott G r u n e r » November 3rd, 2019, 2:23 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 1:32 pm
Does it really matter Rhys wasn't mentioned?
Nope. I am sure I could find other wineries not mentioned too.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#7 Post by Joe G a l e w s k i » November 3rd, 2019, 2:36 pm

Well, my thought is that Rhys is a pretty big deal for California pinot. And if you make a list of 251 producers from California and Rhys isn't on the list, that is a really glaring omission. But I see that Arcadian isn't on the list either, and likely others. It seems odd to make a story about California pinot noir and not include the major players.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#8 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 3rd, 2019, 2:39 pm

They do exactly the same thing with other grape varieties. Wine Spectator is not remotely comprehensive.
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Yup...

#9 Post by TomHill » November 3rd, 2019, 2:42 pm

Joe G a l e w s k i wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 1:06 pm
I just finished reading the October Wine Spectator, which has a cover story of California pinot noir. I thought it was odd that Rhys wasn't mentioned anywhere in the article, but whatever, there's a lot of California pinot wineries to talk about. But then, they have a listing "Alphabetical Guide to California Pinot Noir", and Rhys isn't even listed. They managed to list Kirkland, Layer Cake, and Toad Hollow but there's nothing for Rhys. Does anyone know the backstory here? This has to be more than an oversight.
Yup, Joe. Rhys is a pretty big player in the Calif Pinot world and I, too, thought the omission a bit of a puzzle.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#10 Post by J a y H a c k » November 3rd, 2019, 2:51 pm

Obviously, they do not advertise. Remember 15 or so years ago, when their featuring of Kosta Brown and the cover photo virtually made the winery? That an DuMol.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#11 Post by GregT » November 3rd, 2019, 3:09 pm

They don't review every wine made, just what they can get to or what is sent to them. It would be impossible to review every wine in CA and they have publishing deadlines so if they haven't reviewed a particular wine, it finds its way into their database later on and doesn't get included in their big story. There are probably a lot of wines that people think are really significant that don't get included in a roundup article. It's not a big deal IMO.

Also, Laube has stepped back and isn't reviewing much any more. Kim Marcus is their main guy in CA now. Laube did a big article on Rhys back when they started and he reviewed them at least through 2011.

Today the people who love Rhys are not going to be swayed by an article, and if the article wasn't fawning enough, it would probably be slammed anyway. Plus, this way all these folks are talking about it so Rhys is getting more publicity than they would have otherwise. Maybe they paid Kim to leave them out?

And there are wineries who specifically ask not to be included or written about. So ask why not just Kevin or Kim?
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#12 Post by larry schaffer » November 3rd, 2019, 3:53 pm

First off, please define 'major player'? To whom?

Did they include Mt. Eden? How about Hanzell? Whitcraft? Tyler?

How many wineries in CA produce Pinot?

It.certainly might have been an oversight, or they may have dropped off their radar for some reason.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#13 Post by Frank Murray III » November 3rd, 2019, 4:02 pm

Are there scores for Kirkland, Layer Cake, and Toad Hollow? I'd be eager to see those reviews.

I see this as Joe does. If you're gonna list wineries like the aforementioned, then why not fill in the picture with wineries who are investing in this varietal. Was Kutch mentioned? What about Rivers-Marie?
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#14 Post by Dan Kravitz » November 3rd, 2019, 4:27 pm

There is a precise grand total of exactly one Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains, California's greatest terroir for the grape... 2014 Black Ridge, rated 89. I have never heard of them, no surprise even though I am a Santa Cruz Mountain fanatic. Not only no Rhys, but no Mount Eden, Thomas Fogarty, Alfaro, Windy Oaks, Soquel &c.

Overall ratings are pretty low, I assume because so few California Pinots are thick and alcoholic and sweet.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#15 Post by Arv R » November 3rd, 2019, 4:37 pm

Maybe they ran out of printer ink after writing about Jon Bon Jovi and his 'Hampton Water' rose.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#16 Post by GregT » November 3rd, 2019, 5:58 pm

Frank Murray III wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 4:02 pm
Are there scores for Kirkland, Layer Cake, and Toad Hollow? I'd be eager to see those reviews.

I see this as Joe does. If you're gonna list wineries like the aforementioned, then why not fill in the picture with wineries who are investing in this varietal. Was Kutch mentioned? What about Rivers-Marie?
But those are just two that you would have included, and out of many. Again, not every PN producer is included, nor does the WS claim that they were. They've indeed included many who are investing in the grape, both big and small, some older and some newer than Rhys - Sea View, Hirsch, Three Sticks, Red Car, Aubert, Roar, Black Kite, Wrath, Ektimo, Brulium, Merry Edwards, Williams-Selyem, etc.

The article is just an overview, not an exhaustive list, and they did a fair job, given the fact that they typically don't go into too much depth and try to provide a general overview of wines that might be available. With their demographic, I would think that listing wineries like Kirkland and Layer Cake and Meiomi will resonate far more with their readers than listing a few more hard-to-get producers.

And it's the same with every article they write. In the same issue, they write about Spain. I know lots of producers that weren't included and could argue that some of them are more important than Rhys by far. But that's never been the point of their articles. The October issue has been superseded by at least two, one of which is their annual Cab issue. That does not provide and exhaustive list of Cab producers either. Unless we're all channeling Hillary, I doubt very much that there's some kind of conspiracy.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#17 Post by Peter Valiquette » November 3rd, 2019, 6:53 pm

There's better information available for free on this forum than any issue of Wine Spectator.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#18 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 3rd, 2019, 6:54 pm

Joe G a l e w s k i wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 1:06 pm
I just finished reading the October Wine Spectator, which has a cover story of California pinot noir. I thought it was odd that Rhys wasn't mentioned anywhere in the article, but whatever, there's a lot of California pinot wineries to talk about. But then, they have a listing "Alphabetical Guide to California Pinot Noir", and Rhys isn't even listed. They managed to list Kirkland, Layer Cake, and Toad Hollow but there's nothing for Rhys. Does anyone know the backstory here? This has to be more than an oversight.
Why not write a letter to the editor, and ask why they skip many of the top CA Pinot producers.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#19 Post by Dan Kravitz » November 3rd, 2019, 7:03 pm

OK, Rhys is new and limited.

Mount Eden is an historically great winery. Their 'second label', Domaine Eden, was served at the Merkel - Wettin wedding, which got some press. The wines are probably available in about 25 states. What is the excuse here? This is shoddy.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#20 Post by Matt Mauldin » November 3rd, 2019, 7:06 pm

Wine Spectator doesn't really review the IPOB style CA Pinot Noirs very well, so I think many of them avoid submitting. I work for a Santa Barbara producer who scores consistently in the low to mid-90's (and sometimes high 90's) from Vinous, Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. The most recent Spectator article scored the wines in 80's. What's the point of submitting? I'm sure Rhys and Ceritas and others feel the same way.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#21 Post by Robert M yers » November 3rd, 2019, 8:11 pm

Frank Murray III wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 4:02 pm
Are there scores for Kirkland, Layer Cake, and Toad Hollow? I'd be eager to see those reviews.

I see this as Joe does. If you're gonna list wineries like the aforementioned, then why not fill in the picture with wineries who are investing in this varietal. Was Kutch mentioned? What about Rivers-Marie?
I’m pretty sure Kutch is happy to be left out at this point.

That said I’m with Greg here, far too many wineries in geekdom to mention in WS. The folks reading the mag (I do [cheers.gif]) could care less or they would be here.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#22 Post by Sean_S » November 3rd, 2019, 8:49 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 4:27 pm
There is a precise grand total of exactly one Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains, California's greatest terroir for the grape... 2014 Black Ridge, rated 89. I have never heard of them, no surprise even though I am a Santa Cruz Mountain fanatic. Not only no Rhys, but no Mount Eden, Thomas Fogarty, Alfaro, Windy Oaks, Soquel &c.

Overall ratings are pretty low, I assume because so few California Pinots are thick and alcoholic and sweet.

Dan Kravitz
FYI: Black Ridge Vineyards is on the west side Highway 17 overlooking the Lexington reservoir and the old Novitiate vineyards (no longer there). Very close to the McCarthy Estate vineyards and one ridge over from Camel Hill Vineyards. There wine is over ripe and over oaked across the board. 89 is extremely generous. They do have a beautiful estate and tasting room but their wines not so much.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#23 Post by Sean_S » November 3rd, 2019, 8:54 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 3:53 pm
First off, please define 'major player'? To whom?
Jancis, Gillman, Galloni, Kelley, Dunnuck, many Berskers, their customers and their waiting list to name a few...

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#24 Post by Craig G » November 3rd, 2019, 9:52 pm

Sean_S wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 8:49 pm
Dan Kravitz wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 4:27 pm
There is a precise grand total of exactly one Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains, California's greatest terroir for the grape... 2014 Black Ridge, rated 89. I have never heard of them, no surprise even though I am a Santa Cruz Mountain fanatic. Not only no Rhys, but no Mount Eden, Thomas Fogarty, Alfaro, Windy Oaks, Soquel &c.

Overall ratings are pretty low, I assume because so few California Pinots are thick and alcoholic and sweet.

Dan Kravitz
FYI: Black Ridge Vineyards is on the west side Highway 17 overlooking the Lexington reservoir and the old Novitiate vineyards (no longer there). Very close to the McCarthy Estate vineyards and one ridge over from Camel Hill Vineyards. There wine is over ripe and over oaked across the board. 89 is extremely generous. They do have a beautiful estate and tasting room but their wines not so much.

Sean
Yeah, I tasted up there and it’s one of the places I recommend against going, even though it’s so close. I don’t know the history but it has the veneer of a vanity winery.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#25 Post by Chris Seiber » November 3rd, 2019, 10:40 pm

GregT wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 3:09 pm
They don't review every wine made, just what they can get to or what is sent to them. It would be impossible to review every wine in CA and they have publishing deadlines so if they haven't reviewed a particular wine, it finds its way into their database later on and doesn't get included in their big story. There are probably a lot of wines that people think are really significant that don't get included in a roundup article. It's not a big deal IMO.

Also, Laube has stepped back and isn't reviewing much any more. Kim Marcus is their main guy in CA now. Laube did a big article on Rhys back when they started and he reviewed them at least through 2011.

Today the people who love Rhys are not going to be swayed by an article, and if the article wasn't fawning enough, it would probably be slammed anyway. Plus, this way all these folks are talking about it so Rhys is getting more publicity than they would have otherwise. Maybe they paid Kim to leave them out?

And there are wineries who specifically ask not to be included or written about. So ask why not just Kevin or Kim?
Hey Greg, cut out the rational thinking here, and get on board — it’s a sinister conspiracy by WS only to review overripe overoaked goop which advertises in the magazine. That’s got to be what is going on.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#26 Post by Steve Crawford » November 4th, 2019, 6:55 am

people still read WS? lol

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#27 Post by larry schaffer » November 4th, 2019, 7:15 am

I just looked at the list of wines reviewed for the issue - and it was a pretty broad stroke of producers in CA. Where there many left out? Of course - but as others have said, if you don't submit, you won't be included - and apparently, many did not submit.

The range of scores was interesting - lots of high 80s and low 90s but very little if any at 95 points or higher - and there were some sub 85 ones. Perhaps the inflation levels are decreasing here?

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#28 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 4th, 2019, 7:23 am

Steve Crawford wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 6:55 am
people still read WS? lol
I had a subscription several years ago. Have not paid in years. It still shows up.

It's worth glancing through to see what they are hyping. At least then I know why I can't find the wine anymore!
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#29 Post by Anton D » November 4th, 2019, 7:58 am

I have a friend who works in another "connoisseur" type industry for a publication. For their annual reports, they send out forms asking manufacturers to list their product line and prices for inclusion in the over-view. Many forget, overlook it, or don't care and the usual hue and cry when the review issue comes out is how dare that magazine not mention "so and so."

So, that may be part.

Also, perhaps the prices for Rhys are going up so fast, they don't want to be held responsible for submitting a price list to WS?
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#30 Post by Nate Simon » November 4th, 2019, 9:27 am

Could be that Kevin and company did not do the requisite amount of ass-kissing to end up in the article.
Alternatively, could be that WS is shying away from covering them due to the water issues.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#31 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 4th, 2019, 9:43 am

Nate Simon wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 9:27 am
Could be that Kevin and company did not do the requisite amount of ass-kissing to end up in the article.
Alternatively, could be that WS is shying away from covering them due to the water issues.
The last Rhys to be reviewed in WS was a 2013. So the water story has nothing to do with it.

Overall WS did not like Rhys much (ratings ranged from 92 down to 81), so I bet Kevin just decided they were not worth it.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#32 Post by Nathan Smyth » November 4th, 2019, 1:20 pm

Joe G a l e w s k i wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 2:36 pm
But I see that Arcadian isn't on the list either...
End of discussion.

Next topic.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#33 Post by Wes Barton » November 4th, 2019, 3:08 pm

Craig G wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 9:52 pm
Sean_S wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 8:49 pm
Dan Kravitz wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 4:27 pm
There is a precise grand total of exactly one Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains, California's greatest terroir for the grape... 2014 Black Ridge, rated 89. I have never heard of them, no surprise even though I am a Santa Cruz Mountain fanatic. Not only no Rhys, but no Mount Eden, Thomas Fogarty, Alfaro, Windy Oaks, Soquel &c.

Overall ratings are pretty low, I assume because so few California Pinots are thick and alcoholic and sweet.

Dan Kravitz
FYI: Black Ridge Vineyards is on the west side Highway 17 overlooking the Lexington reservoir and the old Novitiate vineyards (no longer there). Very close to the McCarthy Estate vineyards and one ridge over from Camel Hill Vineyards. There wine is over ripe and over oaked across the board. 89 is extremely generous. They do have a beautiful estate and tasting room but their wines not so much.

Sean
Yeah, I tasted up there and it’s one of the places I recommend against going, even though it’s so close. I don’t know the history but it has the veneer of a vanity winery.
They started off good, and promising. Then some bad vineyard management, ownership feud and split, outside winemaking. Haven't tasted their wines in quite awhile, but it would make sense they moved to pandering to the type of traffic they'd get at that location. The ownership did just change. Wouldn't get my hopes up, but we'll see if the wines change.

A tip for producers to watch in the SCM, out of the 100 or so, is look for people who've worked their way up at some of the better wineries, then branched out. They understand the region and endeavor to reach the potential of the better sites. And, don't forget about McHenry.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#34 Post by Wes Barton » November 4th, 2019, 3:15 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 7:15 am
I just looked at the list of wines reviewed for the issue - and it was a pretty broad stroke of producers in CA. Where there many left out? Of course - but as others have said, if you don't submit, you won't be included - and apparently, many did not submit.

The range of scores was interesting - lots of high 80s and low 90s but very little if any at 95 points or higher - and there were some sub 85 ones. Perhaps the inflation levels are decreasing here?

Cheers
Honestly, that sounds like how the Pinots that long got high WS ratings should have scored. Perhaps it's the critic change catching a bunch of hack Pinot producers off-guard? If that's the case it's kinda funny. Like the producers who knew better than to submit would've scored well, and the panderers who thought they had a shoo-in with their confectionary crap got panned... Might need to find a copy...
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#35 Post by K John Joseph » November 4th, 2019, 3:25 pm

34 posts and no one said

"Obviously Rhys is dead at retail."

You guys are slipping. Come on now.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#36 Post by Anton D » November 4th, 2019, 3:27 pm

K John Joseph wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 3:25 pm
34 posts and no one said

"Obviously Rhys is dead at retail."

You guys are slipping. Come on now.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#37 Post by GregT » November 4th, 2019, 4:33 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 3:15 pm
larry schaffer wrote:
November 4th, 2019, 7:15 am
I just looked at the list of wines reviewed for the issue - and it was a pretty broad stroke of producers in CA. Where there many left out? Of course - but as others have said, if you don't submit, you won't be included - and apparently, many did not submit.

The range of scores was interesting - lots of high 80s and low 90s but very little if any at 95 points or higher - and there were some sub 85 ones. Perhaps the inflation levels are decreasing here?

Cheers
Honestly, that sounds like how the Pinots that long got high WS ratings should have scored. Perhaps it's the critic change catching a bunch of hack Pinot producers off-guard? If that's the case it's kinda funny. Like the producers who knew better than to submit would've scored well, and the panderers who thought they had a shoo-in with their confectionary crap got panned... Might need to find a copy...
That makes sense. Marcus has only recently started reviewing PN for the WS and while I've never had any wine with Laube, I have had dinner with Marcus and he has a pretty good palate. He is originally from Sonoma but for years was reviewing wines from Germany, Austria, Portugal, Greece, and France. He may just have a completely different take on the wines.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#38 Post by Scott Brunson » November 4th, 2019, 4:39 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 2:39 pm
They do exactly the same thing with other grape varieties. Wine Spectator is not remotely relavent.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#39 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 4th, 2019, 4:43 pm

Wine Spectator is dead at retail?
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#40 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 4th, 2019, 4:45 pm

BTW, I strongly disagree that it is not relevant.

Wine Berserkers is a small, closed world. Wine Spectator serves a much larger audience. The wine industry would die a swift death of our tastes dictated the market.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#41 Post by Frank Murray III » November 4th, 2019, 6:35 pm

WS is not irrelevant. If it can generate 2200+ views in about a day on this forum, then people around here think about the mag still. I don't read it anymore, giving it up a while back in exchange for the power and my own value I place on Cellartracker.
My WOTY candidates for 2019:
2014 Marie Courtin Eloquence BdB Extra Brut
2017 Rivers-Marie PN Platt SC
2017 Kutch Pinot Noir SC PN
2009 Roederer Cristal Brut
2017 Carlisle Zin Mancini Ranch RRV

My best wines of 2018:
2017 Kutch Falstaff Sonoma Coast PN
2012 Marguet La Grande Ruelle Ambonnay

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#42 Post by larry schaffer » November 5th, 2019, 6:44 am

I totally agree that WS is not irrelevant at all - it probably moves more wine than most other publications these days. Perhaps not here, as others have pointed out, but it's not to be 'dismissed' as a 'has been' in any way . . .

Cheers.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#43 Post by John Peacock » November 5th, 2019, 7:53 am

larry schaffer wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 6:44 am
I totally agree that WS is not irrelevant at all - it probably moves more wine than most other publications these days. Perhaps not here, as others have pointed out, but it's not to be 'dismissed' as a 'has been' in any way . . .

Cheers.
WS is the only review publication that actually moves units if you get a good score/article/etc. Not Advocate, not Vinous, not Enthusiast, and not Dunnuck. So I would say they are certainly relevant to the other 98% of wine consumers who are not Berserkers.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#44 Post by larry schaffer » November 5th, 2019, 8:37 am

John Peacock wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:53 am
larry schaffer wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 6:44 am
I totally agree that WS is not irrelevant at all - it probably moves more wine than most other publications these days. Perhaps not here, as others have pointed out, but it's not to be 'dismissed' as a 'has been' in any way . . .

Cheers.
WS is the only review publication that actually moves units if you get a good score/article/etc. Not Advocate, not Vinous, not Enthusiast, and not Dunnuck. So I would say they are certainly relevant to the other 98% of wine consumers who are not Berserkers.

And my guess is that it is relevant to many on this board even if they don't admit it . . .
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#45 Post by John Peacock » November 5th, 2019, 9:57 am

larry schaffer wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 8:37 am
John Peacock wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:53 am
larry schaffer wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 6:44 am
I totally agree that WS is not irrelevant at all - it probably moves more wine than most other publications these days. Perhaps not here, as others have pointed out, but it's not to be 'dismissed' as a 'has been' in any way . . .

Cheers.
WS is the only review publication that actually moves units if you get a good score/article/etc. Not Advocate, not Vinous, not Enthusiast, and not Dunnuck. So I would say they are certainly relevant to the other 98% of wine consumers who are not Berserkers.

And my guess is that it is relevant to many on this board even if they don't admit it . . .
I should also clarify my previous statement, in that WS is the only one relevant to moving units on a direct to consumer basis. I don't have much insight into the behaviors in the wholesale market when reviews/news come out in the various publications.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#46 Post by GregT » November 5th, 2019, 1:45 pm

John - the way it used to work with wholesale is when the NYT came out, they moved wine that week. There was no staying power though. When the WA came out, and when Parker was writing, it moved wine. You'd get orders immediately and they'd continue. It was found in many wine stores, so a lot of owners followed those scores pretty closely. I always thought that was the main market for the WA.

The WS moves a lot of wine this time of year because they start counting down the wine of the year. The rest of the time they didn't generate a lot of cold call orders like the WA did but they really helped if you were showing wine and could mention that you got a pretty good score on this or that. No other publication really mattered. If people wanted shelf talkers, you could provide them from just about any source, and that could help retail sales, but they didn't move wholesale purchases.

Today I would suspect that for the mass market, WS is the only wine mag that has any influence. There's a lot more influence coming from social media, friends, and crowd-sourced info like Vivino. I don't understand the use of Vivino at all, but it's amazing how many people I've seen the past few weeks standing around in stores looking at it.

As to those who say the WS has no relevance on this forum - wait until the WOTY. There will likely be multiple threads.
Last edited by GregT on November 6th, 2019, 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#47 Post by Howard Cooper » November 5th, 2019, 2:03 pm

I am not sure why people are complaining. I am sure that they hit every pinot made by Jackson Family Estates. Should be enough for the readership of the WS.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#48 Post by John Glas » November 5th, 2019, 5:16 pm

There is a precise grand total of exactly one Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains, California's greatest terroir for the grape... 2014 Black Ridge, rated 89. I have never heard of them, no surprise even though I am a Santa Cruz Mountain fanatic. Not only no Rhys, but no Mount Eden, Thomas Fogarty, Alfaro, Windy Oaks, Soquel &c.

Overall ratings are pretty low, I assume because so few California Pinots are thick and alcoholic and sweet.

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Good call Dan. I find the whole pop and pour reviewing of wines a major flaw. After 50 you probably will rate the high alcohol wines higher as Parker has done for the last 15 plus years. [stirthepothal.gif]

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#49 Post by Dan Kravitz » November 5th, 2019, 8:35 pm

Commercial post: My company sends samples to the Wine Spectator. Some are reviewed, some are not.

I agree that the Wine Spectator continues to have a great deal of influence on the American wine market. I have no idea if they give preference to advertisers in selecting what to review. They claim to taste blind and I have no reason to doubt this. However I find some of their choices of what to review bizarre. I am not complaining about their reviews of Kirkland, Layer Cake and Toad Hollow. However I am complaining about their omissions of many superb producers. I find the lack of reviews for Mount Eden particularly bizarre; to me, if not the equivalent of excluding Domaine de la Romanee-Conti from a Burgundy review, it's at least like leaving out Armand Rousseau or Roumier.

In his early days, Parker would buy wines to review as nobody was sending him samples. I would think the WS could afford to buy California Pinots with track records that don't submit samples.

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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#50 Post by GregT » November 6th, 2019, 11:13 am

Dan Kravitz wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 8:35 pm
Commercial post: My company sends samples to the Wine Spectator. Some are reviewed, some are not.

In his VERY VERY VERY early days, Parker would buy wines to review as nobody was sending him samples. I would think the WS could afford to buy California Pinots with track records that don't submit samples.

Dan Kravitz
I think he stopped buying wines to review sometime back in the 1980s, probably the early 80s. By the end of the 80s he was reviewing at the various chateaux and with the various importers. And you couldn't get your wine reviewed until you'd been around for a few years, and he rarely gave you great scores right at the beginning. it was all hands on and personal, which would have been perfectly fine except that he kept saying he bought wines and tasted them blind. Once that stopped being true, he should have acknowledged it.

Absolutely the WS could afford to buy wines that aren't sent in, but why should they? If you don't want your wine reviewed because you think you're beyond them or you don't need them or you're selling out everything you make, why should they go out of their way to generate additional publicity for you? The group of people who buy your wines are going to do so anyway and they'll either celebrate the reviews as validating their good taste, or slam them as being ignorant and misguided. Either way, they'll keep buying the wines and the magazine gets nothing really worthwhile out of it except that they've satisfied a lot of people who don't buy the magazine anyway.
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