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

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

#51 Post by David Baum » November 6th, 2019, 12:40 pm

I found that explanation thoroughly unsatisfying Greg

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

#52 Post by Alan Rath » November 6th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:
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.
That's a low blow. We can have a discussion on the differences between a larger company, and a small family owned producer. But Jackson has a history of buying very good, small producers, and allowing them to maintain their quality and identity, while giving them a nice financial and organizational foundation. Siduri and Copain are two such producers that I followed from the start, and I still have great respect for. Every Jackson employee I've talked to has been positive about the company, the work environment, the increased opportunities they have. Mostly, the quality of wines they produce has not suffered in the least once folded into the company. If you want to substitute Southern, or maybe Constellation, for Jackson, that might be a stronger point.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#53 Post by mbeckman » November 6th, 2019, 4:03 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
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.
That's a low blow. We can have a discussion on the differences between a larger company, and a small family owned producer. But Jackson has a history of buying very good, small producers, and allowing them to maintain their quality and identity, while giving them a nice financial and organizational foundation. Siduri and Copain are two such producers that I followed from the start, and I still have great respect for. Every Jackson employee I've talked to has been positive about the company, the work environment, the increased opportunities they have. Mostly, the quality of wines they produce has not suffered in the least once folded into the company. If you want to substitute Southern, or maybe Constellation, for Jackson, that might be a stronger point.
Are you sure you have current information? I am fairly certain Wells along with all of the original members of copain at the time of purchase have been replaced with people from within Jackson Family Wines.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#54 Post by Joe G a l e w s k i » November 6th, 2019, 4:05 pm

GregT wrote:
November 3rd, 2019, 5:58 pm
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.
Greg, serious question with no sarcasm or hidden agenda. If they are not covering a region with authenticity, complete with the the main producers in the region regardless of financial incentive (as you and I mentioned), what is the purpose of their article and/or magazine?

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

#55 Post by Wes Barton » November 6th, 2019, 4:20 pm

mbeckman wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 4:03 pm
Alan Rath wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
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.
That's a low blow. We can have a discussion on the differences between a larger company, and a small family owned producer. But Jackson has a history of buying very good, small producers, and allowing them to maintain their quality and identity, while giving them a nice financial and organizational foundation. Siduri and Copain are two such producers that I followed from the start, and I still have great respect for. Every Jackson employee I've talked to has been positive about the company, the work environment, the increased opportunities they have. Mostly, the quality of wines they produce has not suffered in the least once folded into the company. If you want to substitute Southern, or maybe Constellation, for Jackson, that might be a stronger point.
Are you sure you have current information? I am fairly certain Wells along with all of the original members of copain at the time of purchase have been replaced with people from within Jackson Family Wines.
Wells retired and sold. Ryan Zepaltas took over as winemaker. He's an excellent Pinot maker and understands what Copain is about. (Not aware of anyone else there leaving, and not sure if Wells is consulting there or not.)
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#56 Post by mbeckman » November 6th, 2019, 4:27 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 4:20 pm
mbeckman wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 4:03 pm
Alan Rath wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 12:45 pm

That's a low blow. We can have a discussion on the differences between a larger company, and a small family owned producer. But Jackson has a history of buying very good, small producers, and allowing them to maintain their quality and identity, while giving them a nice financial and organizational foundation. Siduri and Copain are two such producers that I followed from the start, and I still have great respect for. Every Jackson employee I've talked to has been positive about the company, the work environment, the increased opportunities they have. Mostly, the quality of wines they produce has not suffered in the least once folded into the company. If you want to substitute Southern, or maybe Constellation, for Jackson, that might be a stronger point.
Are you sure you have current information? I am fairly certain Wells along with all of the original members of copain at the time of purchase have been replaced with people from within Jackson Family Wines.
Wells retired and sold. Ryan Zepaltas took over as winemaker. He's an excellent Pinot maker and understands what Copain is about. (Not aware of anyone else there leaving, and not sure if Wells is consulting there or not.)
Sure, but he's from within JFW (Siduri, but still). Sarah, the Copain Assistant winemaker, was out a while back as well.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#57 Post by GregT » November 6th, 2019, 4:41 pm

Joe - I can't answer for WS - you can ping Tom Matthews or Kim Marcus on the WS site to get a more detailed and perhaps relevant answer, but I can tell you what I think based on what people I know have told me happened to their articles when published. Those articles were edited to fit into the WS mold. That's not a bad thing or a good thing - all magazines and newspapers do something similar.

Kim has been writing for them for a long time and probably has a good grasp of what they want, and how long the article can be. Clearly they could devote an entire volume just to producers of Pinot Noir, discussing all of their vineyards, clones, experiments, etc. But that would be unwieldy and wouldn't really fit into a magazine that's designed to give a broad overview. Laube wrote books because there's no way he could fit everything into the articles.

Moreover, if they do an article that purports to list every producer in a particular region, it just becomes a database. Then next year what do they write about, or do they just update the database?

Rather than do exhaustive articles, they generally like to focus on a trend, on a vintage, on a handful of producers they consider "representative" of whatever point they're trying to make. They do general surveys and once in a while focus in detail on a single producer, who often makes the cover story. They mentioned producers on the far west coast, but I don't think they mentioned Peay, which is at least as big a story as Rhys. And they didn't mention Wild Hog. Or Halcon. Or at least I didn't see mention of those.

Instead, they covered some broad themes with some examples of producers, and listed the wines they'd rated. I would say that was the purpose of the article and the magazine.

But I may be dead-ass wrong! [cheers.gif]
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#58 Post by Howard Cooper » November 6th, 2019, 6:19 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Howard Cooper wrote:
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.
That's a low blow. We can have a discussion on the differences between a larger company, and a small family owned producer. But Jackson has a history of buying very good, small producers, and allowing them to maintain their quality and identity, while giving them a nice financial and organizational foundation. Siduri and Copain are two such producers that I followed from the start, and I still have great respect for. Every Jackson employee I've talked to has been positive about the company, the work environment, the increased opportunities they have. Mostly, the quality of wines they produce has not suffered in the least once folded into the company. If you want to substitute Southern, or maybe Constellation, for Jackson, that might be a stronger point.
I don’t really like the wines from Jackson but that was not my point. My point is that Jackson Family Estates is very aggressive in marketing and I am sure that they make sure (and pay?) to have all their wines included on a list like this. My guess is also that WS gets a lot of advertising from Jackson Family Estates and includes their wines on a list like this to protect their advertising revenues. Who do you think gives more advertising dollars to the WS, Rhys or Jackson Family Estate? Do you think advertising influences this list?
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#59 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » November 6th, 2019, 6:25 pm

What was the Meiomi score? 93 points? Oh sweet sweet candy...

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

#60 Post by Alan Rath » November 6th, 2019, 10:10 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 4:20 pm
mbeckman wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 4:03 pm
Are you sure you have current information? I am fairly certain Wells along with all of the original members of copain at the time of purchase have been replaced with people from within Jackson Family Wines.
Wells retired and sold. Ryan Zepaltas took over as winemaker. He's an excellent Pinot maker and understands what Copain is about. (Not aware of anyone else there leaving, and not sure if Wells is consulting there or not.)
We’re off topic, but: Wells and Jackson parted ways. I’m not privy to the details, but I don’t believe it was because Jackson wanted to install it’s own team. After all, Adam Lee stayed on with Siduri for some time, eventually giving way to his assistant Ryan, who had been there for years before Jackson entered the picture (and AFAIK, Adam is still involved at Siduri in at least a consulting capacity). Many of the staff still at copain in various capacities have been there since well before the Jackson purchase.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#61 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 7th, 2019, 4:21 am

These are the potential scenarios, with expected Berserker reactions:

1. No mention of Rhys (the actual case) -"How dare they not include Rhys! Wine Spectator is a joke!"

2. Rhys reviewed poorly - "How dare they not understand the greatness of Rhys! Wine Spectator is a joke!"

3. Rhys reviewed well - "Oh shit, now everyone is going to want MY WINE!!" ****ing Wine Spectator!"

It's no different than sports talk radio, where every athlete is judged to have said the wrong thing - no matter what they say.

It's just talk...elephant talk
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#62 Post by Bruce Rudman » November 7th, 2019, 7:18 am

Lots of speculation here, but no one even knows if Rhys submitted its wines to be tasted? Does it routinely do that? A recent Cabernet edition had no mention of Mike Smith’s wines, for example. Small producers are less likely to send several bottles of each offering for a review. Just saying!
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#63 Post by David Baum » November 7th, 2019, 7:49 am

GregT wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 4:41 pm
Joe - I can't answer for WS - you can ping Tom Matthews or Kim Marcus on the WS site to get a more detailed and perhaps relevant answer, but I can tell you what I think based on what people I know have told me happened to their articles when published. Those articles were edited to fit into the WS mold. That's not a bad thing or a good thing - all magazines and newspapers do something similar.

Kim has been writing for them for a long time and probably has a good grasp of what they want, and how long the article can be. Clearly they could devote an entire volume just to producers of Pinot Noir, discussing all of their vineyards, clones, experiments, etc. But that would be unwieldy and wouldn't really fit into a magazine that's designed to give a broad overview. Laube wrote books because there's no way he could fit everything into the articles.

Moreover, if they do an article that purports to list every producer in a particular region, it just becomes a database. Then next year what do they write about, or do they just update the database?

Rather than do exhaustive articles, they generally like to focus on a trend, on a vintage, on a handful of producers they consider "representative" of whatever point they're trying to make. They do general surveys and once in a while focus in detail on a single producer, who often makes the cover story. They mentioned producers on the far west coast, but I don't think they mentioned Peay, which is at least as big a story as Rhys. And they didn't mention Wild Hog. Or Halcon. Or at least I didn't see mention of those.

Instead, they covered some broad themes with some examples of producers, and listed the wines they'd rated. I would say that was the purpose of the article and the magazine.

But I may be dead-ass wrong! [cheers.gif]
I found that answer far more satisfying

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

#64 Post by Chris Seiber » November 7th, 2019, 9:37 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 4:21 am
These are the potential scenarios, with expected Berserker reactions:

1. No mention of Rhys (the actual case) -"How dare they not include Rhys! Wine Spectator is a joke!"

2. Rhys reviewed poorly - "How dare they not understand the greatness of Rhys! Wine Spectator is a joke!"

3. Rhys reviewed well - "Oh shit, now everyone is going to want MY WINE!!" ****ing Wine Spectator!"

It's no different than sports talk radio, where every athlete is judged to have said the wrong thing - no matter what they say.

It's just talk...elephant talk
And of course always the conspiracy reaction - “WS gives out scores based on whether you buy ads in the magazine.”

As far as I’ve ever heard, there is zero evidence for that allegation, yet it will always be made around here.

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

#65 Post by David Baum » November 7th, 2019, 11:39 am

I've spoken with high profile winemakers who wouldnt submit wines to WS because they knew Laube wouldnt like them

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

#66 Post by GregT » November 7th, 2019, 1:04 pm

Yep. But the important thing is that you're satisfied!!

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

#67 Post by Anton D » November 7th, 2019, 1:06 pm

Other than wanting one's fandom rewarded with a listing/rating, shouldn't Berserkers celebrate when their favored wines are ignored by The Spectator?

I certainly would not want my favorite wine to get popped with a 100 point WS rating.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#68 Post by Wes Barton » November 7th, 2019, 1:27 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 9:37 am
And of course always the conspiracy reaction - “WS gives out scores based on whether you buy ads in the magazine.”

As far as I’ve ever heard, there is zero evidence for that allegation, yet it will always be made around here.
There is a correlation we see in any print media, as well as TV and the like. It's the other way around, where a product is being featured, so the ad desk reaches out to see if they'd like to run an ad. But, with TV we see network sponsors get special treatment and their competitors not mentioned. We see that overtly with talk shows, where the host-guest interaction spontaneously hits a possible mention, so they ask, and often are making a point in asking - that they think the exercise is a bit silly. There's also paid product placement in TV and movies. It's not a stretch to think there may be some favorable treatment to a regular advertiser.

That's not to say there's paying for good reviews. But, an advertiser could probably expect reviews. They'd have an idea of what to submit or not. There'd be reasonable limitations by quantity, relevance, etc. A bad review would likely not get published.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#69 Post by Dan Kravitz » November 7th, 2019, 4:01 pm

Greg,

I know that Parker was buying wines to review later than that, I can't remember details but I think in the early 90s he would sometimes ask me to pick up something for him and he paid me for it.

Of course the WS can't review everything, there are well over a million wines bottled for sale every year on this planet alone, but I don't understand why they would not review iconic wines like Mount Eden. Parker made his bones as much by debunking underachieving Bordeaux as by touting the 1982s. It just seems sloppy to me.

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

#70 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 7th, 2019, 7:40 pm

Dan,

I hate to break it to you, but they reviewed the 2016 Mount Eden Pinot. They gave it an 83. There are plenty of recent vintage reviews for Mount Eden in their database.
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Re: Wine Spectator Cover Story on California Pinot has no mention of Rhys

#71 Post by GregT » November 8th, 2019, 12:20 am

Dan Kravitz wrote:
November 7th, 2019, 4:01 pm
Greg,

I know that Parker was buying wines to review later than that, I can't remember details but I think in the early 90s he would sometimes ask me to pick up something for him and he paid me for it.

Of course the WS can't review everything, there are well over a million wines bottled for sale every year on this planet alone, but I don't understand why they would not review iconic wines like Mount Eden. Parker made his bones as much by debunking underachieving Bordeaux as by touting the 1982s. It just seems sloppy to me.

Dan Kravitz
I can't speak to either of those comments but I'm glad that Parker was still buying wines in the 90s. I wish he had continued to do so. He explained that it became impossible at some point, and I understand that, because as you mention, it becomes impractical. But it would have given him more credibility if he had mentioned where he acquired the wines. He didn't ever mention that he was having dinners with some of the distributors/importers where they picked up the tab and later received incredible scores for mass-market wines.

I'm not a Parker basher though and I think his great contribution to the wine world wasn't touting the 1982s but rather debunking underachieving Bordeaux and other wines. I hope that's his legacy, because it was a valuable contribution. [cheers.gif]
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