Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#301 Post by CraigT »

Hi everybody,

This is my take on all this. I am an avid subscriber to wine critics. I had followed Robert Parker since 1984 until his retirement. I believe they lead me to new producers that I would not be aware of and they keep me from wasting money on expensive wine. I have subscriptions to all major publications. I find this disturbing and just plain wrong. I am aware of wine retailers that will jack up there prices if they are able to see the scores ahead of time. They already jack up wines once they get a great score. I've seen this over the last 30 years. So basically, Vinous is going to cost me money and I don't like that. I really like there new Cellar Watch product. But I am leaning toward canceling my subscription to both products. The question I have is "Will this lead to the end of Vinous"? "Will the big names leave? Who will stay? deadhorse
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#302 Post by Steve Long »

CraigT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:52 pm Hi everybody,

This is my take on all this. I am an avid subscriber to wine critics. I had followed Robert Parker since 1984 until his retirement. I believe they lead me to new producers that I would not be aware of and they keep me from wasting money on expensive wine. I have subscriptions to all major publications. I find this disturbing and just plain wrong. I am aware of wine retailers that will jack up there prices if they are able to see the scores ahead of time. They already jack up wines once they get a great score. I've seen this over the last 30 years. So basically, Vinous is going to cost me money and I don't like that. I really like there new Cellar Watch product. But I am leaning toward canceling my subscription to both products. The question I have is "Will this lead to the end of Vinous"? "Will the big names leave? Who will stay? deadhorse
In the past the retailers would still have raised the prices though.

Can someone clearly explain to me how this is different?

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#303 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Tvrtko C. wrote: April 28th, 2021, 1:02 pm
John Morris wrote: April 28th, 2021, 11:52 amIn other words, catering to the trade is what the business is about.
Naaah... No need to be so cynical, is there... champagne.gif champagne.gif champagne.gif
Just to put a balance in the scale...28,000 reviews. All of which are, to my knowledge, primarily free samples(i.e. subsidized by the wineries) in addition to subscriptions to VM by the trade.

28,000 bottles-mine average about $40 bottle but even at $25, that’s a $700,000 subsidy by the industry of VM. Samples most definitely have a very distinct cost.


In the end-I run a business. I never submitted to Wine Spectator because I never liked Harvey Steiman’s palate and felt that submitting to him would be like poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick. The one time I did submit was a waste of time and good wines.

There’s absolutely nothing underhanded about my relationships with WA, John Gilman, and VM, but I am definitely aware of the fact that these critics have palates that will be more likely to view and understand my wines and react favorably.

And I would be a stupid fool to consistently send FREE samples to a reviewer who regularly reviewed the wines negatively. I try to mitigate that, as does everyone else in the industry, by making good wines.

This doesn’t mean that I feel reviewers should serve the industry. Wineries are best served when this system serves the consumer first.
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on April 28th, 2021, 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#304 Post by CraigT »

Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:55 pm
CraigT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:52 pm Hi everybody,

This is my take on all this. I am an avid subscriber to wine critics. I had followed Robert Parker since 1984 until his retirement. I believe they lead me to new producers that I would not be aware of and they keep me from wasting money on expensive wine. I have subscriptions to all major publications. I find this disturbing and just plain wrong. I am aware of wine retailers that will jack up there prices if they are able to see the scores ahead of time. They already jack up wines once they get a great score. I've seen this over the last 30 years. So basically, Vinous is going to cost me money and I don't like that. I really like there new Cellar Watch product. But I am leaning toward canceling my subscription to both products. The question I have is "Will this lead to the end of Vinous"? "Will the big names leave? Who will stay? deadhorse
In the past the retailers would still have raised the prices though.

Can someone clearly explain to me how this is different?
Well. Since I would get the review at the same time. I can search Wine Searcher quickly before everybody raised their prices. It gave me about 1 day lead time before everybody jacked up their prices. champagne.gif
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#305 Post by larry schaffer »

Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:33 pm
larry schaffer wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:18 am
B Stewart wrote: April 27th, 2021, 5:29 pm Galloni to me comes off as defensive and maybe a bit evasive when he should be transparent. Yes, he talks about the 48 hour head start, but that is just item one of four on offer from Vinous. #1 has been heavily discussed on this board. Thoughts on 2, 3, and 4?

Per the email, here's what $24,000/year buys you:

1. 48 hour head start on scores
2. Access to the Vinous Editorial Calendar
3. The ability to submit your wines for review outside the normal time frames established by the editorial calendar
4. Custom, bespoke options available


Vinous is pitching #1 is at retailers. They are pitching #2 and #3 - "your wines for review" to the producers, importers, distributors, wholesalers, etc. whose wines will be reviewed and scored by
Vinous.

Conflict of interest much?

To me, $24,000 per year is a very steep tariff to see their calendar and get no blackout dates on wine submissions. Hard to see the value proposition there. But they must have done soundings / research before putting that out there, so some of those companies are willing to pony up. Presumably the big companies with deep pockets, the kind that spend $$$ advertising in Wine Spectator. For a company like that, it's not the 100pt score on the $300 Napa Cab that moves the needle, it's getting the 90pt score on the 20,000 cases of $18 Italian rose. I'm not suggesting Vinous is up to anything bad at all, but it's good business for those big companies to pick up a few subscriptions, whether they need them or not, and help their pals at Vinous pay the bills.

Vinous is a private business and can do whatever they want. But did nobody over there stop to think about how this would be perceived?

When "consumer first" wine critics are selling $24K a year "head starts" to retailers, they've opened up a can of worms. When they offer $24K in "services" to the same producers and importers whose wines they're scoring, they've opened up another one At least advertiser conflicts of interest, like at Wine Spectator, are out in the open. Here, not so much. Should Vinous provide a disclaimer on wines reviewed from their "premium subscribers," or should they keep the list confidential? Will Vinous limit their subscriptions to one per entity? Or can a single entity have multiple subscriptions, spread across different people, brands, departments, etc?

#4 - I don't know who they're pitching that too. It reads less like a wine publication and more like a J.Crew Catalogue. Yuck.
This to me is such an important post - and it's implications are pretty wide spread, well beyond just the retailer.

I'd love to know if any wineries received the 'invitation' to pay the $24K as well - I didn't but have never had a wine reviewed by Vinous so I'm not their target audience. But I know many other wineries who are active on WB do have wines reviewed by him all of the time - it'd be great to hear from them (my guess is we probably won't though).

Cheers.
Hi Larry,

Josh Raynolds has been reviewing my wines for over a decade now.

This thread was news to me. I haven’t spent any time in AG’s shoes, so I won’t comment beyond my feelings as I don’t know anything.

I doubt this will have any effect on me or how my wines are reviewed by Vinous. We’re a farmhouse type of operation, not a “player”. And I respect what Josh Raynolds and David Schildknecht reviewing my wines has done for me, so I will still submit wines for review.

There’s ample illustration upthread of the issues with this shift from a lot of smart people. As a small winery that doesn’t have the distributor muscle of a national brand or the deep pockets of some wineries, anything that erodes the trust of consumers in one of the better sources of vinous information(pun intended) is disheartening. And 6 pages in 2-3 days of mostly on point negative posts is a lot.
So you didn't receive an email from Vinous asking if you wanted to take part in this?

Cheers
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#306 Post by Pat Martin »

“Free content” = advertising masquerading as journalism.

To be fair, it’s not all that one sided, but critics just won’t bite the hand that feeds them (big surprise). I recall Antonio himself stating (years ago now) in a wine forum that he doesn’t bother publishing notes on wines which score less than 85 or 86 points. So, the best case scenario is he’s and his ilk are really just boosters for “wines they like”, paid for by the people who make and sell “wines they like”. And this new premium service means you’re likely to pay a lot more for these wines than before.

Again, this is the best case scenario. The worst case involves impugning the integrity of the parties involved and possibly fraud.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#307 Post by Sebastian C. »

brigcampbell wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:16 pm
Sebastian C. wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:12 pm
I agree with you here. There is another thread where quite a few people stated that, post Parker, there are really no reviewers that move the needle price wise any more.
But if the reviewer, winery, importer, distributor, and retailer are all in it together...
Retailers already have sophisticated algorithms that move prices higher as demand increases. You are not going to beat them. They have all the data. To think that someone will corner the market on some Spanish wine that gets a 98-100 is disingenous.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#308 Post by Tvrtko C. »

Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:55 pm In the past the retailers would still have raised the prices though.

Can someone clearly explain to me how this is different?
Sorry, but you've basically been "asking" the same "question" for about two days now. If no one has yet bothered to "explain", I'm guessing there must be a reason. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#309 Post by GregT »

Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 28th, 2021, 4:00 pm
In the end-I run a business. I never submitted to Wine Spectator because I never liked Harvey Steiman’s palate and felt that submitting to him would be like poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick. The one time I did submit was a waste of time and good wines.

There’s absolutely nothing underhanded about my relationships with WA, John Gilman, and VM, but I am definitely aware of the fact that these critics have palates that will be more likely to view and understand my wines and react favorably.

And I would be a stupid fool to consistently send FREE samples to a reviewer who regularly reviewed the wines negatively. I try to mitigate that, as does everyone else in the industry, by making good wines.
Send them to Suckling. You're good for 93 points easily.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#310 Post by Chris Crutchfield »

GregT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 5:37 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 28th, 2021, 4:00 pm
In the end-I run a business. I never submitted to Wine Spectator because I never liked Harvey Steiman’s palate and felt that submitting to him would be like poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick. The one time I did submit was a waste of time and good wines.

There’s absolutely nothing underhanded about my relationships with WA, John Gilman, and VM, but I am definitely aware of the fact that these critics have palates that will be more likely to view and understand my wines and react favorably.

And I would be a stupid fool to consistently send FREE samples to a reviewer who regularly reviewed the wines negatively. I try to mitigate that, as does everyone else in the industry, by making good wines.
Send them to Suckling. You're good for 93 points easily.
Goodfellow wines are definitely not the favored style of The Suck.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#311 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

larry schaffer wrote: April 28th, 2021, 4:32 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:33 pm
larry schaffer wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:18 am

This to me is such an important post - and it's implications are pretty wide spread, well beyond just the retailer.

I'd love to know if any wineries received the 'invitation' to pay the $24K as well - I didn't but have never had a wine reviewed by Vinous so I'm not their target audience. But I know many other wineries who are active on WB do have wines reviewed by him all of the time - it'd be great to hear from them (my guess is we probably won't though).

Cheers.
Hi Larry,

Josh Raynolds has been reviewing my wines for over a decade now.

This thread was news to me. I haven’t spent any time in AG’s shoes, so I won’t comment beyond my feelings as I don’t know anything.

I doubt this will have any effect on me or how my wines are reviewed by Vinous. We’re a farmhouse type of operation, not a “player”. And I respect what Josh Raynolds and David Schildknecht reviewing my wines has done for me, so I will still submit wines for review.

There’s ample illustration upthread of the issues with this shift from a lot of smart people. As a small winery that doesn’t have the distributor muscle of a national brand or the deep pockets of some wineries, anything that erodes the trust of consumers in one of the better sources of vinous information(pun intended) is disheartening. And 6 pages in 2-3 days of mostly on point negative posts is a lot.
So you didn't receive an email from Vinous asking if you wanted to take part in this?

Cheers
No, nothing that I am aware of. I haven’t checked spam or anything though.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#312 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

GregT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 5:37 pm
Marcus Goodfellow wrote: April 28th, 2021, 4:00 pm
In the end-I run a business. I never submitted to Wine Spectator because I never liked Harvey Steiman’s palate and felt that submitting to him would be like poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick. The one time I did submit was a waste of time and good wines.

There’s absolutely nothing underhanded about my relationships with WA, John Gilman, and VM, but I am definitely aware of the fact that these critics have palates that will be more likely to view and understand my wines and react favorably.

And I would be a stupid fool to consistently send FREE samples to a reviewer who regularly reviewed the wines negatively. I try to mitigate that, as does everyone else in the industry, by making good wines.
Send them to Suckling. You're good for 93 points easily.
Lol...that’s like a 79 on everybody else’s scale.

Edit: the above was tossed off as I was headed out on a walk on a beautiful spring afternoon.

It’s disrespectful of Suckling, but does illustrate the danger of spending so much time in the “incredible” that some people begin to lose respect for the writers reputation. Suckling has been around longer than me, and done a lot, but I feel like he jumped the shark a while ago and his words have little meaning to me and his points even less. That may not be fair, but I doubt that I am alone in this.
Last edited by Marcus Goodfellow on April 28th, 2021, 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#313 Post by R. Frankel »

Marcus, since you’re brave enough to respond here, what do you think about this scenario:

2019 Whistling Ridge House Block is perfect (and the other blocks are also excellent). Antonio agrees and gives HB 100 points and the other WR wines 98s and 99s. 2 days before the reviews comes out, a distributor calls you up and buys you out. You’re psyched because sales have been slow and you are delighted to move several dozen cases. The HB is gone as well as most of the rest. The reviews are published and your customers and small retailers start pounding you for the wine. You have none left but luckily anyone can now buy bottles for $150 a bottle from a few big national stores.

I’m not saying that you’d jack up the prices if you had this info. But you could control your product and how it goes to market.

This is the kind of thing that worries me. Not just the rare 100 point wine from Piedmont or The Rhône. Instead the disadvantage given to all small producers, retailers and middle men that will occur after every review. Most reviews include wines that outperform their history or reputation and 48 hours advance info means that the companies with the info and the people to act on it will have advantage over and over.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#314 Post by Arv R »

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#315 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

R. Frankel wrote: April 28th, 2021, 6:11 pm Marcus, since you’re brave enough to respond here, what do you think about this scenario:

2019 Whistling Ridge House Block is perfect (and the other blocks are also excellent). Antonio agrees and gives HB 100 points and the other WR wines 98s and 99s. 2 days before the reviews comes out, a distributor calls you up and buys you out. You’re psyched because sales have been slow and you are delighted to move several dozen cases. The HB is gone as well as most of the rest. The reviews are published and your customers and small retailers start pounding you for the wine. You have none left but luckily anyone can now buy bottles for $150 a bottle from a few big national stores.

I’m not saying that you’d jack up the prices if you had this info. But you could control your product and how it goes to market.

This is the kind of thing that worries me. Not just the rare 100 point wine from Piedmont or The Rhône. Instead the disadvantage given to all small producers, retailers and middle men that will occur after every review. Most reviews include wines that outperform their history or reputation and 48 hours advance info means that the companies with the info and the people to act on it will have advantage over and over.
Think, this.....

0800AD1B-BC99-49CB-8745-9AA1D1318413.jpeg
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#316 Post by John Glas »

Send them to Suckling. You're good for 93 points easily.
I have actually seen some 92 point wines from him. Those are always my favorite and I will buy them as they are balanced and not over the top in style and usually under $20.00.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#317 Post by Steve Long »

CraigT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 4:28 pm
Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:55 pm
CraigT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:52 pm Hi everybody,

This is my take on all this. I am an avid subscriber to wine critics. I had followed Robert Parker since 1984 until his retirement. I believe they lead me to new producers that I would not be aware of and they keep me from wasting money on expensive wine. I have subscriptions to all major publications. I find this disturbing and just plain wrong. I am aware of wine retailers that will jack up there prices if they are able to see the scores ahead of time. They already jack up wines once they get a great score. I've seen this over the last 30 years. So basically, Vinous is going to cost me money and I don't like that. I really like there new Cellar Watch product. But I am leaning toward canceling my subscription to both products. The question I have is "Will this lead to the end of Vinous"? "Will the big names leave? Who will stay? deadhorse
In the past the retailers would still have raised the prices though.

Can someone clearly explain to me how this is different?
Well. Since I would get the review at the same time. I can search Wine Searcher quickly before everybody raised their prices. It gave me about 1 day lead time before everybody jacked up their prices. champagne.gif
Well you have a potential career in electronic trading!

I’m just wondering how this will change. The people who pay for this are not going to be buying at retail. The retail store that was a day late in the past is also not going to be paying for the 2 day advantage. The place this matters is just well before it hits the consumer. I just don’t see why this is a big deal.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#318 Post by DanielP »

Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:02 pm
CraigT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 4:28 pm
Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 3:55 pm

In the past the retailers would still have raised the prices though.

Can someone clearly explain to me how this is different?
Well. Since I would get the review at the same time. I can search Wine Searcher quickly before everybody raised their prices. It gave me about 1 day lead time before everybody jacked up their prices. champagne.gif
Well you have a potential career in electronic trading!

I’m just wondering how this will change. The people who pay for this are not going to be buying at retail. The retail store that was a day late in the past is also not going to be paying for the 2 day advantage. The place this matters is just well before it hits the consumer. I just don’t see why this is a big deal.
Prices only go up when it comes to scores. If pricing "optimization" moves farther up the chain, that means higher prices for consumers across all retail channels that buy from that distributor rather than in the past where price increases occurred at the individual retailer level
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#319 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

R. Frankel wrote: April 28th, 2021, 6:11 pm Marcus, since you’re brave enough to respond here, what do you think about this scenario:

2019 Whistling Ridge House Block is perfect (and the other blocks are also excellent). Antonio agrees and gives HB 100 points and the other WR wines 98s and 99s. 2 days before the reviews comes out, a distributor calls you up and buys you out. You’re psyched because sales have been slow and you are delighted to move several dozen cases. The HB is gone as well as most of the rest. The reviews are published and your customers and small retailers start pounding you for the wine. You have none left but luckily anyone can now buy bottles for $150 a bottle from a few big national stores.

I’m not saying that you’d jack up the prices if you had this info. But you could control your product and how it goes to market.

This is the kind of thing that worries me. Not just the rare 100 point wine from Piedmont or The Rhône. Instead the disadvantage given to all small producers, retailers and middle men that will occur after every review. Most reviews include wines that outperform their history or reputation and 48 hours advance info means that the companies with the info and the people to act on it will have advantage over and over.
So this scenario is a good question. But it really illustrates how every winery will have a different answer.

First-I am no fan of perfection in wines or scores. While that’s not part of your hypothetical scenario, I just want it out there. Not everything in life is about money, and I really believe that the wine with a perfect score is a made wine rather than a wine that tells a story.

But for your hypothetical, we’re a whole cluster based, less fruit, more acid winery and we wind up having to hold the wines longer than most other wineries. If you look at our Vinous reviews, we’re usually a vintage back from the main group of reviews, although last year Josh was running a bit behind and emailed me to see if we could submit anything from the 2018 vintage since he was still catching up. He was looking for 2019s to be sent the first of April this year(email from the Oregon Wine Board) and our wines were not ready.

So usually by the time a review comes out, our wines are usually in a range of places already and are often mostly sold through. That happened with the Wine Advocate reviews on the 2018s, the review came out end of December and the two wines with 96 and 97 points were down to about 15 cases total, and no real amount of inventory. It went to 3 local shops.

But, if a 100 point wine came out, what would my distributors do. When I said we are farmhouse, we really are. I have about 7 distributors, and all are small mostly import focused portfolios. They sell mostly to restaurants where a whisper of a score can get you shunned by soms(I was definitely a somm of that type, so it’s only fair IMO). Without being disrespectful of either my distributors or reviewers, none of my distributors read reviews.
I’m not trying to make that sound superior, it just is how it is. I think a 100 point WV Pinot Noir would still probably sell mostly to mailing list(but Jim Anderson can field that scenario better than I can).

I believe that a 100 point score would charge the batteries for the following year, but I would have the ability to control that.
And our style is risky enough that I know better than to take a big price increase on a sold out wine.

Last, there are a lot of very high scoring wineries whose wines had a brief sojourn in a stratospheric demand level, and only a handful in the US that I can think of that have maintained those prices. I doubt that I am up to that task. I like making the wines, and would rather spend my time on making the wines and be “natural” in my presentation. (I only sell wines with no added Suckling).
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#320 Post by Scott Watkins »

(I only sell wines with no added Suckling). LoL and thank God!
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#321 Post by M.Kaplan »

I think many of us have suspected for some time what Vinous under Galloni is. To paraphrase Lord Beaverbrook, we are now merely haggling over the price.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#322 Post by Randy C »

I swear 75% of the comments on this whole website are about how we are all too damn sophisticated to ever care about what scores critics post and we are all so above that and who cares what critics think because I have my own special palate, etc. And then this comes up and now we are all so aghast and upset about something that has absolutely nothing to do with any damn thing except . . . a critic's scores. lol. I mean it's absolutely hilarious.

I would subscribe to Vinous and pay double what Galloni charges even if he didn't give any scores at all. The content and description and coverage and insight is top notch, first rate, really cool stuff and I really like it. And tbh, you can't really get it anywhere else.

I'll quit talking about how silly this all is now I guess and stay out of it from now on and just let you guys all continue to get more and more worked up about it.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#323 Post by Chris Crutchfield »

Randy C wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:19 pm I swear 75% of the comments on this whole website are about how we are all too damn sophisticated to ever care about what scores critics post and we are all so above that and who cares what critics think because I have my own special palate, etc. And then this comes up and now we are all so aghast and upset about something that has absolutely nothing to do with any damn thing except . . . a critic's scores. lol. I mean it's absolutely hilarious.

I would subscribe to Vinous and pay double what Galloni charges even if he didn't give any scores at all. The content and description and coverage and insight is top notch, first rate, really cool stuff and I really like it. And tbh, you can't really get it anywhere else.

I'll quit talking about how silly this all is now I guess and stay out of it from now on and just let you guys all continue to get more and more worked up about it.
Critic scores determine prices. We may try to ignore scores but how are you going to ignore prices?

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#324 Post by Steve Long »

DanielP wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:12 pm
Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 7:02 pm
CraigT wrote: April 28th, 2021, 4:28 pm

Well. Since I would get the review at the same time. I can search Wine Searcher quickly before everybody raised their prices. It gave me about 1 day lead time before everybody jacked up their prices. champagne.gif
Well you have a potential career in electronic trading!

I’m just wondering how this will change. The people who pay for this are not going to be buying at retail. The retail store that was a day late in the past is also not going to be paying for the 2 day advantage. The place this matters is just well before it hits the consumer. I just don’t see why this is a big deal.
Prices only go up when it comes to scores. If pricing "optimization" moves farther up the chain, that means higher prices for consumers across all retail channels that buy from that distributor rather than in the past where price increases occurred at the individual retailer level
But this assume 100% of inventory is currently offered at the market. This is clearly not the case, it’s probably closer to 5% when we talk about the wines like higher end Bordeaux.

The US market seeks different in that it’s typically offered by allocation and these wines are both fixed in price and allotment at the time of offer. Library releases are well after the scores are in the public domaine and then this would not longer matter.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#325 Post by Rodrigo B »

Chris Crutchfield wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:27 pm
Randy C wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:19 pm I swear 75% of the comments on this whole website are about how we are all too damn sophisticated to ever care about what scores critics post and we are all so above that and who cares what critics think because I have my own special palate, etc. And then this comes up and now we are all so aghast and upset about something that has absolutely nothing to do with any damn thing except . . . a critic's scores. lol. I mean it's absolutely hilarious.

I would subscribe to Vinous and pay double what Galloni charges even if he didn't give any scores at all. The content and description and coverage and insight is top notch, first rate, really cool stuff and I really like it. And tbh, you can't really get it anywhere else.

I'll quit talking about how silly this all is now I guess and stay out of it from now on and just let you guys all continue to get more and more worked up about it.
Critic scores determine prices. We may try to ignore scores but how are you going to ignore prices?
Before this change it was a small subset of consumers that were able to acquire new high scoring wines at their pre-Vinous score price prior to adjustments. For the vast majority of consumers, they paid the adjusted price given the high score.

The question is really how much this change will affect consumer prices going forward, if any. I think there’s a good chance that it won’t change by how much the prices will rise. That $80 at retail wine that got 99pt or 100pt that jumped in price to $150 before is still going to be adjusted to $150 at retail. What will change is who alongside the supply chain (retailers, distributors, importers, etc) will benefit financially from it.

That doesn’t mean that this new service still can’t be harmful. Smaller players who can’t bear the financial cost will lose out and it creates an uneven playing field for sellers of wine where the larger players able to bear the cost benefit more. And there’s also something to be said about how the new policy sits with Vinous subscribers in light of Vinous’ ethos of being a “consumer-first” publication. All valid points. But I don’t think this will affect the adjusted retail prices that consumers pay when a wine gets a high score from a publication.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#326 Post by Chris Crutchfield »

Rodrigo B wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:43 pm Before this change it was a small subset of consumers that were able to acquire new high scoring wines at their pre-Vinous score price prior to adjustments. For the vast majority of consumers, they paid the adjusted price given the high score.

The question is really how much this change will affect consumer prices going forward, if any. I think there’s a good chance that it won’t change by how much the prices will rise. That $80 at retail wine that got 99pt or 100pt that jumped in price to $150 before is still going to be adjusted to $150 at retail. What will change is who alongside the supply chain (retailers, distributors, importers, etc) will benefit financially from it.

That doesn’t mean that this new service still can’t be harmful. Smaller players who can’t bear the financial cost will lose out and it creates an uneven playing field for sellers of wine where the larger players able to bear the cost benefit more. And there’s also something to be said about how the new policy sits with Vinous subscribers in light of Vinous’ ethos of being a “consumer-first” publication. All valid points. But I don’t think this will affect the adjusted retail prices that consumers pay when a wine gets a high score from a publication.
There may be winners and losers along the supply chain as a result of this information asymmetry, but I guarantee that the ultimate loser will be the end consumer. Winners will pocket the profit, and losers will pass the increased costs along.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#327 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Randy C wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:19 pm I swear 75% of the comments on this whole website are about how we are all too damn sophisticated to ever care about what scores critics post and we are all so above that and who cares what critics think because I have my own special palate, etc. And then this comes up and now we are all so aghast and upset about something that has absolutely nothing to do with any damn thing except . . . a critic's scores. lol. I mean it's absolutely hilarious.

I would subscribe to Vinous and pay double what Galloni charges even if he didn't give any scores at all. The content and description and coverage and insight is top notch, first rate, really cool stuff and I really like it. And tbh, you can't really get it anywhere else.

I'll quit talking about how silly this all is now I guess and stay out of it from now on and just let you guys all continue to get more and more worked up about it.
You have a fair post, but I think most of the emotion here is not about the score, but the price of the wine after the score comes out, and what kind of looks like insider trading regarding the scores that will change the price.

Also, in Jorgen’s transcript of AG’s comments on Vinous he specified that consumers were subsidizing the industry through their subscriptions(unless I read that incorrectly) and that he feels the new pay to play(or to know) fees will help balance that out. If you feel that content is worth double the current fee to consumers(no snark at all here, just working from your post), then it would be great if you could comment on that on the Vinous forum. I tend to agree with you, that Vinous content is mostly great(I could do with less retrospectives of Grand Old Estates but that’s a totally selfish motivation). Input on value gained and what you would really be willing to pay, helps immensely, it may also help AG push up the subscription price instead of looking to sell VIP tickets to trade and industry.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#328 Post by Rodrigo B »

Chris Crutchfield wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:49 pm
Rodrigo B wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:43 pm Before this change it was a small subset of consumers that were able to acquire new high scoring wines at their pre-Vinous score price prior to adjustments. For the vast majority of consumers, they paid the adjusted price given the high score.

The question is really how much this change will affect consumer prices going forward, if any. I think there’s a good chance that it won’t change by how much the prices will rise. That $80 at retail wine that got 99pt or 100pt that jumped in price to $150 before is still going to be adjusted to $150 at retail. What will change is who alongside the supply chain (retailers, distributors, importers, etc) will benefit financially from it.

That doesn’t mean that this new service still can’t be harmful. Smaller players who can’t bear the financial cost will lose out and it creates an uneven playing field for sellers of wine where the larger players able to bear the cost benefit more. And there’s also something to be said about how the new policy sits with Vinous subscribers in light of Vinous’ ethos of being a “consumer-first” publication. All valid points. But I don’t think this will affect the adjusted retail prices that consumers pay when a wine gets a high score from a publication.
There may be winners and losers along the supply chain as a result of this information asymmetry, but I guarantee that the ultimate loser will be the end consumer. Winners will pocket the profit, and losers will pass the increased costs along.
That $80 wine that was adjusted to $150 when the scores are released all at once is still going to be adjusted to $150 under the early preview program. There’s an upper bound on how much much a consumer is willing to pay for a high scoring wine. It varies from producer to producer, region to region, and many other factors, but there is an upper threshold. If the retailer could have sold that high scoring wine before for $200 before, it would have opted to do so, but market conditions may not allow such. The consumer demand front won’t change and the ultimate final adjusted price consumers pay once the scores are known is also unlikely to change as a result. What changes is who alongside the sell side supply chan profits on the spread.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#329 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Chris Crutchfield wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:49 pm
Rodrigo B wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:43 pm Before this change it was a small subset of consumers that were able to acquire new high scoring wines at their pre-Vinous score price prior to adjustments. For the vast majority of consumers, they paid the adjusted price given the high score.

The question is really how much this change will affect consumer prices going forward, if any. I think there’s a good chance that it won’t change by how much the prices will rise. That $80 at retail wine that got 99pt or 100pt that jumped in price to $150 before is still going to be adjusted to $150 at retail. What will change is who alongside the supply chain (retailers, distributors, importers, etc) will benefit financially from it.

That doesn’t mean that this new service still can’t be harmful. Smaller players who can’t bear the financial cost will lose out and it creates an uneven playing field for sellers of wine where the larger players able to bear the cost benefit more. And there’s also something to be said about how the new policy sits with Vinous subscribers in light of Vinous’ ethos of being a “consumer-first” publication. All valid points. But I don’t think this will affect the adjusted retail prices that consumers pay when a wine gets a high score from a publication.
There may be winners and losers along the supply chain as a result of this information asymmetry, but I guarantee that the ultimate loser will be the end consumer. Winners will pocket the profit, and losers will pass the increased costs along.
Weirdly, I think that the end consumer is going to pay the same price anyway and this is mostly about client relationships for distributors and wineries.

Every winery has super serious supporters. People that take care of you year in and year out, or people a winery(especially corporate ones) desires to have a relationship with. Those retailers wield real power in the wine world, and when you get a 100 point score and the wine sells out to someone faster on the draw than “El Favorito” wine retailer, El Favorito dials the winery and basically says’ “why the f$&k didn’t I get this wine”. Then they call the distributor and drop a few more F-bombs, and kick them out of the shop. Probably correctly.
If you’re a serious distributor and you do $500,000-1,000,000 with El Favorito every year, then $24,000 annually to not get kicked out is easy math. Especially if that $24,000 also gets you an extra 15% margin on a 100 point wine that you can use to get El Favorito to pick up an extra pallet of Big Vat Red on Special next month.

I feel a bit dirty now...but the math makes sense.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#330 Post by Andy Sc »

Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 2:52 pm

This is a super inefficient market. Valuation is opaque, prices differ from store to store, state to state, transit / storage is inconsistent and all over the place in pricing and quality. Auction charges seem nuts to me.

I have spent my whole life understanding market structure and trading frictions so I am very surprised here.
I think is that’s where you are wrong. The market is not inefficient or super inefficient. And this new feature will make the market even more efficient, as trading ahead of scores (especially on the high end of the quality scale) will get easier for a few trading houses. Especially in Europe and the main Asian market, but yes, probably less so in the US with its stiff regulations in many states. Already today, the Swiss, German or UK market are often empty (at original prices) within 1-2 days if there is a hot wine with a high score because trading houses in London and HK come in and buy up everything. If you’re quick, you can get what you want but giving these trading houses the scores two days earlier will make that harder.

Maybe you don’t see that because in your state are so strict laws that make the market inefficient or maybe because you’re not much interested in the highest end wines anyway, but it’s definitely affecting the market and prices for consumers, that’s why Galloni can price the subscription at this high 24k/y.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#331 Post by Jeff Leve »

Chris Crutchfield wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:27 pm Critic scores determine prices. We may try to ignore scores but how are you going to ignore prices?
Supply and demand determine prices. Scores are only a part of the equation and frankly, after Parker, with fewer and fewer exceptions, they are less of a factor, at least from single sources.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#332 Post by Sean S y d n e y »

Randy C wrote: April 28th, 2021, 8:19 pm I swear 75% of the comments on this whole website are about how we are all too damn sophisticated to ever care about what scores critics post and we are all so above that and who cares what critics think because I have my own special palate, etc. And then this comes up and now we are all so aghast and upset about something that has absolutely nothing to do with any damn thing except . . . a critic's scores. lol. I mean it's absolutely hilarious.

I would subscribe to Vinous and pay double what Galloni charges even if he didn't give any scores at all. The content and description and coverage and insight is top notch, first rate, really cool stuff and I really like it. And tbh, you can't really get it anywhere else.

I'll quit talking about how silly this all is now I guess and stay out of it from now on and just let you guys all continue to get more and more worked up about it.
For all this talk about money, Galloni is lucky to have someone carrying his water for free (or less than, seeing as you're paying for the privilege).
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#333 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Andy Sc wrote: April 28th, 2021, 10:09 pm
Steve Long wrote: April 28th, 2021, 2:52 pm

This is a super inefficient market. Valuation is opaque, prices differ from store to store, state to state, transit / storage is inconsistent and all over the place in pricing and quality. Auction charges seem nuts to me.

I have spent my whole life understanding market structure and trading frictions so I am very surprised here.
I think is that’s where you are wrong. The market is not inefficient or super inefficient. And this new feature will make the market even more efficient, as trading ahead of scores (especially on the high end of the quality scale) will get easier for a few trading houses. Especially in Europe and the main Asian market, but yes, probably less so in the US with its stiff regulations in many states. Already today, the Swiss, German or UK market are often empty (at original prices) within 1-2 days if there is a hot wine with a high score because trading houses in London and HK come in and buy up everything. If you’re quick, you can get what you want but giving these trading houses the scores two days earlier will make that harder.

Maybe you don’t see that because in your state are so strict laws that make the market inefficient or maybe because you’re not much interested in the highest end wines anyway, but it’s definitely affecting the market and prices for consumers, that’s why Galloni can price the subscription at this high 24k/y.
That seems like a savvy post.

The US would see also see a lesser impact on the market because US importers work on higher margins, so pre-score pricing would be lower in Europe than in the US.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#334 Post by Chris Crutchfield »

Jeff Leve wrote: April 28th, 2021, 10:29 pm
Chris Crutchfield wrote: April 28th, 2021, 9:27 pm Critic scores determine prices. We may try to ignore scores but how are you going to ignore prices?
Supply and demand determine prices. Scores are only a part of the equation and frankly, after Parker, with fewer and fewer exceptions, they are less of a factor, at least from single sources.
What do you think determines demand?

Yes, I agree that there is less of a monoculture of wine critics these days, but it's unrealistic to suggest that critic scores in aggregate are uncorrelated with prices.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#335 Post by HenryB »

I could be remembering this incorrectly, but Jeff wasnt it you who called a recent vintage of Carmes Haut Brion incredible and then the prices started moving quite aggressively before other critics got on board? Apologies if my memory fails me, I didnt get into CHB until a few vintages later.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#336 Post by R. Frankel »

Marcus (and everyone else!), thanks for all the responses. I appreciate the less worried tone about the impact of this new data product on wineries like yours. And I think you're probably right - it's not a huge deal.

My POV is that this particular change is a fairly small one - another little delta in the balance of power in the wine industry, tilting more and more towards the bigger players who can afford these fees and can afford to act on them. But it still is a move in that direction, and representative of lots of little tilts towards strengthening big players. This is made even worse by the fact that it's coming from a source that also claims to be so consumer-centric, and legitimately does put a lot of energy into championing small, relatively unknown, craft wine makers.

(Climbs up on soapbox) Unfettered capitalism, unconstrained by a driving sense of fairness to balance the drive for profits, has a strong tendency to consolidate power in the biggest players. Access to data/capital to act on that data accentuates these tendencies. Problematic in many industries. In the wine world, in which so many small producers/companies are doing marvelous things, it worries me that the best and brightest may end up having a rougher time of it because the big and powerful squeeze them for margins. Hmm, sounds familiar ...
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#337 Post by Andy Sc »

HenryB wrote: April 28th, 2021, 11:18 pm I could be remembering this incorrectly, but Jeff wasnt it you who called a recent vintage of Carmes Haut Brion incredible and then the prices started moving quite aggressively before other critics got on board? Apologies if my memory fails me, I didnt get into CHB until a few vintages later.
I think the frenzy started with Quarin's 100 pts score for the 2016 (before anyother score was published) - same is true with Quarin's 100 pts score for the Calon Segur. He might not be followed that widely but such scores for lower pirced wines have impact outside his reach.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#338 Post by davidlown »

As time passes and I think about it I really don’t see the major impact gallonis program will have. You need to look at the details by region.

- Bordeaux - you can’t tell me galloni highly influences this market where there has to be 10 critics and all the Europeans who go to en primeur who release scores. Whoever scores first gives inputs for everyone. Also let’s remember that most of these super seconds and 3rds have increased over the last 5 years and that that run of pricing is done too. I doubt galloni makes a big impact at all, especially with stores receiving 48 hour notice.

Burgundy- I don’t think critics scores fluctuate a lot and this ship has sailed on producers pricing. Burgundy pricing is all about vintage, crop size etc and galloni doesn’t influence. Also critics go to the same houses and under the radar producers usually comes from an underground swell then from critics. I think galloni influences pricing here even less than Bordeaux.

Barolo - probably makes the biggest impact. But over the last five years galloni has probably averaged 2 wines a year that jump up tremendously because of him. I have a feeling galloni will launch fewer wineries into the next level over the next 5 years than the past 5 years. But seriously galloni probably only majorly affects 2-3 wines a year and why in the world would a 48 hour preview be worth 2-3 wines a year.

American wines - probably closer to my story above about barolo than my viewpoint on Bordeaux or burgundy. But again a couple new wines a year that jump to the 98-100 point level. Again I think it’s not significant.

All other wine regions. I don’t believe galloni changes the world on these and I don’t see retailers even really caring about all the other wine regions. I watch gallonis northern rhone and Germany closely and those don’t ever show anything dramatically changing and all the other new world areas are basically irrelevant with concerns to the global wine market annual price changes.

So my opinion is that everyone has the right to feel they lost rights and this negatively affects their subscription value. Technically speaking I think people should be concerned but not to the level everyone is complaining, even though people are losing some value and have the right to their opinion. I do think people need to acknowledge the value add galloni gives to the wine industry by having the entrepreneurial risk taking nature to actually trying to make the preeminent all star team providing a one stop shop.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#339 Post by HenryB »

davidlown wrote: April 29th, 2021, 2:15 am As time passes and I think about it I really don’t see the major impact gallonis program will have. You need to look at the details by region.

- Bordeaux - you can’t tell me galloni highly influences this market where there has to be 10 critics and all the Europeans who go to en primeur who release scores. Whoever scores first gives inputs for everyone. Also let’s remember that most of these super seconds and 3rds have increased over the last 5 years and that that run of pricing is done too. I doubt galloni makes a big impact at all, especially with stores receiving 48 hour notice.

Burgundy- I don’t think critics scores fluctuate a lot and this ship has sailed on producers pricing. Burgundy pricing is all about vintage, crop size etc and galloni doesn’t influence. Also critics go to the same houses and under the radar producers usually comes from an underground swell then from critics. I think galloni influences pricing here even less than Bordeaux.

Barolo - probably makes the biggest impact. But over the last five years galloni has probably averaged 2 wines a year that jump up tremendously because of him. I have a feeling galloni will launch fewer wineries into the next level over the next 5 years than the past 5 years. But seriously galloni probably only majorly affects 2-3 wines a year and why in the world would a 48 hour preview be worth 2-3 wines a year.

American wines - probably closer to my story above about barolo than my viewpoint on Bordeaux or burgundy. But again a couple new wines a year that jump to the 98-100 point level. Again I think it’s not significant.

All other wine regions. I don’t believe galloni changes the world on these and I don’t see retailers even really caring about all the other wine regions. I watch gallonis northern rhone and Germany closely and those don’t ever show anything dramatically changing and all the other new world areas are basically irrelevant with concerns to the global wine market annual price changes.

So my opinion is that everyone has the right to feel they lost rights and this negatively affects their subscription value. Technically speaking I think people should be concerned but not to the level everyone is complaining, even though people are losing some value and have the right to their opinion. I do think people need to acknowledge the value add galloni gives to the wine industry by having the entrepreneurial risk taking nature to actually trying to make the preeminent all star team providing a one stop shop.

I cant see how this potentially impacts en primeur - simply because all critics scored are released ahead of EP (typically) anyway.


But in-bottle up-scoring can impact any region, ultimately. Neal Martin's scores DO drive Bordeaux, and you only need to look at the Vinous reviews of last month to see the impact of that (33% increase in the price of Palmer 18).

Which comes to the point - people were still able, when the scores first came out, to buy Palmer 18 near the EP price.

If you'd been clued in to the up-scoring of Palmer, you'd pull yours off the market, and either re-price or see where the price settled before offering to sell again. Hell, you might even go and buy palmer from other merchants, knowing you'd be able to flip it for profit.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#340 Post by davidlown »

I don’t think Neal Martin drives markets like your thinking. Yes over the last ten years he probably educated people on 10-20 wines but pomerol has now been fully found. I do think Neal Martin is an awesome critic to read about the wines but he is just a drop of water in the ocean on why Bordeaux pricing on a given year is what it is.

Regarding Palmer again if everyone wants to name the same ten wines I agree galloni does effect pricing and there will be 2-10 wines a year that hurts subscribers. But more importantly is that getting those 2-10 wines is harder than ever anyway. I can tell you personally in the last year I have wondered a few times whether wine searcher alerts are broken as I never get the unicorns anymore.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#341 Post by HenryB »

I dont think anyone drives pricing like Parker used to, but of all the critics, Neal Martin is probably the one that does most tbh. It's not so much about being the expert on a specific wine, but rather, particularly exceptional scores for wines. Like I said, Palmer 18 is a great example.

EP it was under £1500/6, and it's been pretty steady there until last month, when 4 new critics scores came out. They were 98 points Suckling (EP 94/95), 98 LPB (EP 97-99), NM 100 (EP 94-96), AG 100 (EP 95-98).

It's now trading more like £2100/6 at the cheapest reputable UK merchant. (See here as example of price increase https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/palm ... ce/2018#t4 )

I think we can all admit that Suckling doesnt drive pricing, LPB's score is in line with her EP scores, so its the two Vinous scores which have driven the pricing in that case there.



As I said, IIRC, when those reviews first came out, it was still possible to buy Palmer18 at or about the EP price. Had you known that two 100 point reviews were about to come out of Vinous, I believe even one comparing it to 1947 Cheval Blanc, what's the logical (profitability-focused) action to do? Hold stock back, wait to see where the market settled, or even buy more from your competititors who aren't clued up.


That's something I'm sure someone would pay $2k for. If you had 6 cases of 2018 Palmer in stock, you'd already pay for the subscription fee for that month by making that price adjustment.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#342 Post by Jim Brennan »

R. Frankel wrote: April 28th, 2021, 11:22 pm Marcus (and everyone else!), thanks for all the responses. I appreciate the less worried tone about the impact of this new data product on wineries like yours. And I think you're probably right - it's not a huge deal.

My POV is that this particular change is a fairly small one - another little delta in the balance of power in the wine industry, tilting more and more towards the bigger players who can afford these fees and can afford to act on them. But it still is a move in that direction, and representative of lots of little tilts towards strengthening big players. This is made even worse by the fact that it's coming from a source that also claims to be so consumer-centric, and legitimately does put a lot of energy into championing small, relatively unknown, craft wine makers.

(Climbs up on soapbox) Unfettered capitalism, unconstrained by a driving sense of fairness to balance the drive for profits, has a strong tendency to consolidate power in the biggest players. Access to data/capital to act on that data accentuates these tendencies. Problematic in many industries. In the wine world, in which so many small producers/companies are doing marvelous things, it worries me that the best and brightest may end up having a rougher time of it because the big and powerful squeeze them for margins. Hmm, sounds familiar ...
And to all the people claiming how few subscribers there will be, you can certainly count any sizable importer/distributor amongst their number. If Vinuous' wine reports are found to have a measurable impact, you can be certain that (like large retailers), they are going to sign up to ensure they're not at a competitive disadvantage or leaving money on the table. Consequently, they're going to want to subscribe in order to rapidly reprice what they have and potentially project the potential impact of scores on what they have on order / inbound and how they should price. For product that isn't spoken for, they could even proactively make deals with retailers for allocations (leveraging those price projections). Ultimately, this is just another avenue for the middlemen to line their pockets. Zero consumer value.

Having said all of that, I've not subscribed to any critic / newsletter in at least 5 years, and probably more like 8 years. There's so much good info on WB, blogs, somms on Instagram, podcasts, etc, I really don't see any value in needing to subscribe to a paid newsletter. Perhaps I'm overgeneralizing, but the thought occurred to me that perhaps this may realistically be the only way forward for critics, as the internet has so democratized the ability of people with wine knowledge to publish (and so many different critics exist offering paid subscriptions), that they simply cannot sustain their business model on consumer subscribers alone.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#343 Post by HenryB »

Jim Brennan wrote: April 29th, 2021, 5:02 am
R. Frankel wrote: April 28th, 2021, 11:22 pm Marcus (and everyone else!), thanks for all the responses. I appreciate the less worried tone about the impact of this new data product on wineries like yours. And I think you're probably right - it's not a huge deal.

My POV is that this particular change is a fairly small one - another little delta in the balance of power in the wine industry, tilting more and more towards the bigger players who can afford these fees and can afford to act on them. But it still is a move in that direction, and representative of lots of little tilts towards strengthening big players. This is made even worse by the fact that it's coming from a source that also claims to be so consumer-centric, and legitimately does put a lot of energy into championing small, relatively unknown, craft wine makers.

(Climbs up on soapbox) Unfettered capitalism, unconstrained by a driving sense of fairness to balance the drive for profits, has a strong tendency to consolidate power in the biggest players. Access to data/capital to act on that data accentuates these tendencies. Problematic in many industries. In the wine world, in which so many small producers/companies are doing marvelous things, it worries me that the best and brightest may end up having a rougher time of it because the big and powerful squeeze them for margins. Hmm, sounds familiar ...
And to all the people claiming how few subscribers there will be, you can certainly count any sizable importer/distributor amongst their number. If Vinuous' wine reports are found to have a measurable impact, you can be certain that (like large retailers), they are going to sign up to ensure they're not at a competitive disadvantage or leaving money on the table. Consequently, they're going to want to subscribe in order to rapidly reprice what they have and potentially project the potential impact of scores on what they have on order / inbound and how they should price. For product that isn't spoken for, they could even proactively make deals with retailers for allocations (leveraging those price projections). Ultimately, this is just another avenue for the middlemen to line their pockets. Zero consumer value.
100%. Ian from Zachy's post illustrates this nicely already. 'We will have to do it because our competition do it'.

The only people who wont do this are the smaller merchants who cant afford the risk that $24k/year of subscription doesn't translate to $24k/yr of uplifted revenue for whatever reason.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#344 Post by G. D y e r »

Not much to add at this point, though my thoughts are as follows.
  • Galloni has a background in finance, it's not a huge surprise that he would look to leverage a previously untapped revenue stream.
  • Vinous tasting notes end up shared for free by retailers--if I search for a wine that Vinous has reviewed, the note/score will be posted with that wine. On some level I sympathize that Galloni would want a better way to monetize Vinous notes/scores that retailers, distributors and importers use for marketing quite cheaply (free even?) currently. The new feature is sort of like an institutional vs an individual subscription, with an added feature to entice the institutional subscribers.
  • It seems that there are two groups that would want to take advantage of this new data feature:
  1. Large importers, distributors and retailers where even a several $ price difference on thousands of cases justifies the subscription cost if they can leverage a 2-day window of information asymmetry
  2. Wine investors and traders who can leverage the information asymmetry to either speculate upon or short investment-grade wines
The first point ultimately impacts who makes the profit on a new score, but I doubt this will impact the clearing price for the vast majority of wines. The second point is more concerning, since it continues the evolution of finished wine into a commodity like frozen orange juice futures. While I'm sure there is already cynical trading behavior like short selling taking place based on vintage and producer news, this move further gamifies the wine market.
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In that way, he is like cornerback Darrelle Revis, deserving of his own island, Mangold Island, if you will. “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.”

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#345 Post by Mark Golodetz »

I am annoyed by this but don’t care very much as it won’t have much impact on my buying. That being said, I signed for a year having the same access as anybody else, and in mid year am suddenly relegated to a lower class. I think Antonio should give subscribers an extra month, and then on renewal they will know where they stand.
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#346 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

R. Frankel wrote: April 28th, 2021, 11:22 pm Marcus (and everyone else!), thanks for all the responses. I appreciate the less worried tone about the impact of this new data product on wineries like yours. And I think you're probably right - it's not a huge deal.

My POV is that this particular change is a fairly small one - another little delta in the balance of power in the wine industry, tilting more and more towards the bigger players who can afford these fees and can afford to act on them. But it still is a move in that direction, and representative of lots of little tilts towards strengthening big players. This is made even worse by the fact that it's coming from a source that also claims to be so consumer-centric, and legitimately does put a lot of energy into championing small, relatively unknown, craft wine makers.

(Climbs up on soapbox) Unfettered capitalism, unconstrained by a driving sense of fairness to balance the drive for profits, has a strong tendency to consolidate power in the biggest players. Access to data/capital to act on that data accentuates these tendencies. Problematic in many industries. In the wine world, in which so many small producers/companies are doing marvelous things, it worries me that the best and brightest may end up having a rougher time of it because the big and powerful squeeze them for margins. Hmm, sounds familiar ...
There is a lot of truth to what your saying, and reading through a lot of the posts, I would agree that this moves a certain set of wines into more of being a commodity, rather than a passion.

But I kind of feel that score inflation has also limited the reach of insider subscriptions. There is a lot of wine world wide and no shortage of good-great producers who will probably never see a 100 point score. Those wines won’t be affected.

I can say from personal experience that nothing under 95 moves the needle anymore. Way back when, I bought 1992 Peter Michael Les Pavots off the wine shop shelf for $28.99/bottle. A couple of 92 point reviews and a 94 on the 1994 Les Pavots sent pricing up quite a bit. The original Wine Spectator Review on Screagle was 94 points. But those scores are just an affirmation of quality now, and generate no stampedes.

This will, in my opinion, definitely narrow the number of pockets that the profit from increased prices on the top .001% of reviewed wines lands in. And that’s significant money to trading houses, distributors, and major retailers.

But there will be a world of lovely wines out there that will have an opportunity to be purchased at more moderate prices. Baudry, Thevenet, Raffault, Alzinger, Bourdignon, Evesham Wood, Kelley Fox, etc. If one of them gets a perfect score, maybe I won’t be able to afford that producer anymore but that’s life. And Burgundy is still going to be the same. Critics don’t put 100 point scores on lieu dits and village wines, or even 1er Cru for that matter.

This board does a phenomenal job of mitigating the impact if critical review. Not opposing it, but just making sure that information about wines can be archived and searched out. As much as I appreciate Vinous, there’s plenty of content here and if I have a specific wine I want to know about, it’s either posted here or I can ask and board members will help me out.

The commodification of “celebrity” wines sucks, but I hope that it actually pushes people to experiment more broadly. It has done that with my wine buying, and I don’t regret it at all(quite the opposite).
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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#347 Post by Jeff Leve »

G. D y e r wrote: April 29th, 2021, 7:49 am
Vinous tasting notes end up shared for free by retailers--i
I am not sure that is free. I believe the trade pays a higher price to subscribe so they can reproduce the reviews. It is a not a huge premium, but there is a cost involved.

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#348 Post by G. D y e r »

Jeff Leve wrote: April 29th, 2021, 8:59 am
G. D y e r wrote: April 29th, 2021, 7:49 am
Vinous tasting notes end up shared for free by retailers--i
I am not sure that is free. I believe the trade pays a higher price to subscribe so they can reproduce the reviews. It is a not a huge premium, but there is a cost involved.
My reference was more that non-subscribers can access many Vinous reviews for free, due to retailers reproducing them. Though admittedly I was not aware of the existing subscription price differences.
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In that way, he is like cornerback Darrelle Revis, deserving of his own island, Mangold Island, if you will. “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.”

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#349 Post by Steve Long »

Well the good thing is that the Federal Reserve keeps telling us that there is no inflation so we should expect overall prices to remain stable. 😜

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Re: Antonio Galloni launches preview scoring.

#350 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

There's been a lot of focus on how this might affect pricing for the more premium wines, but not much more than a few mentions of lower-tiered wines.

Imagine a $18.99 Chianti gets a score of 94 or 95. That's going to sell like hotcakes. You know what else will sell like hotcakes? That same Chianti priced at $24.99. 6 bucks a bottle, at 12 bottles per case = $72/case. If the retailer has 20 cases to move (not an unreasonable quantity at all, and they could easily have more than that for a high-production wine) that's $72 * 20 = $1,440. 30 cases covers the $2k subscription cost for that month. And that's just one sku. ... then, watch the attempts to make that newly-increased pricing "stick" on subsequent vintages.
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