Vinous worth it - or should I look elsewhere?

I have been considering subscribing to a wine publication site like Vinous, eRobertParker, WineSpectator, etc for a while now.
Never subscribed to any page like this, and reading about Vinous here on the forum made me a bit unsure.

What I am most interested in are articles that go beyond the “tasting note format” of wine articles. What I mean is; short TN’s and points with some text at the beginning that only seems to be a copy+paste from the winery webpage. “Super-exciting minerality and structure, 98 points”…

Which site offers more to the table? And who offers best in-depth articles about vintages/weather, vineyards, viticulture, producers, ect. And more than just “Oh, yes we picked one week earlier than last year”?

I have read that Vinous is heavy on Italy (Or is it just the forums there?) Who is considered to be covering California in a good way?
Do I need to compromise based on my favourite regions? (my guess here is yes)
Hope some of you that either subscribe to Vinous or any other site can give me some tips.

If you want longer form writing plus notes then you want Gilman’s View from the Cellar.

I think Klapp is the expert on this. Give it a shot. There are plenty of European members. It is $120. If after 6 months you don’t like it I am sure AG will give you $60 back.

I agree, but if OP is primarily interested in California, hard to know if it’s worth it. Fits the bill for in-depth writing including seriously detailed profile of producers (one per issue) and regions. And he does cover CA (and his tastes there seem to coincide pretty well with mine), but seems to me there’s a much stronger focus on France and Spain (a real strength - from uber-traditional Rioja to emerging areas). I find his writing mostly wonderful but I could understand some finding it cringe-worthy.

I’d say Vinous brings a fair bit to the table too, particularly since its acquisition of IWC. I haven’t frequented the forum but the coverage is quite broad generally, not unduly Italian. I don’t have a lot of faith these days that AG’s reviews correlate too well with my palate (or his scores with my idea of a reasonable use of a 100 point scale) but these days there’s other reviewers and a fair amount of more general writing, particularly about vintages in specific regions.

My two cents: Spectator online site is pretty worthless, unless you really want to get their scores early. Not a ton of valuable content. I had a short “complimentary” Vinous access, and found it quite good, with a nice variety of reviews and articles. I happen to think $120 for a subscription is too much, if it was $50 I’d probably do it. For my tastes, I have little interest in ebob, the reviewers don’t match up with what I like.

but seems to me there’s a much stronger focus on France and Spain (a real strength - from uber-traditional Rioja to emerging areas).

Chuck - I actually like John personally but he’s not the guy I would go to for info about Spain.

And I’m not sure I would dismiss WS out of hand either. Tom has done some nice pieces on Spain over the past few years and they cover a lot of what’s happening in CA. THe house style keeps them from being ruthless, but they can still convey information.

What are you looking for from/in California coverage? I can tell you that they have enough California coverage to annoy me. Not sure that helps, but it is true.

Doesn’t any California coverage annoy you? [wow.gif]

From a totally US perspective there is the Purely Domestic Wine Report.

If the ratio is 20/1 and California is the 1 I am OK with it. It still annoys me, but the only other number is 0 and people would accuse me of being Anti-California.

I like John Gilman (Burgundy) and Neal Martin (Burgundy and Bordeaux). Need to look for someone on Loire Valley but I just don’t drink and buy enough of Loire wines to justify a subscription. Don’t care about other regions.

You are really looking forward to that earthquake they are predicting, aren’t you.

Thank you all for the helpful comments.

As mentioned in my initial post, more in-depth articles about producers, AVA’s and vintages. Not only the short TN and scores.
Regarding areas of interest in CA in addition to the usual suspects (Napa/Sonoma), is Santa Cruz Mountains.
Mostly all Norwegian wine writers are focused on the European regions and California is neglected, even though the interest for that region is increasing over here. (However, if I choose to subscribe and spend 100$+ it would have to be more than just CA)

It is not just short TNs and scores. There are plenty of articles. Now just how much depth each article has is in the eye of the beholder. A new article is up on Oregon Pinot today. By Josh Raynolds, mostly focused on the 2013 vintage. Hell even Klapp likes Raynolds. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. Since you mentioned California. There are 49 videos(79 for Italy) of/about California. From Draper to Harlan to Lato to Santa Cruz Mtns… well you get the picture. A 13 paragraph article on Ridge Monte Bello with TNs for 12 wines going back to 1969.

If you will look back at Klapp’s insults and constant deriding of Vinous, a good portion of it is that AG is trying to cover too much ground. Knows little about the areas and should delegate to those more well versed and qualified. Now I don’t agree with him on most of this, but my point it that Vinous offers coverage of many other areas.

And for someone that hates California and is looking forward to the quake, I sure have done a lot of business with it.

Ghostwriter PN
Ghostwriter PN Woodruff
Ghostwriter PN Aptos
Knez PN Anderson
Knez PN Chard Demuth
Knez PN Demuth
Knez PN Cerise

Anthill Farms PN Peters
Anthill Farms PN Campbells
Anhilll Farms PN Tina Marie

Lioco PN Laguna
Lioco PN Hirsch

Mount Eden PN Santa Cruz

Luckily I am an Enoteca or I would have sold all the allocations for Virginia, DC and Maryland.

I am actually very surprised that you like Anthill. I find it too candied.

I jumped in on 2013. It is a bit bigger and heavier, but the acidity keeps it moving.

Klapp does not like Raynolds that much. Raynolds wastes at least half of his time with encyclopedic coverage of 85-89-point wines that nobody gives a damn about, and in that regard, he needs an editor almost as badly as Schildknecht does. As it turns out, there ARE no editors in the wonderful world of wine reviewing. If there were, maybe that world would not be such a garbage dump, and instead of trying to be all things to all people (especially the producers, retailers and restauranteurs that are buttering your bread), the focus would be on things that are important to one’s readership, and the important content would be delivered in consistent and timely fashion. And if one looks back at Klapp’s “insults and constant deriding”, one might just find an objective critical analysis of wine reviewers and their rags…

Be careful Bill, lest someone think you are dependent on points to, well, …make a point.

All the time and energy I have wasted on this and arguing with Klapp, I should have just purchased the subscription for you. Just PM or email me your email and I will gift the subscription to you. Do it now and you are reading it in a few days.

Oh, my! This seems like Gary York pointing the pistol at his own head and saying, “Let me give you a free subscription to Vinous or I’ll shoot!” Look, if you want to contribute to the economic well-being of Vinous, just write Antonio a fat check. Or better yet, sign up for next year’s La Festa. There may be a door prize or something for being the only ITBer not comped by a producer or Signor Galloni himself… :slight_smile:

Opened a 2009 Anthill Peters the other night. Fantastic nose, plenty of stuffing/complexity. Completely candied. We could not finish the bottle. We’d had a bottle of 2011 Matello Souris the night before so maybe just palate shock from the extreme contrast?

Was interesting to see yesterdays Envoyer email comparing Anthill (including the 2013 Peters bottling) to Fourrier. Now that’s salesmanship…