Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #51  Postby dbailey » December 5th 2011, 5:45am

José F. Rodríguez wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:What did Jay know about Spanish wines? The guy "needed" a "handler" fer Chrissakes! I don't think one *needs* to "know" the wines of a particular region to accurately review them; does such knowledge help the reviewer in that endeavor? Absolutely. That said, I don't think such knowledge is necessary. Shit, I honestly think *I* could do a better job reviewing wines than Jay Miller, and he surely "knows" more than I. "Knowledge" only gets you so far --- then you have to actually have a palate.


Miller did not know that much about Spanish wines when Parker appointed him back in the fall of 2006. I am no Miller fan neither implied he knew anything about Spain. I was pointing out that Martin does not know that much about Spanish wine and he had shown a strong bias against them. For those reasons I do not feel that Martin is an improvement over Miller.

Regarding knowledge on a region and its grapes, it always helps the reviewer to know about them, espeially if the reviewer is throwing drinkability windows on the wines reviewed. Without that experience the reviewer's drinkability windows are shots in the dark.

The bottom line is that you are paying the reviewer for recomendations based on his experience/expertise not for learning about the region and its wines at your expense.


Where has neal shown a strong bias against spanish wines?
Dan

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #52  Postby Nola Palomar » December 5th 2011, 6:12am

Wow, my head is spinning!
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #53  Postby Tom Lee » December 5th 2011, 7:12am

Humberto Dorta wrote:
Anthony Lombardi wrote:
Humberto Dorta wrote:Good one Whetstone.
Btw sucks to be Quilceda Creek


It shouldn't suck, David seems plenty capable of reviewing their wines in the context of the style in which they are produced. What it means is there can be room at the table for more than one style and producers like Cadence and Seven Hills who make great wines will be on an even playing field.

No doubt. I think this is agood thing for WA. I dont see David handing out 100s and 99s to QC year after year and as it is Qc started turning up at the plcb last year. I think this switch will hurt them considerably. Fwiw i buy their wines, they are very good just not perfection good.


"I think this switch will hurt them considerably."

Care to elaborate on that? What exactly do you envision?

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #54  Postby andy velebil » December 5th 2011, 7:35am

Roy Hersh wrote:I agree with Eric about Squires and Portugal. I know the vast majority of the wines he has been rating and find his scores and assessments are pretty spot on most of the time.

One thing that has not been mentioned, although few of you will give a darn, but Jay Miller also did the 2007 Vintage Port review for TWA. N. Martin has a good feel for Port, but Squires is already going to the country to assess the DOC wines, so he might as well pick up the Ports too. I'd hate to see Port no longer receive the attention of The Wine Advocate.

It's sad that, yet again, the TWA has left Port out in the cold. Seems no one will review it at the moment since no mention was made of who would take that region over. Then again, it isn't really much of a surprise as TWA has done a horrible job in its coverage of one of the oldest demarcated wine regions in the world (Port). They only covered Port in classic declared years and then only just enough to get by. I've never understood why that was....

As for Squires, and as others mentioned, despite what you think of him as a person he's done a pretty darn good job reviewing Portuguese wines.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #55  Postby Richard T r i m p i » December 5th 2011, 7:44am

Eric LeVine wrote:The note they posted eRP was very nice and thoughtful and even rebutted the notion that Jay was stepping down to appease his critics or because of the latest events. Regardless, let's just be classy and let him ride into the sunset. Even if I don't agree with his take on many wines, when I met him earlier this year he was very nice and professional.

Here I very much agree. Never met Dr. Big J, but from most accounts he's a very good guy who tried to be helpful. He simply got in too fast, too far over his head and held out longer than he should have.

Eric LeVine wrote:Squires the person is just an awful, prickly thing who rubs me the wrong way more than most any other creature or object. However his reviews of Portuguese wines are shockingly studious, humble and well done. It's too bad, I think you are right that he would have had an interesting take on Spain.

Here there's diagreement. I've had a handful of dinners with Mark. Prickly, sure, he absolutely can be. Once on the defensive, additional pushing just makes it worse. If you focus on the negative, you'll miss out on the positives. He can be quite interesting, and unusually informative (his wine knowledge is impressive). He has a strong work ethic and can be incredibly generous.

For Spain and South America, Squires would do a capable job. I'm not sure Neil or David are right. A Spanish version of Galloni would be ideal, someone with a thorough understanding of the ropes and the pitfalls.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #56  Postby Ed Murray » December 5th 2011, 8:02am

Schildknecht huh? Excellent! I expect we'll promptly receive the 2010 Oregon Pinot reviews sometime in 2014! [whistle.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #57  Postby Humberto Dorta » December 5th 2011, 8:56am

Tom Lee wrote:
Humberto Dorta wrote:"I think this switch will hurt them considerably."

Care to elaborate on that? What exactly do you envision?

Tom

I started buying QC in 2004. When their cab got 100 in 2001 it started a frenzy that seemed to end after 2005. I remember seeing the 2004 go for $200 on wine commune and that one was scored 99 by TWA is I remember correctly. I also remember Jay saying that 05 was going to be the QC of the century (that is of course paraphrasing) After that the QC furor seemed to die down, even with the continued 99 and 100 scores. You can pick up QC now on WC for less than release at times (I know because I did a few months ago.) QC red is now available on the PLCB website, 4 years ago the idea would have been laughable. And again, this is with the superlative scores that Jay was handing them year in and year out. I cant imagine David will continue with the 99/100 carousel though I do think the wine is well made and deserving of high praise and it will probably get it but I suspect even at 94-96 they will have a problem selling through given the signs the last few years. I guess we'll see.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #58  Postby Eric LeVine » December 5th 2011, 8:59am

The 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 cabs are the ones with 100 points. I think the 2001 was a lowly 99, and the 1999 had 98 as I recall.

QC red has a pretty broad production and historically has been seen in a lot of restaurants. Seeing that on PLCB is not a sign of demise, but the flagship cab at $115 or $125 is a far cry from the 1999 vintage when one could pick it up for $72 with case discount.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #59  Postby Mark Golodetz » December 5th 2011, 9:01am

I get the feeling that Jay's horse will collapse as he rides to the sunset.

Parker's loyalty to Miller has cost him dearly. Just looking objectively at the havoc Jay has wrought:

it has cost his publication and Parker, personally, much of their credibility.

The reviews over many years of several important wine regions are suspect, not just because nobody knows whether there was actual wrongdoing, but Jay's palate, at the best of times, was ...well... suspect.

It destroyed a very good BB, a tremendous source of information from winemakers, consumers, writers etc, which with due respect to what is being done here, will never be equalled.

Hopefully the team he has assembled will learn their respective areas and bring back some of the Advocate's former glory.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #60  Postby M.Kaplan » December 5th 2011, 9:15am

Mark, I agree with everything you wrote, above.

Who is the happiest member of Team Wine Advocate today? I vote for Mark Squires.

Who is the saddest? Pancho Campo, M.W.

Who is now the fattest? Robert Parker.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #61  Postby K John Joseph » December 5th 2011, 9:26am

Jay Miller's "retirement" from Wine Advocate is, by far, the best thing that has happened to the publication in a decade. No critic has, in recent years, done more to hurt Wine Advocate's professional reputation than Jay Miller. Let's be frank. The Wine Advocate remains the most influential critical publication (for wine) on Earth. That said, I do not know a single wine geek that had one shred of confidence in a Jay Miller review. In fact, the majority of Geeks I know intentionally avoided wines with huge scores from Jay Miller. Generally, big scores meant a big, nay, an enormous wine. He, more than Robert Parker, unintentionally discredited numerous wine regions, such as Priorat and Australia, while promoting an atrociously extracted high-alcohol style of wine. As with seemingly everything in Mr. Miller's life, more is more, and less is less.

Personally, I am ecstatic to see Jay Miller leaving the wine advocate. I am excited that an advocate of Burgundy is going to be reviewing Oregon's wines. I am excited that a fresh palate (Neal Martin) will be reviewing wine regions with tremendous potential for complex and balanced mineral driven wines. I am excited that Wine Advocate has transitioned from "aging" palates to more youthful coverage by utilizing the bright and promising talents of Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni. I am also pleased that Wine Advocate shifted responsibilities from an allegedly profit-driven "critic" who refuses to taste blind, to Schildknecht, who carries a reputation for honesty and integrity (and a very good palate and depth of knowledge). I am happy that I can now eagerly anticipate future reviews from Spain, Argentina, Australia, Oregon, and Washington, and that I may actually learn something from articles about those regions and notes from wines tasted therefrom. Like Mr. Golodetz, I am hopeful that "the team [Robert Parker] has assembled will learn their respective areas and bring back some of the Advocate's former glory."

The Wine Advocate could not released better news. I wish Jay Miller the best of luck, and fully intend to keep tabs on his projects like I have with James Suckling: Not at all.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #62  Postby José F. Rodríguez » December 5th 2011, 10:09am

dbailey wrote:
José F. Rodríguez wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:What did Jay know about Spanish wines? The guy "needed" a "handler" fer Chrissakes! I don't think one *needs* to "know" the wines of a particular region to accurately review them; does such knowledge help the reviewer in that endeavor? Absolutely. That said, I don't think such knowledge is necessary. Shit, I honestly think *I* could do a better job reviewing wines than Jay Miller, and he surely "knows" more than I. "Knowledge" only gets you so far --- then you have to actually have a palate.


Miller did not know that much about Spanish wines when Parker appointed him back in the fall of 2006. I am no Miller fan neither implied he knew anything about Spain. I was pointing out that Martin does not know that much about Spanish wine and he had shown a strong bias against them. For those reasons I do not feel that Martin is an improvement over Miller.

Regarding knowledge on a region and its grapes, it always helps the reviewer to know about them, espeially if the reviewer is throwing drinkability windows on the wines reviewed. Without that experience the reviewer's drinkability windows are shots in the dark.

The bottom line is that you are paying the reviewer for recomendations based on his experience/expertise not for learning about the region and its wines at your expense.


Where has neal shown a strong bias against spanish wines?


Dan:

Neal commented on a thread titled "Tempranillo--Past, Present, Future? "on eBob back in 2007:

"I attended a private Spanish tempranillo tasting in December with about 60 wines if I remember. I will report on that later, save to say that in most cases I view it as more of a work-horse grape that works better as a blend rather than a single variety".

There were a few replies to his ignorant statement but Martin did not respond and never came back with a report of the tasting he attended. I guess he has not tried the majority of wines from Ribera Del Duero and Toro which are essentially 100% Tempranillo since their earliest incarnations.

He also started a thread titled "Spanish Wine Travails" on eBob back in April 2009 after attending as a judge at the International Wine Challenge in London and made some disparaging generalization about Spanish wines.

But one think that has concerned me is the number of Spanish wine I have had to send back with faults: TCA, oxidization, sulphide issues etc. Every now again, I come across a blisteringly good Ribera del Duero or Rioja, but if truth be told, the Portuguese flights have been more promising. I mean, seven Riojas with five faulty bottles - that does not bode well.

Of course, I have no idea (yet) of what I am appraising except for a few pointers, but it has made me wonder whether consumers are getting a raw deal, at least towards the lower- to mid-range of the market?


A few folks pointed out his biased comments on Spanish wine and his responses got worse and more defensive throughout the thread.

I just found out that according to the following link he also took another swipe at Spanish wines back in 2006 ("I have never really got under the skin of Spanish wine"). The quote comes from an entry on his Wine Journal blog dated Wednesday 8th of March.

Not a good start for someone that does not know that much of Spanish wines.

SALUDos,
José
Last edited by José F. Rodríguez on December 5th 2011, 10:27am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #63  Postby K John Joseph » December 5th 2011, 10:23am

Frankly at this point I would rather have a fairly uneducated critical skeptic with what I consider a good palate than a guy allegedly receiving a slush fund from Spanish winemakers and regions with a palate convinced that the term "port-like" is an exceptional compliment.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #64  Postby Steve Saxon » December 5th 2011, 10:31am

K John Joseph wrote:Frankly at this point I would rather have a fairly uneducated critical skeptic with what I consider a good palate than a guy allegedly receiving a slush fund from Spanish winemakers and regions with a palate convinced that the term "port-like" is an exceptional compliment.


Personally I wonder why we have or need wine critics at all. I get more and better information from this board and CT than I do reading Parker or anyone else. This current thread is a great example of the power of the internet vs the critics.
http://wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtop ... =1&t=57489
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #65  Postby Robert Alfert, Jr. » December 5th 2011, 10:39am

Steve Saxon wrote:
K John Joseph wrote:Frankly at this point I would rather have a fairly uneducated critical skeptic with what I consider a good palate than a guy allegedly receiving a slush fund from Spanish winemakers and regions with a palate convinced that the term "port-like" is an exceptional compliment.


Personally I wonder why we have or need wine critics at all. I get more and better information from this board and CT than I do reading Parker or anyone else. This current thread is a great example of the power of the internet vs the critics.
http://wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtop ... =1&t=57489


+1

My subscription to WS lapsed in the late '90s and to WA a few years thereafter. While my head still turns at times - yes, a weakness to be sure - on interesting scores, by and large I know the producers I love, the years that are solid and otherwise rely on what I read here and elsewhere. The musical chairs at WA does not help at all. My opinion on Spanish and Australian wine soured 5+ years ago, and I do not have enough of a track-record with the new crew to get my interest engaged again in those regions or even in the WA itself. Parker remains relevant to me only in Bordeaux, and decreasingly so.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #66  Postby Rick Gregory » December 5th 2011, 10:46am

K John Joseph wrote:Frankly at this point I would rather have a fairly uneducated critical skeptic with what I consider a good palate than a guy allegedly receiving a slush fund from Spanish winemakers and regions with a palate convinced that the term "port-like" is an exceptional compliment.

But, of course, those aren't the two choices. nor is either of those really a good choice.

Critics give one an overview of the releases from a region AT release. This board and blogs etc don't do that in general. A critic can also bring to our attention new producers or producers who are coming back from an off spell. Before people talk about how much this board does that... yes, to a degree. But like anywhere, WB has its darlings that probably get more of they hype than they deserve. The eBob board did the same thing (Kosta Browne anyone?). Don't think that we or any group avoids groupthink... I remember a few months ago when French posted a highly critical note of, IIRC, a Carlisle Syrah. Some people reacted savagely because it's CARLISLE. It MUST be good. Do not make the mistake that boards don't engage in mob opinion... they certainly can.

Ultimately, critics are useful if they have good palates, approach the wines with a knowledge of the region but without preconceptions of what's good and can convey their impressions in tasting notes. It's not their fault that readers have over-relied on them and their score in the past. That's on the readers.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #67  Postby Victor Hong » December 5th 2011, 10:55am

Rick Gregory wrote:.............

Ultimately, critics are useful if they have good palates, approach the wines with a knowledge of the region but without preconceptions of what's good and can convey their impressions in tasting notes. It's not their fault that readers have over-relied on them and their score in the past. That's on the readers.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #68  Postby K John Joseph » December 5th 2011, 10:57am

Rick Gregory wrote:
K John Joseph wrote:Frankly at this point I would rather have a fairly uneducated critical skeptic with what I consider a good palate than a guy allegedly receiving a slush fund from Spanish winemakers and regions with a palate convinced that the term "port-like" is an exceptional compliment.

But, of course, those aren't the two choices. nor is either of those really a good choice.

Critics give one an overview of the releases from a region AT release. This board and blogs etc don't do that in general. A critic can also bring to our attention new producers or producers who are coming back from an off spell. Before people talk about how much this board does that... yes, to a degree. But like anywhere, WB has its darlings that probably get more of they hype than they deserve. The eBob board did the same thing (Kosta Browne anyone?). Don't think that we or any group avoids groupthink... I remember a few months ago when French posted a highly critical note of, IIRC, a Carlisle Syrah. Some people reacted savagely because it's CARLISLE. It MUST be good. Do not make the mistake that boards don't engage in mob opinion... they certainly can.

Ultimately, critics are useful if they have good palates, approach the wines with a knowledge of the region but without preconceptions of what's good and can convey their impressions in tasting notes. It's not their fault that readers have over-relied on them and their score in the past. That's on the readers.


Fair enough. I certainly agree with your Groupthink comment, and that there are wines pimped on this site that get far more credit than they deserve. Some get way, way more. Still this site does provide a ton of notes and opinions on wine. That's what people look for in a critic. Education and/or guidance. I am happy to have a great palate reviewing wines. I like Neal's palate, for the most part. Like any critic, though, I will withhold my opinion and reliance until I have a decent body of work to look at and compare notes with. Until then, I will read elsewhere, buys a few wines, and compare notes. When push comes to shove, I'll take my palate and preferences over someone telling me what is good anyway.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #69  Postby Rick Gregory » December 5th 2011, 11:13am

To me, this board doesn't replace critics and critics don't do what this board does. Communities like this complement critics. A critic should give an informed, consistent overview of the new wines from a region.* WB and other communities are diverse and can surface a lot of cool things and are great places to ask for feedback on things (see my recent "pick 3 French red producers" thread for example). They are also a source of notes on wines that are older and not just released, something that critics aside from Gilman don't do.

*My one worry about DS is that his reviews won't be timely and thus won't be useful to the consumer or the wineries.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #70  Postby Bruce Leiser_owitz » December 5th 2011, 11:25am

Well, Dr. Big J lost almost all credibility with me over the infamous Sierra Carche debacle (you can google it if you don't already know). Besides the fact that he sat on the defective wine issue for months, when he did acknowledge the problem, he immediately rushed to the defense of the importer.

In my mind, this is one of the major risks you get when you bring in someone to the wine criticism field who has been ITB. If you're been selling wine for years--at whatever level--you've built up a large number of friendships, including possibly a large number of chits or markers. Folks ITB may have an exceedingly difficult time stepping back and approaching the job of a wine critic from a more objective/neutral perspective.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #71  Postby billnanson » December 5th 2011, 11:26am

José F. Rodríguez wrote:
Neal Martin wrote:But one think that has concerned me is the number of Spanish wine I have had to send back with faults: TCA, oxidization, sulphide issues etc. Every now again, I come across a blisteringly good Ribera del Duero or Rioja, but if truth be told, the Portuguese flights have been more promising. I mean, seven Riojas with five faulty bottles - that does not bode well.


A few folks pointed out his biased comments on Spanish wine and his responses got worse and more defensive throughout the thread.

Not a good start for someone that does not know that much of Spanish wines.

SALUDos,
José

Well José, I'm quite sure that Neal can and will defend himself - though perhaps not here!
But as I read your particular quote above, there is nothing to do with bias, it's about observation, a fault is a fault and it has nothing to do with the region - unless they really do have a problem. I expect it will have been down to bad luck, my own personal record has never stretched past 3 corked bottles in a row, but I've never won elGordo either ;-)
Whilst it might be unfair to generalise or extrapolate based on a few bottles, are you saying he shouldn't even write about his experiences? If he has a small and bad sample he can think what he likes until he does more extensive research. I find him objective and with an amazing background of fabulous bottles - to the extent that I suspect there will be very few 100 point wines in the future - is that also bias?
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #72  Postby José F. Rodríguez » December 5th 2011, 11:42am

billnanson wrote:Well José, I'm quite sure that Neal can and will defend himself - though perhaps not here!
But as I read your particular quote above, there is nothing to do with bias, it's about observation, a fault is a fault and it has nothing to do with the region - unless they really do have a problem. I expect it will have been down to bad luck, my own personal record has never stretched past 3 corked bottles in a row, but I've never won elGordo either ;-)
Whilst it might be unfair to generalise or extrapolate based on a few bottles, are you saying he shouldn't even write about his experiences? If he has a small and bad sample he can think what he likes until he does more extensive research. I find him objective and with an amazing background of fabulous bottles - to the extent that I suspect there will be very few 100 point wines in the future - is that also bias?
Best!
Bill


Bill:

He started the thread and I would have ignored it but he already had made another comment on Spanish wines.

In most wine competitions corked or defective wines do not reach the judges table. Also these competitions usually do not have the top tier wines from any region and making blanket statements on a country based on a few lower level wines is not smart. Any of the comments that I quoted were not that offensive on their own but when a person makes that kind of comments a few times he establishes a pattern.

I do not expect Martin or any critic to stop making comments based on their findings. It is just the way he made them.

SALUDos,
José
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #73  Postby Scott G r u n e r » December 5th 2011, 12:12pm

Steve Saxon wrote:
K John Joseph wrote:Frankly at this point I would rather have a fairly uneducated critical skeptic with what I consider a good palate than a guy allegedly receiving a slush fund from Spanish winemakers and regions with a palate convinced that the term "port-like" is an exceptional compliment.


Personally I wonder why we have or need wine critics at all. I get more and better information from this board and CT than I do reading Parker or anyone else. This current thread is a great example of the power of the internet vs the critics.
http://wineberserkers.com/forum/viewtop ... =1&t=57489


I understand where this is coming from, and don't necessarily disagree, but I also think there is a great deal of "fashion" and chasing the hot wine of the moment with the bulletin board and twitter crowd. Bulletin boards are by no means a balanced view of the wine world.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #74  Postby Richard T r i m p i » December 5th 2011, 12:26pm

David M. Bueker wrote:David Schildknecht is not an expert on Oregon from what I know, but he is far from ignorant on the subject. He provided me some unofficial recommendations that were spot on a few years ago.

Two years ago David was a featured speaker at IPNC, where we briefly met. He was not experienced with Oregon Pinot at that point but seemed genuinely intrigued by what he was exposed to. Excellent man for the job, if he can avoid becoming overly distracted.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #75  Postby Rick Gregory » December 5th 2011, 12:49pm

We'll see, though, how he does in WA. His remit is both, not just Oregon and hopefully not just Pinot in Oregon.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #76  Postby Humberto Dorta » December 5th 2011, 12:59pm

Eric LeVine wrote:The 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 cabs are the ones with 100 points. I think the 2001 was a lowly 99, and the 1999 had 98 as I recall.

QC red has a pretty broad production and historically has been seen in a lot of restaurants. Seeing that on PLCB is not a sign of demise, but the flagship cab at $115 or $125 is a far cry from the 1999 vintage when one could pick it up for $72 with case discount.

I stand corrected on the 2001, but it was what started the furor.
The red wine showing up in the plcb is more akin to showing up on a supermarket list than on a wine list. And I misspoke, there are six cases of the 08 QC cab in the plcb system as well (In addition to a whole bunch of QC red) When this winery was at peak, the plcb wouldnt have been allowed to even smell either wine.
Funny thing Eric, I was thinking that the fact that their price has stayed relatively steady might save them. Give any Cali cab the scores QC got over ten years and theyll be asking $2000 a bottle ;)
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #77  Postby C. Bowman » December 5th 2011, 1:10pm

from Eric Asimov

OOPS, sorry. messed up link. *dleleted*
Last edited by C. Bowman on December 5th 2011, 5:13pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #78  Postby Roy Hersh » December 5th 2011, 1:19pm

Humberto,

Long before you discovered Quilceda Creek there were lots of people well endowed with QC in their cellars. I am not a big fan sylistically, but for example the 1994 is a killer wine and what many QC fans looked at, as one of their all-time greats. 2001 may have been the epiphany for you, but plenty of wine lovers around the country were aware of them long before that. 2002 was the first vintage to go viral though with the big RP score. I bought QC for the first and only time that year, because it is the birth year of my daughter and bought lots of different 2002's for that reason. In these parts, I remember great debates and tastings early on which was the better vintage, 1998 or 1999. RP may have made QC far more popular than it ever had been, but it was no sleepy little discovery of his with the 2002 vintage. He had been covering QC long before that too.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #79  Postby Ed Murray » December 5th 2011, 1:24pm

Roy Hersh wrote:Humberto,

Long before you discovered Quilceda Creek there were lots of people well endowed with QC in their cellars. I am not a big fan sylistically, but for example the 1994 is a killer wine and what many QC fans looked at, as one of their all-time greats. 2001 may have been the epiphany for you, but plenty of wine lovers around the country were aware of them long before that.


And a lot of those people are now dumping it... especially if they can convince someone to traded them some stuff from across the pond! [stirthepothal.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #80  Postby Eric LeVine » December 5th 2011, 1:25pm

C. Bowman wrote:from Eric Asimov

http://t.co/xHfpdK3z

I think this is the link you meant to post: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... -payments/
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #81  Postby Sean Moore » December 5th 2011, 1:28pm

The 2001 QC scored a mere 98 in the Wine Advocate. (Incidentally, for those of you who dislike "Parkerized" wines, but don't mind "Tanzerized" ones, it scored a 95 in IWC.)
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #82  Postby Kris Patten » December 5th 2011, 1:38pm

Humberto,

Doesn't a wine have to be sold to the PLCB to be purchased by a restaurant in PA to put on a wine list?

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #83  Postby Rick Gregory » December 5th 2011, 1:41pm

and here we are, focusing on QC.... /sigh.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #84  Postby Cris Whetstone » December 5th 2011, 1:46pm

Rick Gregory wrote:and here we are, focusing on QC.... /sigh.

Jay Miller's legacy will never be questioned.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #85  Postby Kris Patten » December 5th 2011, 1:49pm

Rick Gregory wrote:and here we are, focusing on QC.... /sigh.


Frankly, I am looking forward to some fresh reviews, and some other wines in the State getting a fairer shake based on their style and vintage. Not everything needs to taste like QC, but am glad that they at least got a spotlight on this little place called WA. Cadence, Ross Andrew, Bookwalter, Alexandria Nicole, and so many others here who deserve to be looked at independently and evaluated that way, not looked at as "not like QC adn hence not as good."
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #86  Postby Humberto Dorta » December 5th 2011, 1:52pm

Roy Hersh wrote:Humberto,

Long before you discovered Quilceda Creek there were lots of people well endowed with QC in their cellars. I am not a big fan sylistically, but for example the 1994 is a killer wine and what many QC fans looked at, as one of their all-time greats. 2001 may have been the epiphany for you, but plenty of wine lovers around the country were aware of them long before that. 2002 was the first vintage to go viral though with the big RP score. I bought QC for the first and only time that year, because it is the birth year of my daughter and bought lots of different 2002's for that reason. In these parts, I remember great debates and tastings early on which was the better vintage, 1998 or 1999. RP may have made QC far more popular than it ever had been, but it was no sleepy little discovery of his with the 2002 vintage. He had been covering QC long before that too.

I know Roy, Im not talking about me, Im talking about precisely when it went viral and a waitlist ensued. It coincides with when I started collecting wines but that wasnt my point. The wine got these huge points and all kinds of point chasing ensued. But even with the high points it cooled down in the last few years. I suspect that if the points go down, and I think they will, QC will have a hard time moving their wines. 2001 btw, was no epiphany for me. Ive liked and bought the wines since I had the 2001, but never really have an AHA this is why the scores are so high moment.
From what Ive read over the years a lot of those people who were buying QC prior to 2000 note a stylistic change and many have commented that they stopped buying the wnie anyway because of it.
FWIW I hope Im wrong and they continue to sell out without a problem, I like the wine well enough to buy it.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #87  Postby Sean Moore » December 5th 2011, 2:01pm

Kris Patten wrote:Frankly, I am looking forward to some fresh reviews, and some other wines in the State getting a fairer shake based on their style and vintage. Not everything needs to taste like QC, but am glad that they at least got a spotlight on this little place called WA. Cadence, Ross Andrew, Bookwalter, Alexandria Nicole, and so many others here who deserve to be looked at independently and evaluated that way, not looked at as "not like QC adn hence not as good."


+1.

And as with every other occasion I can recall, QC gets called out for being Jay Miller's darling as if similar scores weren't handed out by Pierre Rovani, Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, etc. I see plenty of legitimate reasons for not enjoying QC (blueberry milkshake yada yada yada), but associating it with ridiculous outlier scores from Jay Miller seems a poor one, especially since his scores aren't outliers.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #88  Postby Rick Gregory » December 5th 2011, 2:02pm

Kris Patten wrote:
Rick Gregory wrote:and here we are, focusing on QC.... /sigh.


Frankly, I am looking forward to some fresh reviews, and some other wines in the State getting a fairer shake based on their style and vintage. Not everything needs to taste like QC, but am glad that they at least got a spotlight on this little place called WA. Cadence, Ross Andrew, Bookwalter, Alexandria Nicole, and so many others here who deserve to be looked at independently and evaluated that way, not looked at as "not like QC adn hence not as good."

I'm likewise looking forward to this but I wonder... if DS rates a lot of things like Tanzer does (89-94 range), will that drive more interest to the other wineries or simply see Washington not get as much interest? TWA subscribers can claim they're not score chasers all they want, but the very high points from a respected TWA critic (NOT Jay), drive sales. If scores drop across the board so that there are fewer 97+ scores in Cali as well as here, that's one thing... but if DS scores even a couple of points lower on average than Cali, my fear is that the takeaway from the market will be that WA wines aren't as good and don't deserve the attention.

This is one of the primary issues with a multi-critic publication - unless the palates of the various critics are closely aligned, you can't compare scores across them but the market DOES. And I still find it odd that the three largest, most important wine states in the US all are now being reviewed by people who have had little or no experience in those regions.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #89  Postby Rick Gregory » December 5th 2011, 2:06pm

Sean Moore wrote:
Kris Patten wrote:Frankly, I am looking forward to some fresh reviews, and some other wines in the State getting a fairer shake based on their style and vintage. Not everything needs to taste like QC, but am glad that they at least got a spotlight on this little place called WA. Cadence, Ross Andrew, Bookwalter, Alexandria Nicole, and so many others here who deserve to be looked at independently and evaluated that way, not looked at as "not like QC adn hence not as good."


+1.

And as with every other occasion I can recall, QC gets called out for being Jay Miller's darling as if similar scores weren't handed out by Pierre Rovani, Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, etc. I see plenty of legitimate reasons for not enjoying QC (blueberry milkshake yada yada yada), but associating it with ridiculous outlier scores from Jay Miller seems a poor one, especially since his scores aren't outliers.


Rovani did (he started the QC run of very high scores). Tanzer does not - his scores almost always lie between 89 and 94 or so. RP hasn't, to my knowledge, ever formally reviewed NW wines.

The problem with Jay as the NW critic was partially scores, but also that his other debacles bled over into his general rep as a critic. It was hard for most wine people to take him seriously after the Sierra Carche thing, not to mention other missteps there and once a critic has a rep for not being good that rep affects everything they review.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #90  Postby Humberto Dorta » December 5th 2011, 2:09pm

Kris Patten wrote:Humberto,

Doesn't a wine have to be sold to the PLCB to be purchased by a restaurant in PA to put on a wine list?

Thanks, Kris

Yeah, but the plcb buys whatever they feel like buying (ie whatever they can get cheap or at a price they think is cheap) and then restaurants get a crack at their inventory as do individuals. For instance, a restaurant can't say "We want wine X, lets have the PLCB buy it for us." So the PLCB is this giant, single distributor that restaurants cant get around. With some very rare exceptions, hard to find wines dont turn up at the PLCB and when they do the prices are beyond laughable. Very different that a restaurant in say NYC buying a couple of cases to put on their wine list.
Rick: Miller came to the WA, made a bad situation worse for some contries' wine industries and for his boss (who did not help himself at all), and now he is gone after a bunch of casualties. What else is there to discuss? QC is just another potential casualty that I happen to be interested in.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #91  Postby John Morris » December 5th 2011, 2:22pm

I don't think anyone has noted the revolving door at WA: Pierre Rovani, Daniel Thomases (what? you don't remember him?) and now Jay Miller.

Great hiring record there, Bob.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #92  Postby David Vergari » December 5th 2011, 2:35pm

True...bashing Jay Miller is not going to accomplish anything. However, if you take the view that he's been acting as if his ethical compass was in need of some serious re-calibration, then this calls into question whether his judgement and credibility to review wine has been similarly compromised. Frankly, I was a bit surprised to learn about Miller's departure from the WA. In the past they've dug in their heels and kept going, so why should it be different this time around? Perhaps this incident was the final straw.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #93  Postby Sean Moore » December 5th 2011, 2:48pm

Rick Gregory wrote:Rovani did (he started the QC run of very high scores). Tanzer does not - his scores almost always lie between 89 and 94 or so. RP hasn't, to my knowledge, ever formally reviewed NW wines.


Absolutely right, and I should be more clear. Rovani awarded some big scores (96 for the 1999, 98 for the 1999 and 2001, and both 100's for 2002 and 2003); and Parker did the same, but only in HG settings and in the greatest wine estates book. As for Tanzer, we all know that he's more judicious with big scores. Frankly, I tend to take more notice of a 93 from Tanzer than a WA 98+, and Tanzer's given some fine marks to QC especially during the period of "Parkerization" from 1998-99 forward (2001=93-95; 2002=93-96; 2003=93-96; 2004=95; 2005=94-97; 2006=95+).

Of course, I'm not trying to convince anyone of the wines' merit based upon the scores of any critic. It just strikes me as odd that there's a perception amongst some that QC's reputation was created by the grossly inflated scores from one somewhat discredited critic (Jay Miller) such that his departure might create a dismal outlook at the winery. It is fair to say that WA reviewers have awarded them higher scores on average, but it's not as if Tanzer and more measured critics have considerably different impressions of the wines.

The problem with Jay as the NW critic was partially scores, but also that his other debacles bled over into his general rep as a critic. It was hard for most wine people to take him seriously after the Sierra Carche thing, not to mention other missteps there and once a critic has a rep for not being good that rep affects everything they review.


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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #94  Postby Tony Petro » December 5th 2011, 3:02pm

I just noticed a Garagiste email in which Rimmerman weighs in on this topic:

"When you mess with the core integrity of what we all hold so dear, it cheapens and derails the effort of so many. While I will not act as judge or jury on Jay’s behalf, I have made the decision that I cannot stand by his body of work until I know more about the specificity and truth of the allegations against him and how far-reaching they are (Australia? Argentina? Chile? Spain? Washington State? Oregon?)."

I was really hoping that what followed was another Mystery Wine offer, but that would've been too easy.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #95  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 5th 2011, 3:15pm

C. Bowman wrote:from Eric Asimov

http://t.co/xHfpdK3z

regurgitation of what's already been said in this thread.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #96  Postby Scott Brunson » December 5th 2011, 3:26pm

M.Kaplan wrote:Mark, I agree with everything you wrote, above.

Who is the happiest member of Team Wine Advocate today? I vote for Mark Squires.

Who is the saddest? Pancho Campo, M.W.

Who is now the fattest? Robert Parker.

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #97  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 5th 2011, 3:31pm

Rick Gregory wrote:
Kris Patten wrote:
Rick Gregory wrote:and here we are, focusing on QC.... /sigh.


Frankly, I am looking forward to some fresh reviews, and some other wines in the State getting a fairer shake based on their style and vintage. Not everything needs to taste like QC, but am glad that they at least got a spotlight on this little place called WA. Cadence, Ross Andrew, Bookwalter, Alexandria Nicole, and so many others here who deserve to be looked at independently and evaluated that way, not looked at as "not like QC adn hence not as good."

I'm likewise looking forward to this but I wonder... if DS rates a lot of things like Tanzer does (89-94 range), will that drive more interest to the other wineries or simply see Washington not get as much interest? TWA subscribers can claim they're not score chasers all they want, but the very high points from a respected TWA critic (NOT Jay), drive sales. If scores drop across the board so that there are fewer 97+ scores in Cali as well as here, that's one thing... but if DS scores even a couple of points lower on average than Cali, my fear is that the takeaway from the market will be that WA wines aren't as good and don't deserve the attention.

This is one of the primary issues with a multi-critic publication - unless the palates of the various critics are closely aligned, you can't compare scores across them but the market DOES. And I still find it odd that the three largest, most important wine states in the US all are now being reviewed by people who have had little or no experience in those regions.

i don't worry about this. Many people (not everyone) know that any score over 94 from IWC is worth a *very close look*. Perhaps the same will be true of DS's reviews? It's all relative.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #98  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 5th 2011, 3:37pm

Tony Petro wrote:I just noticed a Garagiste email in which Rimmerman weighs in on this topic:

"When you mess with the core integrity of what we all hold so dear, it cheapens and derails the effort of so many. While I will not act as judge or jury on Jay’s behalf, I have made the decision that I cannot stand by his body of work until I know more about the specificity and truth of the allegations against him and how far-reaching they are (Australia? Argentina? Chile? Spain? Washington State? Oregon?)."

I was really hoping that what followed was another Mystery Wine offer, but that would've been too easy.

Wow. Very ballsy of a thing for Jon to say, especially in the wake of his own seemingly spurious wine offerings.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #99  Postby Rick Gregory » December 5th 2011, 3:52pm

Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:
Rick Gregory wrote:
Kris Patten wrote:
Rick Gregory wrote:and here we are, focusing on QC.... /sigh.


Frankly, I am looking forward to some fresh reviews, and some other wines in the State getting a fairer shake based on their style and vintage. Not everything needs to taste like QC, but am glad that they at least got a spotlight on this little place called WA. Cadence, Ross Andrew, Bookwalter, Alexandria Nicole, and so many others here who deserve to be looked at independently and evaluated that way, not looked at as "not like QC adn hence not as good."

I'm likewise looking forward to this but I wonder... if DS rates a lot of things like Tanzer does (89-94 range), will that drive more interest to the other wineries or simply see Washington not get as much interest? TWA subscribers can claim they're not score chasers all they want, but the very high points from a respected TWA critic (NOT Jay), drive sales. If scores drop across the board so that there are fewer 97+ scores in Cali as well as here, that's one thing... but if DS scores even a couple of points lower on average than Cali, my fear is that the takeaway from the market will be that WA wines aren't as good and don't deserve the attention.

This is one of the primary issues with a multi-critic publication - unless the palates of the various critics are closely aligned, you can't compare scores across them but the market DOES. And I still find it odd that the three largest, most important wine states in the US all are now being reviewed by people who have had little or no experience in those regions.

i don't worry about this. Many people (not everyone) know that any score over 94 from IWC is worth a *very close look*. Perhaps the same will be true of DS's reviews? It's all relative.


True, it's the 91-93 range that scares me. For Tanzer, those are still high scores, equivalent to a 94-96 from some critics... but because they're actually in the lower range of the 90s, people tend to discount wines in that range.

But what I was talking about really is the comparative gap, if any, between AG's Cali scores and DS's WA and OR scores. Imagine a tasting where half the wines are Cali and half are WA (same grape varieties) and both AG and DS are tasting and scoring the wines. It's done blind. With tightly matched palates, the scores for each wine would be close to one another. If, however, DS's scores are a couple of points lower across the board, then what you'll see back in the world where AG only scores Cali and DS scores WA is that the Cali wines will get higher scores. A wine that DS scores 93 would have gotten a 95 from AG... and conversely an AG 95 would have gotten a DS 93. The impression from that is erroneous going to be positively biased in favor of the wines AG rates. However, I don't see any real way to correct it.

Despite this possibility I think DS will be a fine critic to have cover WA and OR. I just hope the above side-effect doesn't occur.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #100  Postby Kris Patten » December 5th 2011, 4:37pm

With DS on board, I hope to see the same reviews here in the PNW he brought to us in previous regions.....fair assessments of a producer and their style, evaluated on the quality of what's in the bottle, not what is in your head as to what a WA wine should be. Preconceived notions seem to have polarized WA and ORE a bit with one style seemingly getting all the best press, and others getting middling reviews.

After all isn't that what a critic is for, to evaluate what is in the bottle, not what they think should be in the bottle?
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