Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #36  Postby M.Kaplan » December 4th 2011, 10:06pm

WvanGorp wrote:I have a feeling Jay has a few stories up his sleeve to tell, all in due time: "I have felt constrained in responding while still on The Wine Advocate staff. While the office has defended my actions, justifiably, now it is time for me to speak for myself. In what format I will do that remains to be seen."

Wilfred,
Maybe after he finishes studying Spanish.

José F. Rodríguez wrote:I know I will not get that much sympathy for the next comment but I would have preferred Squires rating the Spanish wines instead of Martin.

Anyway, I hope the WA stays away from Pancho Campo and his Wine Academy...

José,
I agree with both of these comments.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #37  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 4th 2011, 10:08pm

José F. Rodríguez wrote:
Brian G r a f s t r o m wrote:How could it be any worse than Jay? Seriously. Anybody is an improvement over him. Hell, if RP took over the regions Jay is vacating even that would be an improvement.


Martin does not know that much about Spanish wines. Martin has also shown a strong bias against Spanish wines in the past. Not such an improvement.

I know I will not get that much sympathy for the next comment but I would have preferred Squires rating the Spanish wines instead of Martin.

Anyway, I hope the WA stays away from Pancho Campo and his Wine Academy...


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.

As for your Squires comment: I agree with you 100%.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #38  Postby Brian G r a f s t r o m » December 4th 2011, 10:08pm

Eric LeVine wrote:
José F. Rodríguez wrote:I know I will not get that much sympathy for the next comment but I would have preferred Squires rating the Spanish wines instead of Martin.

Squires the person is just an awful, prickly thing... 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.

Yup.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #39  Postby Pat Martin » December 4th 2011, 10:19pm

I too have found Neal Martin's reviews a little scattershot. For my subscription dollar, his main contribution at the WA was providing counterpoint to Parker on Bordeaux, as Neal doesn't like spoofed, slutty wines (neither do I). Triangulating between Neal, Parker, and my own palate served me well in Bordeaux.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #40  Postby José F. Rodríguez » December 4th 2011, 10:48pm

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.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #41  Postby Bob Foster » December 5th 2011, 12:00am

Well I for one surely believe Miller's claim that his departure had nothing to do with the Spain fiasco. Of course I also believe that O.J. is out there hunting for the real killer of his wife. [tease.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #42  Postby KyleCWilkinson » December 5th 2011, 12:05am

Bob Foster wrote:Well I for one surely believe Miller's claim that his departure had nothing to do with the Spain fiasco. Of course I also believe that O.J. is out there hunting for the real killer of his wife. [tease.gif]

The title of Miller's book very well might be "If I Did It: Confessions of a Paid Winery Visitor"
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #43  Postby Bob Wood » December 5th 2011, 12:09am

Anthony Lombardi wrote:I agree with Eric. I will say this however. I am optimistic that the following can now happen:

Actual, professional coverage of Oregon wines

Sure. And the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. Or they could hire Harvey Steiman. [snort.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #44  Postby Roy Hersh » December 5th 2011, 12:12am

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.
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Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #45  Postby Mike Miller » December 5th 2011, 1:00am

I pay very little attention to the WA these days. Who, if anyone, is reviewing Burgundy for them. And are the Burgundy reviews still terribly untimely?
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #46  Postby Humberto Dorta » December 5th 2011, 3:46am

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.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #47  Postby Ken V » December 5th 2011, 5:15am

Mike Miller wrote:I pay very little attention to the WA these days. Who, if anyone, is reviewing Burgundy for them. And are the Burgundy reviews still terribly untimely?

Antonio is reviewing Burgundy now, and the reviews are becoming more timely.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #48  Postby David M. Bueker » December 5th 2011, 5:16am

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.
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #49  Postby Ken V » December 5th 2011, 5:18am

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.

He is an expert on Burgundy. And isn't that what they're trying to make up there? [stirthepothal.gif]
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Re: Dr. Big J is gone from WA?

Post #50  Postby Loren Sonkin » December 5th 2011, 5:43am

I wish Jay all the best. No need to bash him.

I like David personally and love his reviews. He has a remarkable palate and I am sure will have no problem in tasting the wines of the northwest. Don't forget, he has served as a retailer and a distributor. Besides, if he can review Burgundy, I would think its a promotion to do Oregon. You know, better wines, better terroir... [stirthepothal.gif] neener
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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?
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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
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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
Saxon and others have willfully trashed this thread and turned it into nonsense without substance.....Mark Squires
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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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Rick Gregory
 
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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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Victor Hong
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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.
Well said.
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K John Joseph
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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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Rick Gregory
 
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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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Bruce Leiser_owitz
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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.

Bruce
"Bruce you are correct."--Andrew Kaufman, 3/24/13.

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