The Judges Judged

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Alex Lake, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. I read that there was a French producer (Bordeaux, I presume) who has compiled a set of notes with scores on prominent wine critics. Wine searcher has published a redacted version, but I presume the original is out there somewhere - anyone know where?!
  2. Check the comments on the wine-searcher article.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  3. Hilarious - the names are shown in the link in the comments. I shall refrain from any personal discussion, but it's about time someone called out the whole circus!
    Andy Leslie likes this.
  4. Ouch! (I'm also going to refrain from saying anything further)
  5. Very good and level-headed damnation of the whole charade by Peter Pharos on Tim Atkin's website. The original is worth a small laugh, this piece worth proper consideration.
    Fintan Kerr and Will Taylor like this.
  6. Well, having seen a link to who the critics are, someone might be on the receiving end of a lawyers letter.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  7. Click on news.
  8. He's an excellent writer and this article in particular was very good. I'm glad someone's finally given him a platform, as he was only writing on Medium before!
  9. I don't see any comments. Am I doing something wrong?
  10. What device are you using to browse? I couldn’t see the comments on an iPhone, but can on tablet etc
  11. It suddenly appeared!
  12. Yowzers. Yes the numerous references to lack of integrity I think may be entering dangerous territory from a legal point of view. Without indicating whether I agree or disagree with any of the views expressed, it certainly made entertaining reading.
  13. I had guessed who "Critic A" was in the English anonymised version - seemed pretty transparent. A compliment to him in the scheme of things.

    But ouch in general!
  14. Entertaining reading, and even more so once you know who the critic is, pure schadenfreude.

    I think that the winemaker producer has failed on one big point: he seems to apply a measure of criticism of depending on how much/often the critic travels to the wineries. A very important exercise for background research but when assessing a wine, in a cold, hard critical fashion it really needs to be done without the producer breathing down your neck. One can kind of get wrapped up in the story of a wine, whereas a fairer critique is more likely to be generated under one's own preferred tasting arena.

    In other words, taste as your readers would taste. Without being too clinical, obviously. You still have to read the review and enjoy reading it.

    Still, it made me snigger.
    Tim Carlyle likes this.
  15. Johnny - Scroll down to the bottom of the article on Wine-Searcher
    johnny Shek likes this.
  16. To paraphrase a greater wit than me, the only thing worse than being reviewed is not being reviewed (especially if that is accompanied by comments about failure to provide samples).
  17. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    People in glass houses should not throw stones, so thank god I haven't been a regular Bordeaux EP taster for 15 years. Wild horses would not get me to name names, but all I can say is that quite a few of these personalities and their tasting abilities are known to me personally, some of them in depth, and the anonymous writer has nailed most of them. Lack of humility and way - way - too much self belief is a fairly common trait, and their arrogance and bluster persuades others that they are credible. I could tell hair-raising stories about the ego of one of them, and their vindictiveness towards those who cross them...
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  18. Richard,

    Your wrote, reasonably enough "he seems to apply a measure of criticism of depending on how much/often the critic travels to the wineries”.

    As much as I see your point, the opposite extreme is not ideal either: seeing fine wines as disembodied products to be rated like Playboy bunnies (OK, not using the same scale…). For instance, why do you think that critics travel to the wine regions? There is a reality there that adds a significant layer of depth to the tasting experience. People also learn a great deal of information they probably wouldn’t pick up otherwise.
    I suppose you’ll say that they also leave themselves open to influence (read: manipulation)…

    The best wine critics to my mind are also wordsmiths, and that is why I, too, like Neal Martin. He writes well and clearly has a passion for the subject.

    It is unbelievably hard to be a good critic, one who accepts to rock the boat, overlook hospitality and personal relationships, and established hierarchies.

    The most influential critics are all English speakers, and I don’t think that is likely to change.
    Call it “Anglo-Saxon” hegemony.

    All the best,
    Alex R.
    Jasper Morris likes this.
  19. Oh I cannot wait to see what Wine Beserkers are going to do with this. Particularly given the Californian Palate is a regular contributor...
    Fintan Kerr and Nayan Gowda like this.
  20. The ability to criticise should be a given, considering the subject matter of this criticism. If those translations are accurate though, I'd agree that alleging a lack of integrity is awfully dangerous ground.

    That said, some of those critics indeed had serious lapses of integrity exposed in the public arena, perhaps emboldening the writer and LPduV. FWIW I correctly guessed B with some confidence, and had I known the names to choose from, then 3-4 others should have been easy to guess. A few I've never heard of.
  21. Very good. Saw this last night and nearly posted it up but things overtook me.
    It’s a bit ridiculous though as Suckling hasn’t got a score of 99/100

    And yes It’s possibly a harsh and fun assessment but there will be grains of truth in a lot id imagine as Tom had said.
    It’s funny that the one writer I was drawn to as an absolute novice and having never really read scores or reviews was Neal M. Sometimes certain things come through quite distinctly.
    I’m surprised AG gets such criticism as I don’t tend to mind his thoughts (on the whole) and enjoyed a few wines he’s had a strong opinion on.
  22. Tom, if you PM me I would be the soul of indiscretion. Damn........ I mean discretion.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  23. That link in French seems to run to about 25 pages . Not going to wade through them all. I see a couple of names on the first few pages and can guess one or two but don’t see the actual letter published . What page is it on
  24. Page 15.

    Agree with lots of it.
  25. Thanks. You guys have patience running through all of that

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