Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

My questions to: Juan Antonio Ruiz Jiménez, Asevin

Unfortunately I have yet to receive any response from Juan Antonio Ruiz Jiménez, secretary of Asevin, to my questions of yesterday following receipt of his message. See here.

Here are the questions Juan Antonio Ruiz Jiménez appears to be reluctant to answer:

Dear Juan Antonio Ruiz Jiménez

Many thanks for your message.

You explain:

'Please be informed that the Association of Wine from the Region of Murcia (ASEVIN), approached The Wine Academy for conducting a seminar on "Exporting wines from Murcia to the U.S. and China markets". We also requested them to organize a commented tasting of wines from the region for local wine professionals and media.

Asevin requested to have Jay Miller as the guest of honor to discuss the U.S. market and Pancho Campo to speak about China. After the seminar we also requested from The Wine Academy to be responsible for the organization and logistics of the tasting. The conditions imposed for the wine academy in order to carry out this tasting was that Jay Miller would choose the 12 to 15 wines at his entire discretion based exclusively on the highest Parker scores.

The Wine Academy made it clear at all times that if Jay Miller would visit some wineries he would choose the wineries at his sole discretion. In any case, the wineries visited would NOT have to pay for such visit. The amount discussed with the staff of The Wine Academy was to cover the cost of organizing this seminar and master tasting, such as: fees of Miller, Pancho and The Wine Academy staff that would put together the event, as well as transfers, car rental, hotel, planes and food.

The Wine Academy representatives insisted at all times that wineries should not pay for having Jay Miller visit them or for sending their wines to the tasting.'

A few questions if I may please:
a) In the draft programme you sent out on Monday 17th October there is no mention of the proposed seminar. A conference and master class tasting by Jay Miller is proposed for the afternoon of Saturday 26th November with an expected running time of around two and half hours. When and where would this seminar have been held?

b) You say that the information in the email sent out by you on 4th October 2011 is 'is based on completely false information and conclusions, with the sole intention of discrediting Robert Parker, Jay Miller, and Pancho Campo.'

However, in late October you sent an email to one of the bodegas, which had agreed to be involved with the visit of Jay Miller to Murcia:

'Como bodega participante en la visita de Jay Miller, deberá ingresar lo antes posible en la cuenta abierta en CAM: 2090 0004 •• ••••••••••, la siguiente suma.'

Estas cantidades tienen carácter de presupuesto, es decir, una vez que hayan ingresado todas las bodegas participantes, y cubiertos todos los gastos, ASEVIN emitirá factura con el importe exacto, abonando, en su caso, el sobrante.'

I assume that 2090 0004 •• •••••••••• is an Asevin account

Surely this shows that the information sent out by you on 4th October 2011 was accurate and not false as you claim and that any bodegas wishing to participate in the visit of Jay Miller and Pancho Campo would have to pay to submit samples, pay for wines to be considered for the master class and, in addition to this, pay for having a visit from Jay Miller.

c) What is the fee to be paid to Jay Miller for the conference and master class?

d) What is the fee to be paid to The Wine Academy and Pancho Campo?

e) You say 'that Jay Miller would choose the 12 to 15 wines at his entire discretion based exclusively on the highest Parker scores.’

The email sent by Teresa Torres to Asevin and the three DOs on 10th October 2011 and apparently based on information sent by The Wine Academy sets out rather different criteria. Could you clarify this please?

Se solicita que hagáis participes de esta convocatoria a todas las bodegas que reúnen los requisitos para poder participar y que son, sacados textualmente de la información recibida:

“Los vinos a catar por Jay Miller para ser puntuados son seleccionados en base a las reglas de The Wine Advocate, es decir:

1. Únicamente participarían aquellos vinos que tengan importador en USA.

2. Solo se incluirían vinos o añadas que The Wine Advocate no haya puntuado todavía.
3. No se puntuarán muestras de barrica o depósito.
4. Los vinos serían catados en nuestras instalaciones o en alguna otra sede.
5. La recolección y selección de vinos la llevaríamos a cabo nosotros en base a los criterios dictados por Robert Parker y The Wine Advocate”.

Equally how is Jay Miller making his choice at ‘his entire discretion’ if the bodegas are charged 500€ for wines that might be tasted at the master class?

f) I would be very grateful if you would detail what information is false in your mail of 4th October 2011 as I have no wish to damage people’s reputations by spreading false information.

I look forward to hearing from you. I will shortly be posting on Jim’s Loire further background on this story including the details I have outlined above.

Kind regards

Jim Budd

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