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

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Jumillagate or more properly Murciagate: new statement by Asevin

Statement received 5th November 2011issued in the name of Juan Antonio Ruiz Jiménez

Dear Sirs,
The Association ASEVIN, in name of the totality of the 21 wineries it represents, issues the following statement to confirm and reiterate the following points in relation to the case of the visit of Jay Miller to Jumilla (Murcia), published in the blog and others:
1. On the 2nd of November 2011, ASEVIN sent a communication to web-blogs, which published (in JPG format) an email containing confidential information from ASEVIN directed to its recipients, in which the web-blogs were informed that the maintenance of this JPG image on their sites could result in legal action being undertaken.
-The blog proceeded to remove said image from their site.
- The blog continued to publish entries on the 2nd and 4th of November.
  1. The seminar/conference and the visit by Jay Miller was never confirmed by us and the corresponding contract was to be signed after the 10th of November, since the entire The Wine Academy team was not in Spain at the time.
  2. The Wine Academy of Spain has temporarily cancelled the visit of Jay Miller to the region of Murcia.
  3. Neither ASEVIN nor The Wine Academy nor The Wine Advocate will be able to charge any economic quantity to the wineries for the visit of Jay Miller to wineries in the region of Murcia nor for the tasting of their wines.
  4. ASEVIN assumes full responsibility for the charge which was to be made to the wineries – which the mail refers to – and confirms that the request for payment was made by ASEVIN, not The Wine Academy or Jay Miller. “We, ASEVIN, assume the responsibility for ‘requesting the wineries’ to pay economic quantities to cover the costs derived from the possible seminar and tasting (the visit to Jumilla was not included in the official programme of The Wine Advocate, which will take place at the end of November. Therefore, ASEVIN asked TWA to make it possible for Jay Miller to visit Jumilla (Murcia) to offer his opinion on this region’s wines). We sincerely apologise for any misunderstanding which may have ensued and for any damage which may have been caused to Jay Miller, The Wine Academy, Pancho Campo, Robert Parker and The Wine Advocate.
  5. ASEVIN, in the case that Jay Miller’s visit to Jumilla actually pulls through, commits to directly paying The Wine Academy of Spain the amount agreed upon to cover all costs for the organisation of said seminar-conference, as well as the tasting of Monastrell and the fees of Jay Miller and Pancho Campo. This amount will also cover the costs of travel, fees and accommodation for three persons from The Wine Academy who will assist ASEVIN in setting up, providing the logistics for, and promoting, the event.
  6. ASEVIN’S proposal to TWA to visit Murcia arises from the interest of wineries in the area, which form part of our association, in receiving Jay Miller’s opinion about Jumilla, and in gleaning better insight into the US and Asian markets.
  7. Bearing the conditions stated above, in the case that The Wine Academy and Jay Miller would reconsider their visit to Jumilla, the programme of events would be as indicated below:
24th November: Arrival of Jay Miller and The Wine Academy team. Visit to a wine maker of Jay Miller’s choosing
25th November: Visit to two wine makers of Jay Miller’s choosing
25th November (afternoon): Visit to two wine makers of Jay Miller’s choosing
26th November: Visit to wine makers of Jay Miller’s choosing
26th November (times to be confirmed):
· 6pm to 7pm: Conference by Pancho Campo and Jay Miller about US and Chinese markets for the media and professionals in the wine sector from the region of Murcia
· 7:30pm to 9pm: Tasting and seminar about the Monastrell grape and the wines of Murcia. 12 Murcian wines will be tasted (those which have obtained the highest Parker points).
· Venue: Salones Pio XII
Juan Antonio Ruiz Jiménez
Secretario ASEVIN
Tlf. 968716121-667560182


Interesting to note that it is The Wine Academy who has temporarily cancelled Jay Miller's proposed trip to Murcia reinforcing the impression that Mr Miller has a gatekeeper. Will the trip be reinstated if Asevin does the bidding of The Wine Academy Spain – the Marbella alternative perhaps?

It is also worth noting the number of times the Wine Academy or TWA is mentioned and to see how keen Señor Jiménez is to stress now that this visit by Jay Miller is not part of the official Wine Advocate programme. It reads like a statement dictated to Asevin by Campo and The Wine Academy Spain.

The statement fails to address the points made in the 2nd November post:
Jumillagate/Murciagate: A cover-up in Southern Spain, in particular that the email correspondence sent before the story broke spoke of a visit by Jay Miller and not of a seminar. Furthermore the instructions sent by The Wine Academy were criteria to be used in selecting the wines to be rated by Miller, so it was evident that Millar would be there in his official capacity as Parker's man in Spain.

The statement fails to explain how the cost of running an hour seminar on the American and Chinese markets plus some visits to Murcian wineries could cost 29,000€ unless the fees being paid to Campo and his Wine Academy as well as to Miller were substantial. It is notable that Jimémez gave a rather different view when Tyler Colman (Dr Vino) spoke to him a few days ago:

'I spoke with the sender of the email, the secretary of the Murcia winery association ASEVIN, to confirm its authenticity. He said that Miller is visiting the region at the end of this month. I asked how the response was from the wineries and he said it was “positive,” with about a dozen wineries participating in the “masterclass.” I asked why they were raising the funds and he said it was to cover the costs of organizing the events, including a “colloquium” where wineries present could ask Jay Miller questions. I asked if The Wine Academy of Spain and its director Pancho Campo were involved in organizing the events and he said yes.'

If the wineries to visit are to be Jay Miller's choice why are they being charged 2000€ in advance as explained by Jiménez in his email of 14th October 2011?


Justin Roberts said...

Interesting that, even at this stage, ACEVIN expects to pay Jay Miller fees if the visit does go ahead.

Oh, and I'm sure you're not exactly quaking in your boots Jim, at the legal threat for not taking down that .jpg image you never had up in the first place...

Jim's Loire said...

Justin. I suspect that Juan Antonio may well have had little to do with the drafting of this statement.

Gerry Dawes's Spain said...

"On the 2nd of November 2011, ASEVIN sent a communication to web-blogs, which published (in JPG format) an email containing confidential information from ASEVIN directed to its recipients, in which the web-blogs were informed that the maintenance of this JPG image on their sites could result in legal action being undertaken."

Wow, someone associated with Pancho Campo threatening a member of the press with legal action. Who would have thought it?

Gerry Dawes's Spain said...

Murcia-Jumillagate, Navarragate, Madridgate. Ah, let's just put them all under one umbrella: Pancho Campo-Wine Advocate-Jay Miller-Winefutures-Garnacha-Interpolgate.

Gerry Dawes's Spain said...

Just to help you out Jim, the labels that belong at the foot of the collected blog posts on these various affairs are Pancho Campo, Robert Parker,Wine Advocate,Jay Miller, WinefuturesRioja, Garnacha tasting in La Rioja, Kevin Zraly, Jancis Robinson,Interpol, Navarra, Murcia, Jumilla, Madrid. Surely, you can fill in more.

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Gerry – I'll see what I can do.

Incidentally perhaps Miller-Campo-Parker axis would be more succinct than 'Pancho Campo-Wine Advocate-Jay Miller-Winefutures-Garnacha-Interpolgate'.

Jim's Loire said...


Legal action?

I was told in 2010 that James Butler, Campo's father-in-law, was considering suing me for defamation and libel for material relating to him on Jim's Loire.

The only mention on my blog was that Butler was Campo's father-in-law. Although he might feel that such a mention was defamatory, it could hardly be construed as libellous.

Bert said...

This Asevin letter smells like a bunch of lawyers worked overtime to design a fuzzy answer in order to blur the picture and find an escape route...