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

The Wine Academy Spain solicited 20,000 euros from DO Madrid for Jay Miller visit

Pancho Campo MW: Jay Miller's Spanish gatekeeper?

Earlier this year Adela Richer Moreno-Luque, the sales manager of The Spanish Wine Academy, approached the DO Madrid (Vinos de Madrid) offering a visit from Jay Miller and Pancho Campo. The visit would cost in the region of 20,000 euros.

Madrid turned down this opportunity. It is a small DO (45 producers) and couldn’t afford to pay 20,000 euros, especially in the current stringent economic circumstances. It is not known whether the proposal included a master class to be given by Jay Miller.

Moreno-Luque was disappointed that it wasn’t possible to arrange a Campo-Miller visit as she confided on Facebook on 21st June 2011 at 8.52pm to her friend Estrella Orti of Bodega y Viñedos Gosálbez Orti (, one of the DO Madrid wineries.

Adela Richer Moreno-Luque: ‘Que pena que (no) cuajara la cata de Pancho podría haberse catado,y ademas con Miller como acompañante...
(Adela: it is a pity that the tasting with Pancho did not happen, and with Miller as a companion..)

Estrella Orti (Bodega Qubél): Pues sí, pero ahora se mira todo con lupa, las bodegas estamos apretadas!!!!
(Estrella: Yes, but now everything is looked through a magnifying glass and the wineries are having to tighten their belts.)

The source commented:

‘Translating this for you, has made me very sad, really sad. Wine business in Spain is going bad, the economy is going very bad…and clearly Pancho is taking advantage of having Jay Miller with him... requesting money to a very small wine region. You know, a visit from Parker team to your winery is like having dinner with Ronaldo or Maradona. But no money, no visit.’

This approach to DO Madrid raises questions over the statement issued in the name of Asevin today, on the eve of Wine Future Hong Kong. Was it really Asevin who approached The Wine Academy or vice-versa?


Luc Charlier said...

Poor Adela, poor Estrella : I for one would hate to have dinner with Maradona or Ronaldo, wouldn’t know what to say to them (cocaine, hype, big cars, paparazzi are NOT my cup of tea). By the way, Estrella, you are the STAR yourself (Claro que si!).
Yo soy una pequeñita bodega tanbien, y personalmente mui apretado pero no quiero ninguna visita de gente similar !!!!
On the other hand, an appointment with pro football-player Christian Karembeu’s ex-wife would suit me well. Aquella e que me gusta mucho!

Bob Rossi said...

I can sympathize with the Spanish wine regions that have a hard time promoting their wines outside the region. Hopefully they can find other ways besides paying huge sums to get reviewers to come to their region. I know that last year, a regional trade organization in Galicia brought a small group of people in the wine business to the region, including American exporter/distributors. One of these was a representative of a small Maine distributor who was so impressed with the wines of Ribeiro and Ribeara Sacra that he has since added several of them to his portfolio. Not that getting into the Maine market will save Galcia's wine business, but it's a start.

Jim's Loire said...

I have to agree Bob. I can see little reason for cash strapped Spanish regions to pay large sums to Pancho Campo to keep him in Ferraris. Much better to do their own promotions

WineLush said...

They don't need Parker, they need buyers. If the smaller DO's get together without rapist like Asevin. And I'm sorry how can Murcia possibly think that Asevin acts in their favor??? Anyway, the biggest challenge Spain is not getting their wines in the hands in buyers & small importers. Spend that €20,000 on 10 solid buyers in the USA it will do more good than Parker's approval ever will. I've seen wines that Parker rated and just a good rating doesn't mean they will sell. France does an excellent job of it, but unless Spain takes their industry seriously and support the DO's it will always leave room for con artists to get in. And ruin the wine business in Spain altogether. Then the cons change careers yet again and go on to the next job once they've tapped out the resources. I'm just so disgusted with this and I'm pretty disgusted with the producers not thinking better of their wines by relying on a critic to get them a good score to think that's the only way their wines will sell.

Fabio (Vinos Ambiz) said...

1) Not the kind of wine world I want to be part of. 2) Paying money for reviews is not good marketing IMHO. 3) Maybe some wineries need to do that because their wine is not good, but Gosálbez Ortí certanly don't need to do it, as their wines are excellent. Maybe it's best that they didn't come.

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks WineLush. Wise words.

For the 29,000€ budget for the visit of Pancho Campo, his Ferrari, various assistants plus Jay Miller they could as you say have a buyers' trip and enough left over to invite Miller to come and do a comprehensive visit to the region.

Jim's Loire said...

Fabio. Vinos de Madrid have surely set the example that all Spanish DOs should follow.

Sadly Murcia has decided to grovel to The Wine Academy begging Pancho to forgive them, relent and allow Jay Miller to visit them. Instead they should politely thank Campo (Chile's first MW) tell him that they don't need him and issue a direct invitation to Jay Miller.

Men of Murcia and Jay Miller – where are your cojones?

Javier Mateos said...

The spanisj DOs are spending a lot of money on completely unuseful events... Paying Pancho's organization for its promotion and Jay Miller's trip doesn't seen to me a bad investment.

Javier Mateos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim's Loire said...

Javier. Thanks. This may or may not be the case but it is clearly contrary to the ethical standards set down by Robert Parker for his team to follow.

It is possible that these ethics do not apply in Spain but I don't remember seeing an exclusion clause in Parker's document.

WineLush said...

@javier it is a bad investment if you sell your soul for an intangible belief someone has the power to assign a magic inflated number to your wine thinking it will make you famous. Sorry it's not a good investment & it's embarrassing.

Luc Charlier said...

Jim, you know I’m usually a cynical person. Probably even overdoing it, you will think.
But here, it’s comforting to read your contributors’ opinions and comments. I’m a believer in an “all wicked” world ... with happy exceptions. And you seem to collect their readership: “Ich gratuliere !”

Javier Mateos said...

Jim, you say that this behavior is "clearly contrary to the ethical standards set down by Robert Parker for his team to follow", then, why are you criticizing Pancho Campo instead of Jay Miller? Pancho Campo's Wine Academy is a private company that should be paid for their services, if the DOs or wineries think that they are useful. And they does not publish any wine guide or score!
I really don't understand why are you giving so much importance to the common fact that a private company is approaching a DO in order to promote their wines. It is true that their link with WA is one of the attractive points of their offer, but if somebody is breaking their own rules it is R. Parker and co. and not Campo's company.

Jim's Loire said...

Javier, I have made it clear that promotion is Campo's business, whether it is tennis players, rock musicians or wine personalities. Nothing wrong with that.

Unfortunately Campo for very understandable reasons has sought to portray that it is the regions who approach him. If it was shown to be the other way round then the nature of his relationship with Jay Miller would be all too clear.

Yes, of course, it is down to Miller and Parker to reassert their independence, which is why my questions were to Robert Parker and to Jay Miller, I have sent no questions to Campo.