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, 3 December 2011

Campo phones his lawyers

Pancho Campo MW – cut price (€20,000) access to Jay Miller 

Scene: Luxury, modern offices of law firm Cata, Schmuck and Magistral in the central Marbella, Spain. Juan-Stop Solutions, a senior partner, takes a call.

Juan-Stop (JS): Hi Pancho how are you doing?

Pancho Campo (PC): Pretty good despite the punishing schedule.

JS: Yeah I’ve been sort of following your progress – Jerez, Malaga, Murcia, Valencia, including, I hear, a quick stop off at Utiel-Requena, and Madrid. Still, business is business. How's the big American guy standing up to it?

PC: Jay Miller.

JS: Yeah, Jay. He’s getting on in years isn’t he?

PC: 67, and got a bit of rheumatoid arthritis.

JS: Just looking at your timetable makes me tired. Make sure you take care of Miller – he’s your meal ticket!

PC: Yeah, it’s been tough the last few mornings getting him out of bed…. but there’s a lot to do …...

JS: Don’t worry Pan, it will soon be Christmas and you can have a nice break.

PC: Yeah, Juan, a few days off would be good.

JS: Off to Dubai for Christmas this year, Pancho, visit the in-laws? You’d be sure of sunshine…

PC: (splutters down phone) – Basta Juan! You know I can’t go there!

JS: Sorry, just my little joke, Pan. Anyway, what can I do for you today?

PC: It’s that third-rate blogger Jim Budd. I spoke to you about him the other day. He’s gone completely over the top this time – gone way too far! I’ve been patient for two years but enough is enough.

JS: What’s he done this time? The last time we spoke about this guy he was on about Miller’s visit to Murcia.

PC: He’s still going on about Murcia, but worse, he is now attacking me about a trip to Madrid last July that never happened. Making me look real bad.

JS: You mean this Budd has invented all this?

PC: Not exactly, Juan. The trip didn’t happen because DO Vinos de Madrid couldn’t afford our management fees.

JS: So, what’s the problem, Pan?

PC: Well, Budd’s somehow got hold of an email I sent from Tuscany saying the normal price for a visit from Jay would be €40,000, but we could cut a special deal for a shortened version for €20,000.

JS: Pan, I still don’t see the problem. We just do the usual and say that this wasn’t an official trip and the €20,000 was for a marketing seminar.

PC:  The problem is, Juan, that Adela had earlier sent an email setting out our conditions for Jay to rate Madrid wines with the assessments to be published – so an official visit.

JS: I see it now, Pan – rather busts wide open your mate Parker’s ethical guidelines! Lots of sticky stuff! A real smokin’ gun, eh Pan?

PC: Juan you’ve got to do something. The guy’s fingering my balls, you know, tocándome los cojones.

JS: Pan, while we are your lawyers, we can’t take responsibility for your cojones. Anyway I’ll see what I can do. But it’ll cost, especially if you don’t pay the bill on time – no more court cases here in Marbella, please Pan*.

PC: I’d be really grateful if you can sort it! Even in Spain people are starting to ask questions!

JS: How did you send you the email?

PC: I sent it on my iPhone from the middle of Tuscany.

JS: So we can’t claim it’s a fake. Budd isn’t just fingering your balls, he’s got them in a vice!

PC: Juan, cut the jokes please – what are we going to do?

JS: Don’t panic, Pan. I think I can see a way…. iPhone, you say. Surely must have been a technical fault.  What you typed didn’t show up on the screen.

PC: Not sure I follow you, Juan…

JS: Look, Pan. When you typed – ‘under no circumstances can we accept any payment for a visit by Miller’ – it came out: ‘Private visits off the set agenda, as this would be, rarely take place, and not for a price below 40,000 euros.’

PC: That’s exactly it, Juan. What a genius! How soon can we send Budd one of your famous stiffies?**

JS: I’ll work on it, Pan, and get back to you. But it’s got to be really good – it has to fool Parker…

* May be another of Juan-Stop’s little jokes relating to a civil case brought by Dune Networks Sl, who did work for The Wine Academy of Spain (Pancho Campo) on the ‘Simposium Internacional del Vino’. The case was brought in 2007, seeking to recover an unpaid bill of €8,879.18. Judgment was given against Campo by a Marbella court on 27th June 2008, ordering the outstanding sum to be paid.

** stiffies – legal letter

For post with details of Vinos de Madrid emails see here.


Spaniard said...

Hi Jim,

it's true that somehow almost nobody is talking about this in Spain.

it's a mix between respect and fear to this guy and his lawyers...but it's disappearing as a morning fog.

wonder how you managed to get that!!

Regards from Spain!!!!

Anonymous said...

Pan did not type what appeared on the screen, for sure. It wasn't even him typing, but his dog who happens to be the real MW.
So the institute of MW is currently revising its politics: should we check our candidates records beforehand; should we give the title to tennis coaches, impresarios, mongrels... And could we suspend MW when they piss on our trousers.

dids said...

I presume Jim, that this is a tongue and cheek take on the whole sad and sorry affair. I would be aghast if this was a real life transcript of an actual conversation.

Brightened up my otherwise dull Saturday though.

Luc Charlier said...

Not being a great fan of French movies, I make one exception for Audiard. His dialogs are splendid. You kind of sound like him here, Jim.
Still, one thing puzzles me: what does Jones & Co stand for ?
The ... ball is in your court.

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Daniel said...


I am sure enjoying your writing.

I am glad to see that someone has not fallen for the fake "I will sue you" mantra that has infected this world that we live in.

The truth shall set you free...true for Parker, true for you.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers provide safe haven for scoundrels.

Anonymous said...

Why does anybody fear Pancho Campo other than the fact that he does have a sinister look in that picture.

Jim's Loire said...

Significant I think that José Penin, Spain's leading wine writer and critic, has spoken out. See latest post on Jim's Loire.