Subscription e-mags

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Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:07 pm

Just got two renewal notices for e-mags, and came to the realisation that I have far too many memberships!!!! :oops: :oops:
So I decided to work out which ones I really think are useful and ditch the rest.
Here is what I think, would love any input…

E Robert Parker
Probably the second best "all-rounder" available in my opinion, although a lot of stuff I find personal useless and perhaps too much fluff on the areas of interest. Never-the-less, remains the benchmark for me on Bordeaux and the Rhone.
Neal Martin is a massive bonus.
Really good forum, IMO.
score: 91
re-subscribe? yes

Jancis Robinson
Still on this list, and have been for many years now. Many interesting articles, particularly on restaurants, travel and wine regions, although not necessarily hugely strong on TN's. Ordinary forum with one very annoying and dyslexic Irishman doing his best to destroy it.
score: 90
re-subscribe? yes

JM Quarin
Gives an in-depth and reasonably comprehensive coverage of Bordeaux, but not much else. Pretty flimsy updates every month or so. Biggest advantage is his taste very much aligns to mine, but you get not a lot of bang for your buck. Doesn't update his TN's which makes his assessment of older wines non-existent.
score: 87
re-subscribe? no

Burghound
The bible for some on Burgundy, but his coverage is actually surprisingly limited, probably because I think he simply covers wines imported into the USA. His taste is the polar opposite to mine, but if you love Cali Pinots, then this is the man for you.
score 82
re-subscribe? no

James Suckling
Really really enjoy this stuff, which actually amazes me. You might not like his style, but this guy is as good or better than anyone I have read on Bordeaux. Certainly my go-to when considering purchases (along with Parker and Martin). Good also on Rhone, but I can't comment on his Italian stuff.
score: 93
re-subscribe? yes

The Wine Enthusiast
Very good at being master of all trades, jack of none. Nice to have a reasonably sensible opinion on a quite comprehensive range of Aus wines (James Halliday's absurd 97 point score for Mount mary Pinot was brought to Earth with 86 points here)
Little bit too commercial.
86 points
re-subscribe? no

Wine Doctor
Chris Kissacks site dedicated primarily to Bordeaux and the Loire. I got a year's sub just to see, and his Bordeaux stuff is pretty good, although very limited TN's. I don't really drink Loire, so this mag is a bit of an extravagance for me.
Also reasonably commercial
85 points
re-subscribe? no

International Wine Cellar
Stephen Tanzer's site is the best all-round wine mag, good coverage on most areas, excellent tasting notes, and many interesting articles. My favourite. His thoughts and TN's on Burgundy are excellent.
94points
re-subscribe? yes
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:10 pm

oooops, I forgot

Wine searcher Pro
whilst not strictly a wine e-mag, it is without doubt the most useful tool any wine buyer could acquire. Yes, there is the occasional interesting article, but this web site gives you the absolute best price available, anywhere, anytime… fantastic. And it is certainly worth pay the price of the "pro" version, as it significantly multiplies the numbers when compared to the free, standard version.
score: 95 points
re-subscribe? absolutely!!
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby BertWerden » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:23 am

This is a great summary.

From a price perspective, are they much of a muchness?
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby ChrisH » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:38 pm

Galloni's "Vinous" now that he has left eRobertParker, for all things Italian. His replacement at Parker (Monica Larner) is a bit too far behind in her reports for me.

Bill Nanson was a free, useful counterpoint to Allan Meadows, but things seemed to have ground to a halt somewhat ? Seems to be looking to follow the trend to paid subscription but would need to lift the output.
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:45 pm

BertWerden wrote:This is a great summary.

From a price perspective, are they much of a muchness?


… from memory, about the $65-100 each per year. Adds up when you have 7-8 subs :oops:
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby Jamie Hong Kong » Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:59 pm

I only have wine-searcher and have had mixed interest in the rest.

Suckling & Galloni worry me. I love northern Italians and the commercialization of the regions is rapid and there's a real hunger for more. The points just attract Russian and Chinese hoarders; OK, a lot of traditional Europe is moving toward here as well with disappointment in modern Bordeaux but I don't find many positives with the magnification of Barolo/ Barbaresco / Amarone toward hoarders and collectors who probably don't "get/enjoy" the wines anyway. So in a sentence, no, I don't need these guys in regions where there's still an uncorrupted simplicity.
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:15 am

whilst that is a nice sentiment, I guess it is actually the job of these guys to "discover" great wine areas, such as the regions of Italy you nominate, so at the end of the day, eventually, all wine in the world will have a price tag reflecting its quality.
my guess is after they cut a swathe thru the quality areas of Italy still under-valued, they will move onto Eastern Europe and South Africa. Both of these regions have wines whose quality belies their low prices. Recently, I have seen a few absolutely stunning reds from South Africa selling for ridiculously low amounts.
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby Jamie Hong Kong » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:13 pm

Not a sentiment just recognition of a formula I reckon.
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby sanjay » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:13 am

I continue with Parker's The Wine Advocate. However, I have stopped buying Bordeaux and not that much into Rhone. Not sure how touch to read/depend upon Neal Martins assessment of Burgundies or Monica Larner's reviews of Italians.

I have so far continued Burghound. His scores are getting too predictable. Moreover, I have seriously decreased Burgundy purchases as the prices are spiralling out of control. His take on 2003 and 2004 Burgundies and lack of detraction even later after realising they were crap was not good. I also fail to see eye to eye with him regards 2011 vintage.

I used to subscribe to Jancis but given that up now.

I have joined Galloni. His scores have gone up by a lot since his original Piedmont reports. Its difficult to get a feel for a producer from his notes. Over time I have now identified the producers I like and just buy those irrespective of high scores given to many others.

I have subscribed to Sarah Marsh for her Burgundy reviews. A Clive Coates student. V Good indeed.

I ceased my World of Fine Wine subscription recently. Its nice but expensive.

Not assessed Tanzer, Suckling, Wine Enthusiast, JL Learmonth (Rhones), Brad Ballinger (champagne warrior), etc etc
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby Jamie Hong Kong » Sat Aug 09, 2014 10:36 pm

sanjay wrote:I have joined Galloni. His scores have gone up by a lot since his original Piedmont reports. Its difficult to get a feel for a producer from his notes. Over time I have now identified the producers I like and just buy those irrespective of high scores given to many others.


Yes, good strategy, as you've identified the "formula" I've alluded to.


I've tried a number of these 2010 "99" pointers and I don't feel it's representative of the region in spirit nor a snapshot of quality. Yep, spend time in the region, know the winemakers, sommeliers, chat to cellar door staff and source other great contacts which requires little imagination! You'll know what's good and emerging, and you'll know what's just a driver for the eastern US seaboard market. Of course, add the internet and bloggers and I really don't see the need for some of these e-mags.
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:37 pm

spot on Jamie, that is why I am going the big "cull"
too much predictability, too little imagination. For me, Burghound is most guilty of this…. you can pretty much guess his score for every wine even before you read them!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:39 pm

there is another e-mag like that, although to be fair, it is free…. The Wine Cellar Insider, Jeff Leve's publication. It is amusing, but you can ask me his score on just about any wine, and if I know the Parker score, I will be within one point when guessing it!!!!
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby Artist FKAN » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:43 pm

sanjay wrote:Brad Ballinger (champagne warrior), etc etc


Brad Baker. I think he really has no idea.
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:09 am

could not agree more!!!
Champagne Warrior is absolutely atrocious, I feel like I have tasted a completely different wine to the one he is describing. He seriously has no idea.
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Re: Subscription e-mags

Postby falls » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:50 am

sanjay wrote:I continue with Parker's The Wine Advocate. However, I have stopped buying Bordeaux and not that much into Rhone. Not sure how touch to read/depend upon Neal Martins assessment of Burgundies or Monica Larner's reviews of Italians.

I have so far continued Burghound. His scores are getting too predictable. Moreover, I have seriously decreased Burgundy purchases as the prices are spiralling out of control. His take on 2003 and 2004 Burgundies and lack of detraction even later after realising they were crap was not good. I also fail to see eye to eye with him regards 2011 vintage.

I used to subscribe to Jancis but given that up now.

I have joined Galloni. His scores have gone up by a lot since his original Piedmont reports. Its difficult to get a feel for a producer from his notes. Over time I have now identified the producers I like and just buy those irrespective of high scores given to many others.

I have subscribed to Sarah Marsh for her Burgundy reviews. A Clive Coates student. V Good indeed.

I ceased my World of Fine Wine subscription recently. Its nice but expensive.

Not assessed Tanzer, Suckling, Wine Enthusiast, JL Learmonth (Rhones), Brad Ballinger (champagne warrior), etc etc



Yes, Meadows is not particularly talented IMO. He failed the reader so badly with the 2004 vintage, and refuses to offer proper reassessment of the vintage. I have seen wines he rated 92+ that are virtually undrinkable.
He also erred terribly on 2011, another rubbish vintage, where the mean greenies are beginning to poke out more and more now that the wines begin to age.
I have also heard that his scores might be a little "tainted" depending on the producer, which seems to make sense as he gives the same scores time after time, vintage after vintage, to the same wines. In a profession that demands total impartiality, he might lack it. haha, there is an Aussie wine writer in the same boat ;)
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