The critic, a member of Robert Parker’s team, was accompanied by Pancho Campo MW, who organised the North American’s visit and his sessions for scoring the wines
A vital member of Robert Parker’s team, Jay Miller, has completed his first trip to Spain where he tasted wines from various wine regions with the goal of scoring Spanish wines using the Parker system for the prestigious magazine, The Wine Advocate. Rioja was the region chosen to end the Californian critic’s ‘tour’ of Spain with a tasting of five hundred wines from this Denomination of Origin.
Throughout the week, Miller, accompanied by Pancho Campo MW who coordinated the the visits to the wineries, tasted and scored 500 wines from various vintages in the tasting room of the Consejo Regulador, and visited 15 Rioja wineries: Antión, Baigorri, Contador, Contino, Cvne, Dinastía Vivanco, Finca Allende, Juan Alcorta, La Rioja Alta, López de Heredia, Marqués de Murrieta, Marqués de Riscal, Muga, Pujanza, Remírez de Ganuza and Roda.
The DOCA of Rioja was the third and last destination for Miller in his first trip to Spain sponsored by The Wine Advocate. Miller, a specialist in Spanish wines, has highlighted many times his preference for Rioja wines, especially with regards to their excellent quality-price ratio and also for the endless possibilities for future investors from all over the world in this region: “Fundamentally, this official visit from The Wine Advocate is a response to the interest of Robert Parker of coming to Spain thanks to his visit to Winefuture – Rioja ’09. The steps taken by Pancho Campo were decisive in further sparking Parker’s interest in Spanish wines and especially in those from Rioja, which are also receiving fantastic promotion abroad thanks to The Wine Academy of Spain”, explained Miller.
The critics stay in the most traditional Spanish wine making region has proven to be very fruitful: “Even though I have already been to La Rioja”, he says, “I have never spent so much time here; this has allowed me to enjoy the neighbourhood of Haro Station, something barely managed in other cities. Without a doubt, the wines from Rioja need to be taken into account in the global scene; there are 100 or close to 100 point wines at a very reasonable price, which in other parts of the world might cost two or three times more”.
For his part and in relation to this trip, the President of the DOCa Rioja, Víctor Pascual, praised Jay Miller’s work in spreading the word of Riojan wines in the USA while grateful for his presence in this region thanks to the participation of the famed wine critic Robert Parker in Winefuture – Rioja ’09.
Prior to his current stay in Rioja, Miller tasted wines from the Denominations of Toro (100 wines), and of Ribera del Duero (350 wines) which, together with 500 from La Rioja, “implies a very strong boost for these three Denominations of Origin. It is very important that small and medium sized wineries without distribution in the United States start to become recognised thanks to the scores awarded to them by Parker’s team”, adds Pancho Campo MW.
Jay Miller will return to Spain, again with the collaboration of The Wine Academy, for a second visit in January where he will score wines from Catalonia. The Wine Advocate has arranged a third trip sometime in 2011, where for two weeks Andalusian wines with a special emphasis on the wines of Jerez will be tasted and scored.
For more information:
Marta Olea / Alberto García
The Wine Academy of Spain
Tel. +34 636 466 179