Monday, July 20, 2015

James Laube's Resignation Letter

Dear Marv,

I quit. And not just because when I congratulated you on your successful kidney transplant you said I should get on the waiting list for a personality transplant. “I hear Suckling has three or four extra he uses only every now and then, like when he’s fucked up on Brunello,” I think you said. You were pretty doped up. You were talking like Jay McInerney. No, that’s not why I’m quitting. I had an epiphany. “Epiphany”—it’s from the Greek for brainfart.

I’ve been the California wine critic for Wine Spectator since 1980. That’s 35 years ago. I’ve put more of California in my mouth than Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen combined. I’ve spit enough wine to float Harvey Steiman. (And, really, how do you make a Harvey Steiman float? Add two scoops of ice cream! Hahahahahahahaha. That’s funny because Harvey’s never had a scoop in his life.) I’ve scored more than that Game of Thrones dwarf at Comic Con. And, well, I just realized I’m sick to death of California wine. And have been for about fifteen years.

You know I’ve never been very comfortable with the limelight, Marv. I’m pretty quiet. Frankly, I don’t much like people. When you make me write winemaker profiles, I struggle with what to say. Sure, there are a few winemakers I like. I hang out with Tor Kenward, but, well, yeah, now that I think about it, I guess that’s about it. Maybe I should be more friendly. Hang out with more wine people. About time someone Tor me a new one! Hahahahahahaha. I’m on fire today, Marv, like that big horse turd in your mouth you got from Cuba. That seems too much like cannibalism… Anyhow, I’m tired of being the guy who’s the punching bag for people who think California wines are lousy. It’s not my fault they're lousy. It’s Parker’s fault.

In the good old days, Marv, you remember, there was no goddamned internet. We’d publish our little numbers and suck up all the advertising dollars out there. No one complained. Sure, an occasional Letter to the Editor would show up—remember how we’d read them outloud in a funny falsetto voice, like we were Jancis Robinson—but, for the most part, we didn’t ever have to worry about criticism. I miss those days. Now I have to turn off my Google Alert. Some guy the other day said I looked like a barrique’s bunghole with Tom Selleck’s moustache. How stupid is that? It’s clearly Omar Sharif’s moustache. And I can’t go anywhere near those wine chat rooms! Those guys are mean. For the record, I am not Helen Turley’s bee-atch. I don’t even know what that is.

But it’s not being in the limelight so much. Nor is it that I have to write the same stinking blog posts year after year after year. Jeez, Marv, you know I don’t have anything interesting to say about wine. Why do you and Tom make me write a column? Not just “Seinfeld” has a Kramer to spout endless non sequiturs. Matt can barge into any room and say weird shit with the best of 'em. I swear, if I have to write another fucking “Six Wineries to Watch” column, I’m going to go insane. Or “Hot New Chardonnay Producers.” It’s just crap, and you make me fill in the winery blanks like it’s “MadLibs.”

“___(Name)______ is quietly producing some of California’s finest offerings of ___(grape)____. If you’re lucky enough to get on his mailing list, you’re in for a rare ___(noun)____.”

And I’m still miffed that you wouldn’t let me use “boner” as the noun. Or as the Name. Though I snuck in Bonarda as the grape! Hahahahahahahaha. I’m hilarious! There’s not enough boners in wine writing, Marv, even though we’re easily the most sexist business around. We should celebrate that. But never mind, my point is I’m sick of the endlessly redundant columns I have to crank out. I sure as hell won’t miss those. “Six Wineries to Watch?” Yeah, sure, for what? Label reproductions in the wine review section that they’ll now gladly pay for after we give them 92 points? Yup. I guess so.

I can keep cranking out the same useless columns forever. Well, I have. They’re no harder than writing tasting notes. So that’s not why I’m resigning either. As I mentioned in the beginning, I’m just weary of California wine. No, not all of it. There’s still some wineries that make wines I like. Caymus comes to mind.

Oooh, I loved the Caymus 40th Anniversary Cabernet! You know why? Because Caymus has the balls to make the wine the way people want their wines—sweet! And that wine is just yummy sweet. I’ll bet that wine has at least 7 grams of sugar in it. Perfect! OK, maybe not as delicious as the 14 grams in Ménage à Trois or the 18 grams in Apothic, but I can’t give those factory wines a 95. They’re crap. Caymus is Caymus. They’ve scored the number one wine in our Top 100 wines issue twice! Finally, a wine I like I can give a big score to. I don’t want to make a fool of myself.

Sure, I used to like dry wines. I was young once. Back then, the sweet ones, which didn’t come along very often, really bothered me. But now I love the sweet reds! I can’t get enough of them. Hell, I relentlessly give them high scores. If they’re reputable wineries, of course. I’m not going to ruin my reputation for just any winery. I’m trying really hard to influence wineries to make sweeter reds. But they don’t seem to be catching on. It’s frustrating. All day long I have to suffer through these big, nasty, bone dry, unfiltered Cabernets when Papa’s just jonesin’ sweetness. Structured, elegant, lean, bone dry? 89 pointers, all of them. Boom! But, hell, only every now and then do I find one I really like. Smooth and rich and satisfying, like a cork-finished chocolate milkshake. That’s a 95! BaBOOM! Figure it out, marketing people, Uncle Jimmy likes it sweet.

But they won’t figure it out. Not enough of them, anyway. Sure, Parker likes Brett, they figure that out. Suckling likes paid subscriptions, they figure that out. Is this so much harder to figure out? Apparently. So I’m outta here, Marv, old buddy. Done. Finito. In the immortal words of Marie Antoinette, “Let ‘em drink cake!”



Thomas said...

This is over my head, but only because I haven't read the Wine Expectorant in about 30 years, and even then I just looked at the label pictures.

Ziggy said...

Us HoseMaster Disciples should have seen this one coming.
Perfect for the Monday Morning blues.
Cracked a rib while reading.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

It's over my head, too. I have no idea what I'm talking about. Thankfully.

Actually, the piece was "inspired" by a conversation I had about how many sweet Napa Cabernets, like Caymus and Bevan, received high scores from Laube lately. I thought it was time for him to retire, so I wrote his resignation letter. And rather than do it in the dull drone that is his column voice, I thought it would be funny if, in real life, he wrote like a goofball.

The debate about whether a noticeably sweet Cabernet deserves a high score could be interesting. I'd say No. But I'm not here to debate, I'm here to act immaturely.

You have Monday Morning blues? Hard to believe. I'd never see that coming. I hope the rib you cracked was someone else's. Thanks for being a common tater.

Daniel said...

RS in red wine is like hot dogs in pizza crust...just because you can doesn't mean you should.

thanks for reminding me why I stopped reading them years ago.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Nice analogy! Thanks for that.

A friend of mine pointed out to me in an email that Meiomi Pinot Noir, which is sickeningly sweet, and juiced up with Gewurz, received 92 points. Have you tasted that shit? Maybe they're trying to attract a younger demographic. Or maybe they don't know anything about wine. That's Pinot Noir like I'm Mark Twain.

Thomas said...

I must get serious for a minute.

After 30-plus years in the wine biz, the one truth I learned is that the overall American consumer likes to claim to prefer dry wine, but mainly drinks insipid wine.

The Spectator and Entusiast, and many other magazines I don't read, are likely not aimed at people with discerning palates.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

That may be true, but that's not what they claim. WS and WE both want to be thought of as authoritative and rigorous tasters, for the trade and for their readers. Most people outgrow them, but you'd never get those rags to say they rate wines for people who don't know shit about wine.

And, yes, every sommelier knows that people talk dry and drink sweet, much as they say they disdain oak but love the taste of vanilla.

David Larsen said...

Just so you know: Greatly enjoyed this and your last post! Those voices are really a hoot. Sorry, but too busy now to write witty comments like your more clever readers.

Charlie Olken said...

Yes, that Meiomi crap. Only 700,000 cases per year that the Wagner (Caymus) clan unloaded for a cool 300 million. Think how much Bob Mondavi would have been worth if he thought of making sweet wine instead of taking the sweet out of the Sauv Blc.

As for Jim Laube, you may not know this, but Jim is one hell of a first baseman. Back when winewriters were young, we had a softball team that toured around playing various winemaker groups in exchange for a free lunch--not so many free samples around in those days--and Jim was one hell of a player. Didn't say much, of course, but then Bobby Bonds didn't say much either.

The funny thing about retirement letters is that the generation of writers that has been in place for three decades and more now is all going to have to write one sooner or later. And then the world will be left with Nat Decants and Joe Roberts. I like Joe but I doubt if he can play first base.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Thank you, David. You may not be as witty as my other common taters, but you make great wine. And, in fact, you are as witty as my other common taters. So there.

And voices are what I try to do. To varying degrees of success.

Puff Daddy,
So as a wine writer, Laube is a helluva first baseman. I'll buy that.

The thing about retirement, of course, is to leave sooner rather than later. Don't pull a Willie Mays. Take a lesson from the HoseMaster, retire early and often!

As for Joe, does the name Eddie Gaedel ring a bell?

Charlie Olken said...

Yes, Eddie was taller, and he could not play first base either.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

With her permission, here is a comment from the lovely and talented AMY CHRISTINE MW:

"In 2010 a certain wine publication, I won't mention any names (Wine Enthusiast), contacted us to say that they had given Hocus Pocus Pinot Noir a score of 90 pts. Hocus Pocus never gets above 90 pts, and not because it's a bad wine, but precisely bc it's a good wine! (Not that I'm biased.) 86-89 points always tells me we must be doing something right.

They mentioned that the score of HoPo PN (along with 2 of our other wines) would be listed online no matter what, but in addition they gave us "three unique opportunities" to pay them to publish our label next to the score, publish it in the magazine and to send out a "targeted email blast". If you don't pay, your label isn't published by the review and not in the print publication. One label = $1095. The email blast cost $1495! Like a Vegas getaway, you could get a package deal for $1,995. It was the first time I naively realized that there is no altruism in wine reviews. We declined (meaning we didn't respond) and I don't think our wines were ever reviewed by them again."

Charlie Olken said...

Someone please tell Ms Christine that not all wine publications work that way--particularly the newsletters (Connoisseurs' Guide, Parker, Tanzer) who do not ever solicit in that particularly unethical manner.

Thomas said...

Tish has been telling people about WE for years, and he should know. Does WS do the same thing?

Charlie, Gil Hodges inspired me to play first base, and I was really good at it (alas, couldn't hit lke him). Must be some relationship between that position and the position behind a computer keyboard. Maybe if I get a 3-D screen it will seem the same as the way baseballs used to appear coming at me--a little scary, but challenging.

Too bad I'm way too young to have been on your wine writer's team.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I'm sure Amy knows that, and I think that most people in the trade know how "unethical" a situation that is. But not enough regular folks, who subscribe, or buy by their scores, know how Wine Enthusiast operates. I don't think STEVE! has ever mentioned it, though it was outside his pay grade and not his responsibility. Sort of. I'm grateful for Amy for writing from personal experience, and not third hand information.

Hell, I don't know if WS does it. I took satiric license and used it. There is way too much shady shit in the wine rag business that goes unseen and nearly completely undiscussed, Tish or no Tish.

And I don't care if Laube gives 95 points, or 92, to a sweet, ostensibly dry, red wine. But his tasting notes never reflect that. If he wrote, "Hey, it's sweet, but I like that, and it won't age very well, but I loved it anyway," I'd be OK with that. Meiomi Pinot Noir getting 92 points? That's nearly criminal. Or stupid.

Gil Hodges should be in the Hall of Fame. Not for inspiring you.

Thomas said...

I agree--about Hodges. About Laube, I have no opinion, since I've never read a word he has written.

A long time ago I decided there wasn't enough room in my head to fill it with unnessa-scary stuff.

I did want to say that I loved the image of the cigar as a large turd, but now that we have embassies on both sides, I should probably not encourage you.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Come on, I review books I haven't read. You can pony up an opinion about Laube. Doesn't a 95 for Caymus 40th anniversary qualify for some lambasting?

And, really, no one should encourage me.

Samantha Dugan said...

Baseball, wine magazines AND California wine critics, you all sound like Charlie Brown's teacher to me right now...
Still dig ya though!

Marcia Macomber said...

Perfect also for Monday Evening blues...
A fake resignation letter fits in perfectly with Blind Book Reviews and everything else we can find here. Puts a smile on my face. Done!

Who's resigning next?!

Samantha Dugan said...

"Who's resigning next?" Oh, pick me! Pick me!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Marcia Love,
Wait. That was fake? Damn. Well, I can dream, can't I?

A friend sent me a link to a FaceBook post by James Molesworth that said I crossed a line referring to Marv's kidney transplant. Really? Idiot. It's public knowledge, and I didn't say I wish he'd died instead, so what line did I cross? Not that I mind crossing a line. That's just not one of them.

And Molesworth hurled his usual jejune thoughts at me, that I go "for low-hanging fruit." This from a "journalist" who writes endless winery puff pieces. And another clown who writes sycophantic puff pieces, Lenn Thompson, agreed with him. Those East Coast guys are really sad examples of wine "journalism."

Naturally, addressing the issue of Laube's dead palate doesn't come up.

I love my job.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
I pick you every chance I get. Though you're not at all low-hanging fruit.

Bob Henry said...

"The debate about whether a noticeably sweet Cabernet deserves a high score could be interesting."

Consider the dust up regarding the 2003 Ch. Pavie (which I "assume" had some residual sugar, given its "Port-like" description):

"Parker and Robinson in War of Words" (Decanter)


"Robinson, Parker Have a Row Over Bordeaux" (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Ch. Pavie 2003 - Peace Breaks Out" (Jancis Robinson)


As for whether Joe Roberts could play first base . . . he could always COACH first base.

Let me close with an anecdote. Some years ago, I worked on print trade and consumer ad agency campaign for a French liquor. (No names.) The Wine Enthusiast's ad sales department notified me that they were favorably reviewing the product in a future issue.

They inquired if my client wished to pay to have the label reproduced adjacent to the "Buyer's Guide" review. I counseled my client: no need, as a favorable review was sufficient. (As they say in Hollywood, all publicity is "good" publicity -- as long as they spell your name correctly.) And so the client respectfully declined.

Thomas is correct that Tish has railed about the appearance of "pay for play" in WE for some time now. And as a former editor of WE, Tish definitely has some strong opinions -- and insights -- into their operations.

Bob Henry said...


Some years ago, I worked on print trade and consumer ad agency campaigns for a French liqueur.

Thomas said...


A 95 for Caymus 40th Annversary issue! Why stop there? Any wine that receives a 95 must be crap. It is written.

As for reviewing what I haven't read: gladly, I do not have your talent. I say gladly because by not having your talent I escape the wrath of...everyone.


I have a soft spot for Tish. When he was WE editor, he paid me to write a story about the Finger Lakes, and that was before others discovered the region. I don't hold it against him that since then, he has avoided me like the plague. Maybe I wrote the article wrong.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron Love,
Sadly my fruit hangs lower with each vintage but you know what they say, the older the vines the sweeter the fruit.

I happen to have a fondness for Tish as well. He has been a big supporter (albeit a publicly quiet one, and who can blame him for that?) of mine and he and I often find ourselves on the same, less popular side of many issues of this wacky business of ours. Smart guy that I wish spoke out a bit more. Like him quiet a lot.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

The wrath of everyone is why one writes this garbage. Whatever admiration I receive never feels real, the comedy writer's insecurity is a powerful force, but the wrath does. It doesn't motivate me to write, I don't much care what people say about the HoseMaster, nor do I care about the imaginary lines I cross (it's wonderful that I can equate Laube to a bunghole with Tom Selleck's moustache, but the line I cross, according to Molesworth, is I mentioned Marvin Shanken's kidney replacement--that's satire, right there!). I just write about whatever happens to be bothering me when I sit down to write. That what I do makes folks uncomfortable, or offends them, is pretty much the point of doing it. Amazing how many "intelligent" people don't understand that.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
Just let me know when you're ready to be harvested.

I'm amazed at how many people in the biz want to air their opinions behind closed doors. You and Tish, for example. And when I write a piece like this Laube piece, I get a LOT of private emails from folks who want to comment on it, but don't want to do it in public. What does that say about our business? Or about people, in general? I don't know, just asking.

Tish hasn't been especially supportive of me, as far as I know. I don't give it any thought. If I aspired to be somebody in the wine business, I might worry. But that ship sailed twenty years ago, and I fell off and drowned.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron Love,
I'm a modern woman so my harvest date in on my bar code. Now, you just need to find it.

I wouldn't say that folks like Tish and I want to air our opinions behind closed doors as much as we don't feel the need to air our opinions at all. I'm not sure that has much to say about the wine business as much as it does specific personality traits. As you might recall I used to let myself get pulled into endless arguments with people, bloggers, critics and the like but after some time you begin to realize, (or should) that you aren't going to change anyone's mind....and maybe it isn't our place to. Far too many people on boards and blogs just argue for the sake of it, or to show how much they know, or think they know, and all too often it ends with feelings all bent and the sticky slime of condensation. I didn't get into this to prove what I know, which is why those tests and credentials are an absolute waste for me. I'm in the end of the business that allows me to turn people on, pleasure them and maybe, hopefully, teach them a little something about what's in their glass along the way. I don't need to fight with wanks on STEVE!s blog or Blinky's. I drink and quietly obsess about wine the same reason I read you, true love. Nothing there to argue about!

Thomas said...


If people didn't have opinions and spend time spewing them they might have to go out and find some facts, and that would be work. The Internet is great at reducing workload.

Don't know if he still does it, but Tish had established a comedy wine act a while back. Maybe, Ron, he sees you as competition. The only time I see Tish comment online these days is to excoriate WE, not a bad avocation.

Samantha Dugan said...

Last time I saw Tish comment was after you and I did over at Wark's blog....what chumps we are, he sucked all three of us in!

Thomas said...


Tom Wark is good at that. He's in promotions.

Samantha Dugan said...

Normally I don't fall for it but he got on his "Better" thing I it got my panties in a wad. Least you and Tish were with me.
Hey, if we keep this going I might be as prolific as Bob!

Charlie Olken said...

Mr. P. says, "I happen to have a fondness for Tish as well. Like him quiet a lot."

Yes, I like Tish quiet as well.

His anger at WE is palpable, well-known and oft-expressed over on STEVE!

I wish he had kept his blog up because he was willing to skewer things that needed skewering--albeit in a different way from HMW--of which there is only one.

And, Samantha, dear friend, being as prolific as Bob is, well, shall we say, not a badge of courage but a badge of prolificity only.

Unknown said...

Gosh, I didn't expect to turn up in the Hosemaster's Comment section, but I'll gladly accept since it is the best-read wine blog on the Interwebs.
For the record, I love all of yinz! Charlie and Thomas and Sam and Bob, and especially you, Ron!
I will echo Charlie's point that not all wine media plays shady games with label reproductions. And, despite my reputation as an abject anti-ratings guy, he will attest that I have argued all along that it is the abuse of scores I deplore, not the idea of rated reviews.
Clearly, wine media has become a wicked brew of flotsam and jetsam. But the creamy content like Hosmeaster of Wine still manages to rise nobly/ignobly to the top.

Dylan Walker said...

Was Laube the c*nt that gave Meiomi Pn 92pts?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Common Taters,
You're all doing so well, I don't need to chime in. But what the hell...

Yes, My Gorgeous Samantha, I do understand why you keep your opinions to yourself. As Thomas implies, the Intergnats are filled with uninformed blowhards who can hide behind a screen and make you feel unheard and like you're wasting your time. Boy, I hear dat. Oddly, I think, the Intergnats rewards my sort of idiocy, the kind that's hard to understand, much less debate. I just miss your Voice, MB, so my reasons are selfish for wanting to eavesdrop on your conversations, and be a Peeping Tom for that low-hanging fruit.

I love you, MB.

There's not a comic writer in the world jealous of the HoseMaster. And most humorists welcome other humorists into the wine world--it's pretty lonely.

More than one of me in the wine blog world would be horrible. Well, twice as horrible, to be exact. I wish Tish would go back to skewering the wine biz as well. But it's tough and unrewarding work. Only fools keep doing it.

Unknown, Who I Assume is Tish,
I'm the best-read wine blog? Hardly. I'll just settle for best-skimmed.

Most would say HoseMaster doesn't rise cream-like to the top, but floats like a nasty turd.

Thanks for chiming in!

I'm not sure. Class?

Samantha Dugan said...

Ah Sir Charles,
Seems as though even with miles and many months between us, you still get me.

I do adore the love from men/women with no much easier that way!

Ron Love,
I thought Unknown was Tom Wark, wanna Roshambo for who's right? Whadda ya say, winner gets to fondle the lowhanger's fruit? I've missed this place, and missed preaching and purring for those three of you still caring to listen. Just needed, maybe still need, a little time out of the cess/incestuous pool. Hearing you miss me back might just be the dry, (and adorable) towel I was aching for to dry off my sweaty bits. Miss you cats. This has been fun today.

Thomas said...


For the record, it was Sam who liked Tish "quiet a lot." It was a good Freudian slip, though.

Samantha Dugan said...

I had a typeo?! Shirley you are inconnect.

Thomas said...

Just wanred to set Charlir straifht.

Dylan Walker said...

I just checked. He gave the 2013 Meiomi "Pinot Noir" 92pts...

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I knew WS gave it 92, but I wasn't absolutely positive it was a Laube review. Thanks for checking. I don't subscribe to WS. They don't subscribe to HoseMaster of Wine™. I'm cheaper and funnier.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
It's so weird that your comments don't go through to my personal email! Probably for the best. You're too hot for my little tiny personal computer tool to handle.

Paul Moe said...

Off topic and I apologize. BR Cohn has joined the portfolio of Girl and the Dragon, Cowgirl Sisterhood, Promis-Q-ous, Monogamy, and Deep Purple. RIP, BR Cohn.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Well, smoke a doobie, brother, on BR's behalf.

Bob Henry said...

Ron writes:


"I have a soft spot for Tish. When he was WE editor, he paid me to write a story about the Finger Lakes, and that was before others discovered the region. I don't hold it against him that since then, he has avoided me like the plague. Maybe I wrote the article wrong."

Did you give the finger to the Finger Lakes?

(If "yes," then it would appear that Thomas at least has forgiven you.)


I can attest to Tish's admiration of your writings -- as he has said as much in e-mails to me.

"Hey, if we keep this going I might be as prolific as Bob!"

Um . . . which "Bob" would that be?

Ya' know, for the longest time (years) I sat on the sidelines amused (or is it bemused?) by the inane comments I saw posted on wine blogs.

I felt no compunction to correct the record (a Sisyphean task). And so I kept silent.

Then one insomniac night I broke my silence on STEVE!

Thomas got it right: "If people didn't have opinions and spend time spewing them they might have to go out and find some facts, and that would be work. The Internet is great at reducing workload."

As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed:

"You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

More folks would be well-served if they read and followed the tenets of this book by two Stanford University professors:

"Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense"

Critical thinking skills are declining across our post-literate society.

Bob Henry said...

Dear Unknown -- if that is your REAL name:

Yinz betray your Western PA roots by invoking that pronoun . . . jagoff.


Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake

Unknown said...

Most Yinzers use "yinz" as a term of endearment.
Jagoff, however, which coincidentally rhymes with Steve Heimoff, is applied to jagoffs like Heimoff.
And, never doubt Thomas when it comes to all things wine; he is one of the few people I know who have worked both as a producer and a retailer.

Samantha Dugan said...

Well shit, I was wrong. Does this mean I have to, or get to fondle The HoseMaster's low hanging fruit?

Bob Henry said...

Dear Unknown Comic [*]:

A term of endearment -- like Archie calling Edith a "meathead"?


[* ]

harveywine said...

A little late to this, but for the record Wine Spectator does not shake down vintners for any kind of placement in the magazine or on the web site. As with Connoisseurs Guide, Parker, et al, those are 100% editorial decisions.

Jim Laube, by the way, has decided to enter the baseball draft next year. He can still dig out those errant throws from weak-armed shortstops.

Jörgen Lindström said...

Sweet post. Easy 96 p.

EPS said...

Nicely done. I was a wine enthusiast subscriber for a few years. I couldn't understand the reviews for California cabs. You know the ones where you ring every last drop out of the bottle and every grain of sediment until there is sadly no more? I'd eagerly look up the score in WE expecting to find myself inline with such a herald only to find scores of, "89 - 91 -JL". So, I dropped coin on the his 95 point wines only to ask, "wth is this guys deal?" This fruit bomb may be balanced, but not interesting. Dropped the subscription. When in Napa I heard that all you had to do to get a 90 was send them a few cases and advertise in their mag. Now doing my own ratings. The Melka I'm drinking tonight, 92. Oh my damn, what a pleasure. All the best. -Ksyrah612