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Jenise

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So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:04 pm

He's the new Advocate reviewer taking over the WA state beat, and there's a long thread on Facebook peopled by Wine Enthusiast past and current reviewers Paul Gregutt and Sean Sullivan as well as Spectator alumni Harvey Steiman, as well as ITB guys like Daniel Posner all weighing in. He's apparently issued an initial cache of reviews full of shock-jock pejoratives and swinging as widely as ten points from reviews on the exact same wine previously issued by Dunnock.

It doesn't matter much to me, I don't buy based on reviews, but because I live here I care about the industry and the revolving door that has been coverage of WA wines at the Advocate--and any area previously covered by Big Jay Miller--has made their opinions pretty irrelevant. And that Kelley can now come in and put out new reviews reversing prior opinions downward by as much as ten points is insanely damaging--to our brand but his and the Wine Advocate's as well, though I don't give a fig about them. Point is, they should care, and editorial oversight should never have allowed it. An atmosphere of suspicion and hostility now awaits them.

But anyway, who is this Kelley guy, where did he come from? Anyone know?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:14 pm

William Kelley is also the new Burg guy for the Wine Advocate. He's more known as a Burg guy, and he probably go PacNW due to Oregon, not Washington. He's really knowledgeable on Burgundy.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Dale Williams » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:16 pm

Yes, seems to know his stuff on Burgundy (what's he doing at WA?).
For someone whose first love seems to be mature Burgs, not surprised he'd have a different take than Jeb D.,
https://wfkelley.com/
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by John S » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Frankly, I think -10 points from Dunnick scores sounds about right...he definitely used high scores to his advantage. Also, the influence of the new reviewer might lead to less overt brute power in WA wines? I agree that there has really been a lot of different reviewers for the region, which is unfortunate in some respects but I do think there are benefits to the consumer with that (e.g., less price increases).

So while I see that there could be some negatives for the WA industry in the short term, it may also have unintended positive consequences for them as well.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:13 pm

Where’s the thread Jenise? What should I search for?
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:47 pm

John S wrote:Frankly, I think -10 points from Dunnick scores sounds about right...he definitely used high scores to his advantage. Also, the influence of the new reviewer might lead to less overt brute power in WA wines? I agree that there has really been a lot of different reviewers for the region, which is unfortunate in some respects but I do think there are benefits to the consumer with that (e.g., less price increases).

So while I see that there could be some negatives for the WA industry in the short term, it may also have unintended positive consequences for them as well.


I hear you on that. I don't follow reviews for advice, but of course like everyone I can't help but see them from time to time. But Dunnock was consistent--he's more the bigger-is-better type, and I could gauge my own more muted impressions-to-be fairly well from his writing. To the extent that encouraged more of same I rather regret, and I can agree a more conservative reviewer could in the long run have a positive effect (I want Steve Tanzer back!) but still, it's a rude and sudden change of horses for our industry.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:48 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Where’s the thread Jenise? What should I search for?


It started with a post by Paul Gregutt on Facebook. Friend him, Posner, Sullivan...you'll get there.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:48 pm

Thanks. Was able to glance through most of the thread. Looks like sour grapes, nothing more.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:17 pm

Some, but not all. I thought Sean Sullivan's long post re the pros and cons later in the thread was the most compelling.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:37 pm

The post about “tannin accumulation”?

If they are worried about unkind words they should look back at some things Parker and Rovani have said about wines from other regions. WK is not remotely the first one to use blunt language in a review.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Robin Garr » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:32 pm

Jenise wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Where’s the thread Jenise? What should I search for?


It started with a post by Paul Gregutt on Facebook. Friend him, Posner, Sullivan...you'll get there.

This?
https://www.facebook.com/paulgregutt/po ... 4755444911

Don't even have to friend him (although Posner and I are connected). It's a public post. :)
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:27 pm

Yup, that.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:20 pm

So a guy named Skifree posted this on CT:


Wine Advocate has a new taster for Washington - his initial report came out and, thankfully, he has less love of oaky fruit bombs than Jeb Dunnuck. Not only do his scores reflect that, but his tasting notes do even more. Look at this quote on a 90 point wine: "I found its almost sickly ripeness overbearing, but I'm sure many tasters will love it, and it's well-made in its style."

I hope there is a bit of soul-searching going on, I agree that too many Washington wines are slathered with oak (I guess my palate is changing!).

Winners: Christophe Baron (2015 Hors Categorie at 100 pts, Horsepower rated very high, etc.), Betz, Adams Bench, Cadence, Andrew Will, Charles Smith (K, Sixto), Rotie

Neutral: Quilceda Creek (flagship got 96), DeLille (still rated highly), L'Ecole, Force Majeure, Sleight of Hand, Passing Time, aMaurice, Longshadows. Solid scores on most wines (i.e., low 90's).

Losers: Corliss, Doubleback, Woodward Canyon, Fidelitas, Pepperbridge, Cote Bonneville, Dunham, Rasa. Lucky to get a single 90, most with none. Some of the notes for a wine rated 88, for example, would be what I would write for the low 80's or high 70's. I am guessing surprise, anger, and dismay for some who read these.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:26 pm

So what was the Tempranillo based wine that garnered such a negative review as to make the jackals question Kelley’s ability to taste more than 2 wines at a sitting, not to mention impugn every Burgundy lover the world over.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:34 pm

Wow, you sure read a lot more into that than I did.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by David M. Bueker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:24 pm

There was one guy who posted a very long response in the thread, where he took Burgundy lovers to the woodshed.
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Dale Williams » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:32 am

Jenise wrote:" thankfully, he has less love of oaky fruit bombs than Jeb Dunnuck" " too many Washington wines are slathered with oak"

Winners:Andrew Will, , Rotie

Neutral: Quilceda Creek (flagship got 96),

Losers: Woodward Canyon, Fidelitas, Pepperbridge,


Just based on this it seems to me Kelley is an improvement.
Love the comment in the thread by Joe Cz, something like "as someone who followed Jeb in another region, some adjustments must be made"
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Re: So what does anyone know about this Kelley guy?

by Jenise » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:16 pm

I don't disagree a bit, Dale. Jay Miller didn't do this state any favors and following him with someone like Jeb who obviously prized size over elegance didn't help, even if he was more consistent. Rightfully, the cognoscenti didn't trust his opinions.

Someone they will trust more, great. But the breaking-in period is going to hurt.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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