Reader mail: Parker’s selective Spanish reviews

A reader writes in:

I have just seen that Robert Parker has tasted the wines for Jorge Ordoñez and given points instead of Neil Martin. What is going on? I thought after the No Pay No Jay scandal they would be doing things by the book. Very disappointed as I was very happy how Neil Martin was doing things. I personal will cancel my web subscription. These points given can not have any creditability.

This is not the first time that Parker has reviewed the import portfolio of Jorge Ordonez separately from the Spanish critic: When Pierre Rovani reviewed Spanish wine, Parker kept the Jorge Ordóñez wines back to review those personally. This time, Parker uses the 25th anniversary of the importing business as a reason for singling them out. He also adds this line:

Jorge Ordoñez can sometimes annoy people, and he seems to have no shortage of competitors who are clearly jealous of his great success.

It’s an odd line, with more bitterness than a wine before microxidation; if he likes the wines, why not just leave it at that? To include this line in a short piece praising Ordonez seems spiteful and almost paranoid since nobody had said anything badly about Ordóñez, as far as I am aware. From my perspective, the Ordóñez wines appear less visible than they were a decade ago and there have been some notable wineries that have left his portfolio. Meanwhile, the rise of boutique importers of Spanish wines has been one of the more exciting stories out of the Iberian peninsula in the past decade. Given that Parker frequently mentions Ordóñez wines, and Miller had been the recipient of hospitality, I understand why the reader is irked.

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7 Responses to “Reader mail: Parker’s selective Spanish reviews”


  1. “It’s an odd line, with more bitterness than a wine before microxidation; ”

    That implies that wines that do not go through micro-ox remain bitter, and I would beg to differ. ;)


  2. Parker and Jorge have long been in bed together. Both have have achieved a great deal, and have done a lot for their respective metiers, but both should go quietly into the sunset together. They have both been eclipsed.


  3. Ha, Damien, true–touché! More bitter than astringent tannins then…


  4. [...] Colman shares an email from a former Wine Advocate subscriber, who is infuriated that Robert Parker decided to taste and [...]


  5. [...] Colman shares an email from a former Wine Advocate subscriber, who is infuriated that Robert Parker decided to taste and [...]


  6. I’m interested to hear that Ordonez is still around. I heard that he had dropped out of sight.


  7. When a certain prolific Spanish winemaker was finally forced to leave the Ordonez portfolio due to Jorge’s systematic copy-catting of the wines using local cooperatives, Parker stopped reviewing that winemaker’s wines. It took years before for Bob started even looking at them again. It does have a nice little warm feeling of collusion, doesn’t it?


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