Graeme Miller Wines (Yarra Valley) – The owners of this winery were very friendly and I hope that the wines I tried were off-bottles rather than being representative. As always though, I can only review what is in the glass.

Sauvignon Blanc 2005 – Easy drinking with some tropical fruit on the nose and a crisp palate. 86/100

Chardonnay 2005 – Seems faulty – burnt rubber and smoke and earth with a dirty taste on the palate. 75/100

Rosé 2005 – I’m sorry to say this, but this was the most faulty wine I have ever tasted. Dominant onion skins, rubber, and some barnyard characters on the nose with the palate living up to the promise of the nose. 50/100

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. […] As part of my large writeup on the Victorian Winemaker Exhibition 2006, I reviewed a wine here that I believed to among the most faulty wines I had ever tasted. It smelt like burnt rubber, onions and the stable in a poorly maintained barnyard. I awarded the wine 50 points, which is the lowest possible score for the 100 point system. I also indicated in the review that I hoped that these were off bottles rather than representative, but that I can only rate what is in the glass on the day. […]

  2. […] Like a lot of people who write about wine, I have chosen not to publish negative reviews although my scale allows for low marks. If you do a search here, you’ll not see any wines under 7, although my tasting log has some 6’s recorded. This policy doesn’t seem like such a bad idea watching what is happening with fellow wine blogger Cam from Appellation Australia. Even though he prefaced his notes in the nicest possible way, the winery, Graeme Miller Wines, has threatened legal action based upon his negative review. So if you Google Graeme Miller Wines now, you’ll see 4 negative posts on the first page of 10 results. Nice job keeping the bad review quiet, guys. As more bloggers write about this, the more bad (online) press will spread. This is what makes wine blogging so compelling to me. While the wine press keeps these things silent (for the most part), wine bloggers provide another way for consumers to be better informed before buying wine. This whole episode has me reversing my policy of not posting negative reviews. The next bad wine I taste will show up here with the details of what I didn’t like. With so many good wines on the market, it makes sense to warn readers of the wines to avoid. […]

  3. Cam…just learned of the bullying, bullshit tactics of this winery via Fermentation.

    Kudos to you for not backing down. It is absolutely ridiculous for them to threaten you in any way shape or form. Would they do that with any of those “glossy” mags out there? Nope.

    You’re showing the power of the wine blog community…and I think your post is absolutely well handled. You didn’t blindly blast the wines…you have what amounts to a disclaimer in the first paragraph.

    If they think they are having problems with bloggers now…and blog posts showing up towards the top in search engines…I fully expect that problem to get worse now. I know that I plan to bring this up on LENNDEVOURS sometime this week…and I’m guessing Tom, Tim and I aren’t the only ones.

  4. […] Should a critic publish a negative or unflattering critique? In my recent travels through wine blogging land I ran across a post by Cam Wheeler on his Australian wine blog, regarding a negative review that he published. In his original review he said this “I’m sorry to say this, but this was the most faulty wine I have ever tasted. Dominant onion skins, rubber, and some barnyard characters on the nose with the palate living up to the promise of the nose. 50/100” It’s painful for me to read… I can’t even imagine what it was like for the winemaker. Well apparently he found it so painful he felt the need to consult a lawyer and send Cam Wheeler a letter threatening legal action if he doesn’t remove the review. In my opinion, both sides of this debate have merit. I understand the argument that critics should use their power for good rather than evil. In long-ago discussions, regarding restaurant reviews, I have supported this point of view. I prefer to give entrepreneurs the benefit of the doubt and assume they are doing their best to make a good product. Regarding wine, maybe I tasted an off bottle that was stored incorrectly, maybe I was having a bad day. Why potentially damage someone’s business with your damning comments? […]

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