12th April, 2012 by Rupert Millar
The Wine Advocate has released the findings of its internal investigation into the accusations against Jay Miller and Pancho Campo MW.
On his site’s bulletin board, critic Robert Parker posted the results of four months of investigation and an updated code of conduct.
“Integrity, credibility, and independence are the cornerstones of our business, and will be maintained whatever the cost may be,” wrote Parker.
The investigation was conducted by Cozen O’Connor and did not reveal “any evidence of impropriety by The Wine Academy of Spain”. The findings concluded that Jay Miller did not receive, “anything of value to visit wineries or taste wines on behalf of The Wine Advocate.
“Nonetheless, the investigation revealed that arrangements in Spain created an appearance of impropriety that fell short of the high standards that The Wine Advocate set for itself.”
A statement from The Wine Academy’s board of directors stated: “The investigation also revealed that no monies or expenses were ever paid by Spanish wineries or appellations in regard to the tastings for rating their wines in The Wine Advocate, during the time that The Wine Academy was responsible for the coordination the visits for The Wine Advocate.
“The Wine Academy regrets that the organization of several private events could have created an appearance of impropriety. We deeply apologize to The Wine Advocate and to Robert Parker for this situation, which was created totally unintentionally.”
The report stated that the chief cause of this semblance of “impropriety” was caused by Miller’s lack of Spanish, which led to his having little or no input on the organisations of his trips to wineries which were instead handled by Campo.
The nine recommendations that The Wine Advocate has implemented as a result include: severing relations with Campo an The Wine Academy of Spain; adopting new rules regarding private events with contractors; greater scrutiny of expense claims and revisions to the publication’s “Writer Standards”.
The documents are available to download here (subscribers to erobertparker.com only)