Jay Miller and Pancho Campo sit down to chat with winery owners and journalists at FENAVIN
The Airén grape variety does not have much of a future on the American market. This is exactly what Jay Miller, Robert Parker's right-hand man in Spain, answered to the questions posed by those attending the chat that took place this morning at FENAVIN, the National Trade Fair on Wine that is being held in Ciudad Real.
"Unfortunately, until quite recently I had not had the opportunity to try the Airén grape variety, however, at least for the time being, I don't think it will have much of an impact on the American market," Miller said in answer to the question posed by a Castellano-Manchego winery owner.
The American reviewer, representative in Spain of the prestigious publication The Wine Advocate, was very pleased to be in Spain, country that along with Chile and Argentina, represents the three wine producing regions that are growing the most on the American market. Jay Miller, along with Pancho Campo, first Spanish Master of Wine and the Minister of Agriculture, Martínez-Guijarro, all faced the round of questions posed by those attending this encounter, who were interested in hearing the particular view and opinion that this prestigious expert, collaborator of the equally renowned Bob Parker, has on the wines of Spain.
During the chat Miller mentioned that all the Spanish wines he is now trying will indeed be included in the celebrated guide, and with regards to La Mancha wines, he mentions his surprise at the tremendous variety of grapes that exist. "There is a variety in style that we just can't try in the United States, because the importers first make a selection for us in which they blend different varieties."
In another order of matters, he also advanced that he is planning a tour that will take him to the south of Spain and to the Spanish Levante area towards the end of this year, with the tour starting in Jerez and finishing off in Jumilla and the Valencian Community. "My aim is to visit all the Designations of Origin and to get to know the numerous varieties that exist," he commented.
With regards to the tendency of the American consumer, Miller pointed out that the average consumer is currently, due to the economic situation in search of wines that cost less than 15 dollars, wines that are fruitier, aromatic and easy to drink. Another characteristic of the American market is that they buy wines according to the grape variety and not according to the name of the region or area. "Americans think that La Rioja is a grape variety," he mentioned.
Miller also revealed his secret when tasting wines at a single go. "The basic idea is to have fun" he said. I don't agree with many professionals on the matter of palate fatigue. The important thing is to focus, concentrate and practice, like any skill it is a matter of practice and training. As long as the mind is not fatigued, you can continue tasting and distinguishing what you are tasting."