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Senior Editor James Suckling Retires from Wine Spectator

Coverage for wines of Italy, Bordeaux and Port has been reassigned

Posted: July 14, 2010

James Suckling, who joined Wine Spectator in 1981 and has served as European bureau chief since 1988, has retired from the company.

Suckling’s tasting responsibilities have been reassigned. The wines will be reviewed in our standard blind-tastings in the company’s New York office.

Senior editor and tasting director Bruce Sanderson will oversee coverage of Italy. Sanderson, who has been with the magazine for 18 years, currently reviews the wines of Burgundy, Champagne and Germany. His most recent cover story was an in-depth analysis of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Senior editor James Molesworth, who is responsible for France’s Rhône Valley and Loire Valley, will add Bordeaux to his portfolio. Molesworth has been with Wine Spectator for 14 years. He also reviews the wines of Argentina, Chile and South Africa.

Managing editor Kim Marcus reviews the table wines of Portugal; he will now take responsibility for Port as well. Marcus, who joined Wine Spectator 23 years ago, also tastes the wines of Austria and southern France.

"James Suckling has been a significant contributor to the success of Wine Spectator,” said editor and publisher Marvin R. Shanken. “He will be missed. We are very fortunate to have significant depth in our editorial team. Moving these tastings to New York, where we have a larger staff and better logistical control, will allow us to strengthen our coverage of these important wine regions."

Farhana Haque
Queens, NY —  July 14, 2010 6:19pm ET
Is he still with Cigar Aficionado?
Bruce Edwards
Fredericksburg, Tx —  July 14, 2010 6:58pm ET
I'm very sorry to see him gone as I now will reconsider my online subscription, since his was always the most informative, as as the lifestyle aspect that most certainly could put into enviable words.
A sad day indeed.
William R Klapp Jr
Neive, Italy —  July 14, 2010 7:17pm ET
Hopefully Suckling will tell us what really happened here...
Morewine Bishar
Del Mar, California —  July 14, 2010 7:38pm ET
Did not see this coming!
Mike Zak
Naperville, Illinois —  July 14, 2010 7:39pm ET
Who "retires" from a job like this??? James, I hope all is well with you. Thanks for the way you energized WS and this site!
Charles Leary
North Carolina —  July 14, 2010 7:47pm ET
Say it isn't so! Is it April 1st?
Theodore Mukamal
NY, NY —  July 14, 2010 8:16pm ET
Thank you, James, for your hard work and dedication. We wish you the best of luck and many, many more happy wine experiences!
Paul Heagen
Cincinnati, OH —  July 14, 2010 8:32pm ET
Shame on Wine Spectator for such a clumsy announcement. Did you really think you were making the issue go away by avoiding it?

I read Suckling's columns not just for the "tastings" but for the way he brought the people and texture of Italy come to life. You can't do that from New York, WS. and stop pretending you can.

James...thank you. I learned much from you, and fell in love with Italy through your words. I hope you are well.
Eugene Kim
Houston, TX —  July 14, 2010 8:32pm ET
Sounds fishy.
One day you are posting blogs on the upcoming 2009 Bordeaux futures, one of the best ever, the next day you retire.
A significant loss.
Troy Peterson
Burbank, CA —  July 14, 2010 8:48pm ET
Thomas Matthews
New York City —  July 14, 2010 8:55pm ET
James played a key role as Wine Spectator became the most widely-read wine publication in the world. He has decided to take a different path. We wish him well.
Matthew Raica
Newcastle, WA —  July 14, 2010 10:58pm ET
This should have been announced better. If he was (and he WAS) such a huge part of the development of Wine Spectator he deserves a better send-off than this, despite the circumstances of his departure.

James, I wish you the best in all your future endeavors! Your input here will be sorely missed!
Robert Noad
Huntington Beach, CA —  July 14, 2010 11:15pm ET
If James chose to leave he should post an explanation on the site. Announcing his retirement without clarification or comment from James makes it seem like a negative separation.
Jerry Rosenblatt
Montreal, Canada —  July 15, 2010 12:02am ET
James, as you can tell from all the posts before mine, you will sincerely be missed. Your coverage of the wines of Italy and Bordeaux was how I became introduced to some of my favourite vineyards and wines (especially Castelgiocondo, Casanova de Neri and ... can't name them all). Wow, this is rather shocking, and while I don't want to be too dramatic, I will certainly miss your reviews - in a weird way, you had become my "vitual" partner in exploring the wines of the old world. James, if you're reading this, please find a way to tell us where you will be going - it's hard to imagine you won't be writing somewhere.
Troy Peterson
Burbank, CA —  July 15, 2010 12:21am ET
James was kind enough to respond to an email I sent him earlier today and it sounds like the split was quite amicable. I recommend against jumping to conclusions. It seems that the only emotionally-charged element to this whole event is us posters (and I include myself)!
Nancy Robinson
Phoenix, AZ —  July 15, 2010 12:25am ET
James, I will mention again that you will be sorely missed. I do agree with others that your articles and blogs and your apparent passion for wine and Italy, as well as, Bordeaux, are the main reasons I subscibe to the magazine online and hardcopy. You do have a way of bringing your "notes" to life. I will miss your informative reviews. Please keep us posted.
Ruth Haworth
NY —  July 15, 2010 1:05am ET
What???? Why???

Please report soon why this has happened!! Very disturbing way to announce this news with NO details.
Please inform your readers with good and honest reporting, we deserve that!!
Harry Graham
Solon, OH, USA —  July 15, 2010 9:04am ET
That is truly a shame. I have read his comments for many years and found them to be straightforward and reliable. His loss is significant. Harry Graham, Solon, OH
Chris A Elerick
Orlando, FL —  July 15, 2010 9:08am ET
i echo ruth's sentiments. barring something libelous or otherwise scandalous, the circumstances surrounding james' departure should be made clearer to the readership of the magazine.

while i have yet to find an appreciation for the regions that james covered, i nevertheless enjoyed his stories of amazing wine tastings he attended. he had a way of expressing his passion for wine with humility and grace, even though he has been exposed to wines the rest of us mortals can only dream of.

even though the only constant in life is change, this is a great loss for spectator and james will be missed.
Kenneth A Galloway
Paris, France —  July 15, 2010 9:18am ET
The best of luck to you and your family James ! I really enjoyed your contribution to WS.

Marc A Dibella
Hartford, Connecticut —  July 15, 2010 9:47am ET
Very disappointing. His coverage of Italy & Bordeaux is the reason I subscribe to the magazine & on-line.
David Rossi
Napa, CA, USA —  July 15, 2010 10:40am ET
He's just moving on. He didn't die! Get over it people. I wish him luck.
Johnny Espinoza Esquivel
Wine World —  July 15, 2010 11:40am ET
James was (and still is) one of the my favorite editors anywhere on wine matters. Nothing last forever and some things are not meant to last. A cycle has just finished and a new one is beginning. From my standpoint it is not fair with James Molesworth, Bruce Sanderson and Kim Marcus and their new assignments, assuming something wrong happened. I'm sure they will do fine with the coverage of that areas, although work load for them will increase significantly. Hope they will not mess with their current tasting beat areas!

I affiliate to WS because as a whole, the magazine and publication fill up my expectations. Editors are a key part of both but on today's world none is essential/indispensable.

James where ever you are and what ever you do, I hope you'll do fine and be well. I certainly enjoyed you blogs and reports. Keep Up the Good Work!

God Bless you.
David K Welch
Galveston, TX —  July 15, 2010 12:35pm ET
James was very popular with a lot of folks. I may not have always agreed with him, but his palate is the most consistent of all the evaluators and I could calibrate whether or not I would like something based on his opinion. I will miss him and WS needs to provide a little more detail.
Roberto German
Rio de Janeiro —  July 15, 2010 1:11pm ET
James will be deeply missed, and all I can hope is that next taster to be assigned lives up to WS online subscriber's expectations.
George Ushkowitz
New Jersey —  July 15, 2010 2:53pm ET
Come on Marvin. Jim will be missed BUT now we can strengthen our coverage of these areas. Please don't insult us. I have relied on Jim's coverage of Bordeaux, Italy & Port for years. He will be sorely missed & you should acknowlege that. That being said I have a great deal of respect for his replacements & wish them well as they take on the added responsibilities. If you find they are overwhelmed and need some help I am always available.
Stephen Stewart
new mexico  —  July 15, 2010 3:10pm ET
gutted I will not be reading your blogs anymore.Your blogs always had a nice personal side to them.
All the best mate,and good luck for whatever you do in the future.
Italy —  July 15, 2010 3:16pm ET

I just hope there's gonna be a : www.jamessuckling.com very soon
Fred Pitts
New Jersey —  July 15, 2010 3:34pm ET
I agree that James Suckling will be missed by readers and blog visitors here. I always said that he had the best job in the world. But something tells me that he had an offer that he couldn't refuse somewhere else. As an acknowledged expert in my two favorite parts of the wine world, I'm sure he had many standing offers that will prove to be much more lucrative for him going forward. I'll look for him to pop up somewhere and will follow.
Ed Chin
Bay Area —  July 15, 2010 3:38pm ET
I have not been a subscriber to WS for long, but I find Mr. Sucklings writing to be straight forward and honest. His knowledge and writing style comes through without the ego some other writers have. Good luck Mr. Suckling.
Marchello Chacchia
Connecticut —  July 15, 2010 5:12pm ET
Michael Yusko
Alabama —  July 15, 2010 5:40pm ET
I think David Welch said it best: "his palate is the most consistent of all the evaluators and I could calibrate whether or not I would like something based on his opinion. I will miss him"

I second that. I never trusted Parker's palate, especially for Italy, but James and I have very similar tastes. Thanks for looking out for us all these years, James.
Sao Anash
Santa Barbara —  July 15, 2010 6:30pm ET
I will miss reading Suckling's Bordeaux coverage, but at least Molesworth is stepping into that role. Molesworth has done a fantastic job with the Rhone region, so I'm looking forward to his Bordeaux writings.
John Brody
Montreal Canada —  July 15, 2010 6:32pm ET
James Suckling will surely be missed. His moving on seems to be a personal decision. I look forward to his future work. I also look forward to the next issue of wine spectator. Keep it positive. I will open a bottle of really good Italian wine and drink a toast to James for all that he has taught me. To health and happiness.
Gerald Ansel
Fullerton, Calif —  July 15, 2010 7:06pm ET
The story says "Senior editor and tasting director Bruce Sanderson will oversee coverage of Italy. Sanderson ... currently reviews the wines of Burgundy, Champagne and Germany." Does that mean Bruce will cover Italy *in addition to* those regions? Or will Burgundy, Champagne and Germany be reassigned?
Bill Andreotti
Aurora, IL USA —  July 15, 2010 7:41pm ET
A lot of speculation and anger towards the publishers. Another possibility is that there is a health issue, and Mr. Suckling asked everyone at WS to keep it mum. That would put them in a tough position, not wanting to respond to the innuendo. Just another point of view.
Marc Robillard
Montreal,Canada —  July 15, 2010 7:54pm ET
This is very unfortunate news...I can't believe it!
James was my single most trusted source for great wines!
Also, he appears to be a fun guy.
So sorry that he is leaving and I am very surprised and disapointed.
What ever he does, I wish him all he best and hope I can still read his wine reviews somewhere else.
Ralph Evans
Tulsa, OK —  July 15, 2010 8:15pm ET
James, John, and Dottie. Been a tough year for experienced wine writers. Our loss as consumers.
Shari Dingley
Miami, FL USA —  July 15, 2010 8:38pm ET
Best Wishes in your retirement and to your future endeavors! Thank you for years of wonderful reading! I truly learned so much from your knowledge.
God Speed Mr. Molesworth.
Shari Dingley
Miami, FL USA —  July 15, 2010 8:40pm ET
OMG, Blonde moment!...
Mr. James Suckling!!!!
Joe Downs
Vason Island, WA —  July 15, 2010 9:29pm ET
I too will miss the insight provided by James Suckling, especially his take on the Italians. People should remember however, that time marches on, and that the focus should be on the wine, and not the personality. I can remember the angst that I felt when Shanken purchased the "Spectator" from Bob Morrisey. The decision to move from tabloid and large format to the current venue was troublesome as well. I pined when the center of the universe moved from San Francisco to New York. How dare they! All is temporal however, and the Spectator is a stronger voice for all of it's changes. Mr. Suckling's passing will be part of the history. Let's wish him well in his retirement!
Vince Liotta
Elmhurst Illinois —  July 15, 2010 9:54pm ET
I feel I would be remiss not to echo the sentiment that Wine Spectator missed an opportunity to give JS and his readers their due. The real story at this early moment is not who will replace him, but that he is leaving and what he has meant to the publication. It appears that JS has become a competitor.

Thank you, however, for assigning Molesworth to Bordeaux. I look forward to his coverage of my favorite region. I also respect what I have read of Bruce Sanderson. The only problem is I tend to get this glazed over look and feeling after reading only part of his articles.

David Allen
Lufkin, Texas —  July 15, 2010 10:34pm ET
Bummer. Good Luck in your Future Endeavors ! Grew Up with your Notes ! You will be missed !
Chris Haag
vancouver, bc —  July 16, 2010 12:28am ET
Go to decanter.com/news people for more on this. The guy is simply moving on with his life. And remember, this is all about wine, it is supposed to be fun, lighten up......:)
Tony Wood
Brighton U.K. —  July 16, 2010 2:43am ET
Speaking as James number one UK. fan I will miss the insight,the blogs and the knowledge that I can trust the integrity of the writer,no other wine journalist has had so much influence over my wine purchases.
I wish you good luck for the future along with great health.
Frank Baroudi
Buenos AIres —  July 16, 2010 8:32am ET
That's an official WOW! Clearly, it must be time to move on to the next chapter... May the FORCE be with you mi hermano!
Robert Kelly
Monte Sereno —  July 16, 2010 9:51am ET
James was the best. He was interesting, fair and informative. He will be missed more than Wine Spectator thinks and his replacement is not the answer.
Bruno Marchettini
Italy —  July 16, 2010 10:18am ET
I can't believe it. James was the most brilliant editor of WSp. and a profound connesseur of wines and countries where he lived and was involved. You can't think you can do a good job from an office in NY. Where is the surround, tha ambience, the culture which is around the wine? I am really sorry.
Louis A Finnerty
Ireland —  July 16, 2010 10:57am ET
I am dumbstruck.
Jeremy Sharib
San Francisco  —  July 16, 2010 1:13pm ET
Sad to see the animated JS go. You are the man.

But I heard that Mr. Suckling has decided that he will be taking his talents to … South beach!

~ The King
Richard Wilkerson
Alexandria, VA —  July 16, 2010 1:23pm ET
This is disappointing news. Not only did his opinions and insight help develop my love for Bordeaux and Vintage Port, I appreciated his writing style. I enjoy all of WS's and CA's writers but Mr. Suckling's writing, personality, friendships with the members of Rush and Maynard James Keenan, reports from Cuba and on various subjects connected best with Mr. Shanken's belief that WS and CA represent the good life. I want to be James Suckling. His departure won't lead to the end of my subscriptions but it certainly means some of the excitement and enjoyment I get from both publications will be missing. Good luck Mr. Suckling and I hope to find out soon where I can find your future columns.
Tony Wood
Brighton U.K. —  July 16, 2010 1:46pm ET
Speaking as James number one UK. fan I will miss the insight,the blogs and the knowledge that I can trust the integrity of the writer,no other wine journalist has had so much influence over my wine purchases.
I wish you good luck for the future along with great health.
Peter Vangsness
Springfield, MA —  July 16, 2010 2:53pm ET
James - Thanks for all your good work on our behalf. Bona Fortuna!
Kirkland K Ogawa
Pasadena, CA —  July 16, 2010 4:04pm ET
Thanks to James Suckling for all of his great insights. They will be missed.
Quek Li Fei
Singapore —  July 16, 2010 7:12pm ET
oh dear.. rather sudden and unexpected! James' presence, experience and eloquent writing on wine and wine related issues (many from a consumer's perspective) will be very missed. I wish him all the best for the future. Also, many thanks for the good writing, boldness in expressing his opinions and for sharing his undoubtedly discerning palate and experience in wine tasting with us.
Michael Yusko
Alabama —  July 16, 2010 9:03pm ET
My second comment. Come on, everybody. WS knows this is a Big Deal. They were unsure how to deliver the News. Some of the comments are right on, especially the one about open a good bottle of Italian wine. This is the time to do that. This is the time. Open the old, old one. Toast James, who taught you.
Matthew Letson
Wilmington, NC —  July 16, 2010 9:49pm ET
I like Suckling and I'm sad to see him go; however, WS's readers gain the benefit of James Molesworth taking over Bordeaux, the most important wine region in the world. He's Wine Spectator's best taster/critic by a long shot.
Alexandre De Azara
SAO PAULO BRAZIL —  July 16, 2010 9:55pm ET
James you will be very missed. To my taste, your preferences and analysis are the best. Hope you lounch a blog soon

best of luck

Richard So
Hong Kong, China —  July 16, 2010 11:54pm ET
That is sad! James used to giving us a lot of update information specially in Italy.
Austrich Wine Club
Singapore —  July 17, 2010 10:47am ET
We are very sad to hear the news and were wishing this is not true. Life is full of changes and acceptance. We respect JS decision and thank you for all the joy you have brought us in our wine journey!! We have calibrated our palate and agree with most of your tasting and have plenty of "babies" resting and will be "growing up" in the years to come .. Hope you will still write.

It had been inspiring at the same time, I hope I will be driving to Tuscany in a cool car in the near future!!

Best Wishes!!

M&W - Singapore
Alex Azpiroz
Cancun & San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. —  July 17, 2010 1:21pm ET
Holy smokes! All I can say is that this is a bad surprise! I loved your blogs on the Mexican wine industry. Who will follow up? Here today gone tomorrow!
Sam Chanhao
calgary —  July 17, 2010 6:37pm ET
I remember when Johnny Carson left'The Tonight Show'.
That Show never be the same for me,hardly go back and watch it again.
You will be missed, James.
Ann Suchta
Wimington, Delaware —  July 17, 2010 8:01pm ET
I have to say I am shocked as well. Two sentences from Shanken is all they are going to say after 30 years of service???? I sincerely wish the best to Mr. Suckling as he is a very nice and genuine man. To me James Suckling is Wine Spectator.
Christian Ernst
Tokyo —  July 17, 2010 10:26pm ET
Sad news ! Will the out-of-the-box thinking ! James, why not start writing abt wine&dine in Tokyo ?
Dennis J Sugumele
Chesterfield, Virginia —  July 18, 2010 2:14am ET
My guess is that this is being done for financial reasons (and hopefully not for health reason on Mr. Suckling's part). The U.S. economy is in the tank, and not coming back anytime soon, ad revenues are probably down, and maintaining a European office most likely very expensive. However, if WS really wants to save money then it should relocate out of NYC. You can taste wines anywhere, such as in Virginia, where the climate is better, taxes (corporate and personal) are lower, utility rates more reasonable, and office space much, much cheaper.
Philippe Richer
Montreal, Canada —  July 18, 2010 7:44am ET
Bordeaux and Itlay, the two most important regions for the global wine market and the news is limited to a little column. One must recall that there is no Wine Spectator or Wine Advocate taste, but experts such as Parker, Galloni and James... We like their palate, reviews... I personnally have high respect for Parker, but disagree with his analyst Jay Miller. I dont buy any 95+ of WA, but follow my analyst. Seems like it does not matter from WS article, JS will be replaced and its all good...

So yes, its a big news that need information and respect for JS 20+ years of work in that area. I did not agree with all of JS reviews, but we must respect his integrity and perspective and that WS is not a machine but a collection of reviewers.

JS, best wishes for your new ventures, great work, and if you pass by Montreal, test out the BYOW-no corcage formula and promote that approach around the world, WS has not reviewed these unique restaurants.

Philippe Richer
Stephen Kahn Law Offc
Los Angeles, Cal USA —  July 18, 2010 8:49pm ET
Wine specator has lost a wise and singular voice. He will be missed. I suspect it will not be long before we hear many good things from and about James Suckling. The wine world is a community. He was and remains a significant part of that community. I join in wishing him well. I will say that as I write this I am sipping one of his 97 Barolo recommendations. Well done James. Cheers!!!! Stephen Kahn
Stephen Kahn Law Offc
Los Angeles, Cal USA —  July 18, 2010 8:55pm ET
Ok James this is for you. Upon reflection I thought you might want to know. It is the 97 Silvio Grasso Bricco, I am drinking in your honor. Its drinking great. Thanks for the tip. SRK
Pauline Decloedt
canada —  July 19, 2010 11:50am ET
James - I will miss you - you are the main reason I log on every day and am excited to see a new blog posted. Good Luck to you - Pauline
Glenn Schuster
Gaithersburg, MD —  July 19, 2010 9:20pm ET
Nothing lasts forever. After almost 30 years, even a job that almost all of us would envy might become routine or even stressful. Perhaps Mr. Suckling is starting a venture of his own. Both he and WS will survive and succeed. That's life, bro.
Brandon Sparks-gillis
Lompoc, CA, USA —  July 19, 2010 10:30pm ET
I've always enjoyed his writing, and deeply respect his perspective. I look forward to hearing what's next.
Kevin Smith
Sunshine State —  July 20, 2010 12:51am ET

Good job.

Thank you!!
Thomas Hughes
Dallas, TX —  July 20, 2010 1:24pm ET
I will miss your commentary and blog James . . .

Now to the more important issue . . .

how can I apply for the job he just left!!!


Jamie Sherman
Sacramento —  July 20, 2010 5:43pm ET
Wow, how unexpected. I hope everything is going well for him and wish him luck in whatever path he follows. Personally, I have gotten use to his style along with his tastes. Will be interesting to see how reviews may or may not change with a new palate in charge.
Matt Scott
Honolulu HI —  July 20, 2010 6:46pm ET
Best of luck James!!!
Kevin Smith
Sunshine State —  July 20, 2010 10:09pm ET

Good job.

Thank you!!
Gil Kulers
Atlanta, GA —  July 20, 2010 11:15pm ET
No doubt, you'd have more control of the tastings at a central location. That's a good thing.

Losing the texture of important wine cultures is something else. For the sake of the readership and for the love of the wine lifestyle, I hope they have a plan. Replacing Mr. Suckling would pose a challenge.

Thanks for the words, James.
Bert Pinheiro
Baltimore Maryland —  July 24, 2010 1:51pm ET
James you will be missed. Just like the other bloggers have said , you gave us a feeling like we were right there with you in Italy or France tasting with you. We wish you the best.
Mark Gorlick
san antonio, texas —  July 24, 2010 8:29pm ET
James ...you were my favorite reviewer...just saw you in your cameo appearance....Blood to Wine /w/ Maynard Keenan!!! I will follow your career and reviews because you are the BEST and you will be going to whole another dimension of life!!!
Trevor Witt
Ontario, Canada —  July 25, 2010 4:51pm ET
Mr Shanken...Just one comment on the Departure of James Suckling...I would have thought, after 30 years of service, it would have been respectful of yourself to have posted a blog, in your site,, on the issue. You under-estimate the James Suckling effect in the WS community. To many he was Wine Spectator.

To James Suckling, we wish you well on your future endeavours and sincerely thank you for your years of service here at WS...we have learned alot from you and appreciate your many reports, blogs and videos.
Trevor Witt
James R Biddle
Dayton, OH —  July 26, 2010 2:42pm ET
I've hestitated to respond, and I probably should remain silent, but I disagree with several themes of the comments--especially the "how unexpected" comments. For at least the last 6 months, James's posts have had a different tone and tenor. He even mentioned "personal" problems several months ago. While not claiming to have foreseen his "retirement," in retrospect, it didn't spontaneously generate either. Taking nothing away from his contributions to WS, I've been bothered that many of his posts focused too much on himself; the wines and wine makers often were vehicles for self expression. I agree about the reliability of his palate; however, because our palates differed, I often used his ratings to indicate what I might not like--rather than what I should buy.
Mark Mcdonald
Nebraska —  July 26, 2010 10:32pm ET
This is a significant loss for Wine Spectator. Not only will Mr. Suckling individually be greatly missed for the way he covered this region of the world, the strategic decision to not have a reporter based in Europe is not demonstrating commitment to WS readers.

Good luck Mr. Suckling, I hope all goes well for you in your future efforts.
Thomas A Mobley Iii
Tallahassee, FL —  July 28, 2010 10:08pm ET
"Moving these tastings to New York, where we have a larger staff and better logistical control, will allow us to strengthen our coverage of these important wine regions."

Doug Daniell
Ontario/Canada —  August 21, 2010 9:23am ET
Wow, I just returned from vacation, log onto WS to read James' blogs, and I see this... What a shock. I certainly hope we see you again, James. Best of luck!
Mark Mccullough
GA —  August 26, 2010 10:48am ET
Wow! I've been out of the loop on website for a few weeks and just read the news.

James Suckling's reviews not only were consistently rated and brilliantly described but he gave soul to the wines and the moments around drinking them in his columns.

James, all the best and you WILL be missed!

p.s. Please do not delete his past blogs from the website!
Dana Nigro
New York, NY —  August 26, 2010 10:52am ET

Nothing has been deleted. James' blogs are still in the Archive of Past Blogs and all his other articles can still be found in the online archives, in their respective sections or via the site search.

-- Dana Nigro, managing editor, WineSpectator.com
April Langus
Chappaqua, NY —  August 26, 2010 8:08pm ET
I have been out of the touch for the last few weeks and sat down tonight to catch up on whats new in Italy. I drink 99% Italian and subscribe to both WS mag & .Com primarily for the on the mark analysis and commentary of James. His loss is huge. I see no reason to continue to subscribe to either if your going to cut Italy up and dish it out to tasters in NYC who probably have never been to Italy, no less really understand Italian wine! That says volumes about what you think of Italian wine drinkers!
James I wish you the best. Corey Langus
Dana Nigro
New York, NY —  August 27, 2010 3:03pm ET
Dear Mr. Langus,

The Italy tasting beat is going to tasting director Bruce Sanderson, an incredibly passionate and precise taster who has been with Wine Spectator since 1993 and has overseen all of Wine Spectator's tasting operations in New York, Napa and Europe during those two decades. That is certainly a reflection of how important we consider Italian wine to be.

We hope you'll take the time to read Bruce's tasting notes and reports on Italy and that you'll find them just as valuable.

-- Dana Nigro, managing editor, WineSpectator.com
April Langus
Chappaqua, NY —  August 28, 2010 5:30pm ET
I apologize, I am not sure I understood your response.Is Mr. Sanderson here in NY or is he going to spend the majority of his time in Europe where the vineyards are?? Thanks, CL
Dana Nigro
New York, NY —  August 30, 2010 10:57am ET
Dear Corey,

Bruce is based in New York but our editors do travel to the regions they cover, as well as meet regularly with winemakers when they visit New York or California.

If you follow Bruce Sanderson or James Molesworth's blogs, you can see the comprehensive reports they have filed while traveling in Burgundy and the Rhône, respectively.

Our official blind tastings, in which we score the wines and write the tasting notes that appear in our Buying Guide (as well as online in the Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights), are done in our offices under controlled conditions, not in the vineyards and cellars. We have multiple tasting coordinators in New York to assist with obtaining the wines and organizing the tastings. You can learn more about the process here:


--Dana Nigro, managing editor, WineSpectator.com
Jason Thompson
Foster City, CA —  September 9, 2010 4:31pm ET
I am still saddened by this. Anyone know for sure what Mr. Suckling is up to going forward? Should I just toss out my barrel tastings of the 2009 Bordeaux? At least finish what was supposed to be a monumental year...
Greg Sorensen
Brooklyn, NY —  September 13, 2010 3:03pm ET
Was wondering where his blog and articles were? I am sorry to hear about his departure, seems like it will be a great loss for the magazine. Not sure what went down, but something seems strange about it all. I liked his coverage the best of all. Hmmmm....
Bill Zeid
Livermore, CA —  September 17, 2010 9:29pm ET
This is very sad news indeed. I always enjoyed reading James Suckling's articles and his opinions are very close to mine. I was thrilled to meet him in person in Las Vegas in 2009 at the annual Wine Spectator event. A major loss for Wine Spectator. There is clearly more to this story than what has been revealed and we should all withold judgement until we hear all sides. The bottom line is I will miss James and certainly wish him the best of luck in his future.
Robert Peccia
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada —  October 26, 2010 10:45pm ET
James, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your commitment and dedication to WS. On a personal level, your writings on Italy and Bordeaux, your tastings, and reviews are my only source when I need to make a decision on a wine. It is truly a sad day for the readers of WS !!!
I also did not like the way your departure was handled by the magazine. They should have done a cover story on you!!! How do you go from writing about the 2009 Bordeaux's, and then just leave. Something smells funny.
All the best in the future. Please let us know what you are going to do next.

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