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Jay Miller was ‘about to retire’ anyway, say colleagues

Jay Miller had planned to step down from his post at the Wine Advocate months before the 'Cash for Tastings' controversy emerged, says his former Wine Advocate colleague.

David Schildknecht, who covers Germany, Alsace, Burgundy and the Loire Valley for the Wine Advocate, told Jim Budd he and Robert Parker had discussed Miller’s resignation in January this year, an exchange that was followed up in an August email exchange.

This was corroborated by Pancho Campo MW who told Decanter.com that Miller’s resignation had been decided in October, and that he would have left anyway in January 2012.

‘He was about to retire anyway, and as this whole business was putting stress on him he decided he would go immediately.’

At the centre of the affair is a series of emails published by Decanter writer Budd on his blog Jim’s Loire, which appear to show Campo, through his company the Wine Academy, charging consejos reguladores for Miller’s time.

Campo and Parker have consistently denied any inappropriateness in the strongest possible terms, both of them threatening to sue Budd for libel, and other bloggers who persist in repeating the allegations.

Saying the reports showed a ‘reckless and malicious disregard for the truth’, Parker said the matter was in the hands of his lawyers.

Campo said Miller’s resignation was ‘unfortunate timing’ but that he would continue his legal action against Jim Budd. ‘I have acted professionally and my head is held high’, he said.

Budd told Decanter.com, ‘I will vigorously contest any legal action against me. I am quite happy that I have evidence backing up everything I have said.’

Robert Parker said he had no comment, except to say the matter was in the hands of his lawyers who would be conducting a thorough investigation.

Jay Miller will be writing up his recent visits to Spanish regions, the Wine Advocate has confirmed, although not necessarily in the main journal.

‘Depending on timing and space limitations in the paper copy, those reports may only appear on the eRobertParker.com web site,’ the Wine Advocate’s Joan Passman said.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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