In retrieving information about the Clos de Coulaine Savennieres (below), I noted that Chris Kissack, the English Wine Doctor (www.thewinedoctor.com) now charges admission to his house of tasting notes. An English physician, Kissack apparently spends a good part of his time vising French domaines in Bordeaux and the Loire and has an impressive collection of tasting notes going back many years. He has an excellent palate, and his site is clearly worth the price of admission...and more.
Other critics who charge for their websites include Robert Parker, the Wine Spectator, Jancis Robinson and John Livingstone-Learmonth (who has published several books on Rhone wines). As the latter has pointed out, there is not much money to be made from writing wine books; online subscribers help pay the bills. As much as I admire and respect their expertise, I have not subscribed to the sites of any of these critics. Two or three decades ago, I would be avidly following all of them, but at this stage of my wine life I have barely enough time to explore my own discoveries--both those on the store shelves and those in my cellar.
I am not a critic but a blogger. I don't judge the quality of the wines I describe; what I offer is simply my personal experiences with them, my nightly wine diary. I don't pretend to have a special palate, and I don't see anything to be gained from reading the notes of those who do. When I seek information about wine, I go to others like myself--bloggers or contributors to the Cellar Tracker community. Some notes are better than others, but so be it. I can usually read between the lines to find out if a wine is drinking well, over the hill or needs more time.