An aerospace engineer by training, Jeb Dunnuck grew up on a farm in rural Indiana where 2% milk was the beverage of choice and wine was hard to come by. It wasn’t until 1996, when living abroad and traveling through Europe, that he became interested in fine wine.
Moving to upstate New York in 1999 to work for Lockheed Martin, and later to Colorado in 2001 to work for Ball Aerospace, he traveled extensively throughout the wine regions of Europe and the United States, where he quickly developed a passion for the wines of the Rhône Valley and the Rhône Ranger Movement in California and Washington. To gain a better understanding of the business side of the wine industry, he took a temporary wine retail position in 2006.
Jeb launched the The Rhône Report and its website in 2008 and began releasing a quarterly newsletter reviewing Rhône variety wines from around the world. Completely independent and including coverage on wines from France, Spain, Australia, and both California and Washington in the United States, the publication continued to gain in popularity and subscribers, and by 2013, was read in over 24 countries and seen as one of the leading authorities on Rhône variety wines.
In 2013, after being approached by Robert Parker to join The Wine Advocate team, Jeb gave up his engineering career and wrote full-time for the Wine Advocate. Described as a younger version of himself by Robert M. Parker Jr., Dunnuck was the leading reviewer for California, Washington and Southern France from 2013 to 2017, publishing more reviews than any other professional reviewer.
In 2017, Jeb decided to leave The Wine Advocate and go back to his roots as an independent wine critic, launching his own publication JebDunnuck.com. Through the platform, Dunnuck offers comprehensive, consumer-focused coverage of the most interesting wines from California, Washington, Southern France and Bordeaux, while seeking out discoveries from around the world.
Jeb's Wine Rating System
While a well-written note shouldn’t need a score, its inclusion makes it easier on the note taker by providing a clear delineation of preferences and allows a more concise note. In short, a score provides a clear context for the note and allows the writer to focus on the individual aspects of a wine as opposed to always having to explain why they feel a very good wine rated 88 points isn’t as good as an outstanding wine rated 96 points.
The scoring system I use is roughly based on the High School Grading System most US students grew up with, beginning at 50 points and ending at 100 points. My scale can be broken up as follows:
100 to 96
As good as it gets. These wines reach the peak of my personal scale of quality.
95 to 90
Outstanding wines. These wines are outstanding for their type and are worth the extra effort to seeking out.
89 to 85
Very Good to Good. These offer real character and can be age worthy.
Read the Vintage Reviews
More of reviews from the Jeb Dunnuck team:
Sonoma County 2020 Report by Audrey Frick
Sonoma: Another Brilliant Vintage in 2018
Up From The Cellar #5 & Misc New Releases
photo credit: JebDunnuck.com
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