Announcing the Newest Member of Our Reviewer Team: Yohan Castaing

We are happy to announce that we are expanding the Robert Parker Wine Advocate wine reviewer team with the addition of Yohan Castaing. At a time when other major publications are scaling back, Castaing will bring additional depth and breadth to our coverage of a number of important French wine regions. 

Castaing will be in charge of reviewing wines from the Loire Valley, Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence and the Southwest of France, delivering regular, in-depth coverage of these regions. He will also assist William Kelley in covering certain Bordeaux subregions (Pessac-Léognan, Sauternes-Barsac and the satellite appellations of the Right Bank), as well bottlings from the big houses of the Champagne region.

Based in the Bordeaux region, Castaing has established his reputation as an independent wine critic and founder of his own advertisement-free website, as well as writing for other print and digital media, notably in France for the daily financial newspaper Les Echos, but also in English for Decanter magazine. 

“Recruiting a French national to cover several French regions sends a strong message. It is a great honor for me to join such a talented and internationally recognized team,” said Castaing.

“Yohan is an experienced taster, and as a French national based in France, he is ideally situated to bring a rigorous, boots-on-the-ground approach to regions such as Cahors and Madiran, which have long been neglected by the international wine press,” said editor-in-chief Joe Czerwinski. “He’ll substantially strengthen our coverage of other French regions—Loire, Roussillon, Languedoc and Provence, as well.”

“I’m excited to welcome Yohan to the team, and I’m looking forward to working closely with him to articulate a very clear vision for our Bordeaux and Champagne coverage. With more than 8,500 wine-producing châteaux in Bordeaux alone, and with the explosion of grower Champagne labels, Yohan will play an invaluable role. It’s critically important that we continue to venture off the beaten path to discover new talents, and together we’ll ensure that we do just that,” said William Kelley. 

Simultaneously, reviewer Erin Larkin will be taking over responsibility for the wines of New Zealand. Based in Perth, Larkin joined our reviewer team in April 2022 and has already significantly expanded our Australian coverage, publishing more than 2,000 reviews in her first six months. 

“While I have enjoyed covering New Zealand wines professionally for more than two decades, my responsibilities have evolved considerably in the past two years, and it became clear I needed to hand over these tasting duties,” said Czerwinski. “Erin has proven herself to be a great choice as our Australian reviewer, and I’m confident she’ll be able to take on the added workload while improving the depth and frequency of our coverage of New Zealand wines—a category that is close to my heart.”

“Australia and New Zealand share a great affinity, grounded not only in our geographical proximity, but also a joint mindset and lifestyle. Being based in Australia will allow me to travel ‘across the ditch’ several times per year, to ensure that we are not only delivering in-depth and unbiased reviews of the New Zealand’s best-known wines, but that we are also positioned to uncover the under-the-radar stars of the future,” said Larkin.

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