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Judgement of London: Panel of expert judges revealed

A formidable panel of UK wine experts will gather in London next week to pay homage to the late Steven Spurrier’s landmark Judgement of Paris tasting.

The judges will blind taste 16 iconic European wines alongside their non-European equivalents to determine whether they deserve their exalted status.

Ronan Sayburn MS, Co-Chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) and CEO of The Court of Master Sommeliers Europe, will curate the tasting alongside Sarah Abbott MW.

The panel has now been revealed, and it features illustrious names such as Jancis Robinson MW.

Decanter will be well-represented on the panel. Content Manager Tina Gellie, Contributing Editor Stephen Brook and DWWA Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW have all signed up.

There are 21 judges in total, and more than 70% of them are either Masters of Wine or Master Sommeliers.

They include Dawn Davies MW, Isa Bal MS, Richard Bampfield MW, Alistair Cooper MW, Gearoid Devaney MS, Anne Krebiehl MW, Kathrine Larsen-Robert MS, Regine Lee MW, Laura Rhys MS, Patrick Schmitt MW, Matt Wilkin MS and Clem Yates MW.

Fellow wine experts Margaret Rand, Elliot Awin, Aleesha Hansel, Daniel Illsley and Adam Lechmere complete the panel.

They will gather under the auspices of the London Wine Fair (LWF) to blind taste eight pairs of white wines and eight pairs of red wines.

Hannah Tovey, head of the LWF, said: ‘The fact that we have such a high calibre of judges and that this tasting has become something of a “hot ticket” is testament to the longevity of the original 1976 Judgement and appetite for this updated version almost half a century on.’

Spurrier, who served as Decanter’s Consultant Editor, hosted the famous Judgement of Paris tasting in Paris back in 1976.

French wine experts blind tasted the best red wines from Bordeaux alongside leading Cabernet Sauvignon from California. They also tasted the top white wines from Burgundy alongside Chardonnay from the Golden State.

Napa winery Stag’s Leap earned the highest score in the red wine tasting, while California’s Chateau Montelena came out on top in the white wine tasting.

The results sent shockwaves through the wine world and helped to establish California as a serious player in the fine wine market.

The London tasting will follow a slightly different format, as it pits specific wines against one another. The results of the Judgement of London will be revealed on Tuesday 21st May.

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