Another recreation of the legendary Judgement of Paris tasting has ended in a convincing victory for American wines.
Winner: L’Après Midi
This time the tasting took place at the Vineyard at Stockcross, a restaurant with one of the most comprehensive American wine lists in the UK
The Berkshire hotel is offering a tasting menu to resurrect the spirit of the Paris Tasting of 1976, when wines from California were marked higher than top Bordeaux in a blind tasting.
In the shadow of a specially-commissioned painting of the ’76 tasting, diners can taste a top French and Californian wine with each food course, before voting for their favourite.
‘It’s a fun way to have interaction with the guests,’ head sommelier Yohann Jousselin MS told Decanter.com.
The inaugural press tasting – consisting of some dozen journalists – ended in a 5-0 whitewash victory for California.
Some French wines pushed California close, notably the Mas Amiel from Roussillon and the Henri Bourgeois Sancerre 2010. The latter, though, lost to a Sonoma wine, the Peter Michael Winery L’Après Midi 2009, produced by the Vineyard’s owner Sir Peter Michael CBE.
In the match most similar to the ’76 tasting, a 2010 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa’s Stags Leap district overcame a 2004 Duluc de Branaire-Ducru from Bordeaux’s Left Bank.
The Vineyard’s new menu follows the installation of a glass-panelled cellar, with storage technology that enables Jousselin, who is UK Sommelier of the Year 2011, to offer 100 wines by the glass.
A seven-course Judgment tasting menu costs £185, wines included.
Written by Chris Mercer