Intoxicate Diary Day 5 : Fleury and RustRidge
"What -- a rainy day?" This was our first, disappointed question when we walked out of the hotel, because we expected that heavy rain would make our tour not that fun. Still, we got into...
This week marks a momentous occasion in the emergence of California wine on the world stage as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the so-called “Judgment of Paris”, a blind wine tasting competition between premium selections from both California and France. Since at the time, French wine was deemed far superior by many wine experts and enthusiasts alike, it came as a great shock to several people – not the least of whom were the vast majority of the judges who hailed from France! – when wines from California took the top positions in both the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay categories, the 2 varietals involved in the tasting.
Perhaps even more exciting, 5 years ago, a re-enactment of the competition was held to mark the 30th anniversary of the event and to test the widely-held theory that California wine simply lacked the age-worthiness of their French counter-parts. Using the very same vintages of the very same Cabernets that comprised the original tasting, this time, a California wine not only took the top slot, but each of the next 4 positions in the ranking.
Now obviously at CV, we have deep-rooted convictions regarding the world-class quality of the Golden State’s wines, and we are absolutely committed to raising that awareness by providing Asian consumers the opportunity to participate in the authentic California wine experience.
But today, we raise a glass to those California wine pioneers who took on their own “David vs. Goliath” challenge back in 1976 – and came out winners!
For more history and news on the event, see:
George Taber’s now-famous original article in Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,947719,00.html
Decanter article on the 2006 re-enactment:
In the world of wine, professional reviewers and wine enthusiasts alike tend to focus on heavily-marketed, well-established labels,, often to the detriment of boutique producers who are crafting some of the finest nectar available. This is particularly true in the super-premium tier where certain so-called cult brands have achieved an almost unimpeachable superstar status so that they always appear at the top of recommended lists.
With this in mind, it was both refreshing and inspirational to read a recent Vinography post reviewing wines from the prestigious Oakville sub-appellation of Napa Valley, home to more first-growth labels than any other Napa region and indeed, throughout California. While the tasting included several well-known cult brands such as Screaming Eagle and Harlan, CV partner Tierra Roja appeared near the top of the list with their 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that is available exclusively through our wine bar and on-line shop. Not to far behind is the 2008 vintage of the same wine which is not yet released.
With only 120 cases produced, and a price tag that is far more digestible than many of its neighbors, it's wonderful to see our own little super-star garner both the attention and recognition. Congratulations to Linda Neal, who owns the brand and tends the precious 4.5 acre vineyard that produces these exceptional grapes; to David DeSante, who crafts them into the wonderful wines that they are; and to Alder Yarrow, who penned this thoughtful review:
Learn more about 2003 Tierra Roja at: