Paris when it sizzles



As Bogart said to Bergman in "Casablanca," "We'll always have Paris." As Steven Spurrier said to me 40 years ago, "I don't have a thermofax machine, but there's a chap nearby who does--I'll send you some interesting stuff." Steven set off a big bang with what became known ever after as The Paris Tasting, and I was happy to amplify it, and the wine world has also always had Paris ever since. When Warren Winiarski came over for a visit a while back, we had a bit of a reunion. Typical--Steven and I with glasses in hand, Warren with large pebbles--he rocks! (Although, to be fair, we were in a vineyard at the time, so he could say it was research.)
        Less talked about is the fact that, every time the tasting has been re-staged by Steven and various cohorts, usually on decade-marker anniversaries for the reds involved, California Cabernets always came out on top. (When we did it at the 30-year mark here in London at Berry Bros & Rudd, California took all five first places, led by Ridge "Montebello".) As Steven said, “the California wines were made to express, rather than to impress.”
        Now, the tables may have turned again: At a recent tasting of the 2000 vintage, Bordeaux beat the daylights out of the Californians. Someone was paying attention, obviously.

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