The Oenophiliac

Bringing you stories from the world of wine and beer.

Vineyard at Stockcross revisits Judgement of Paris

Another recreation of the legendary Judgement of Paris tasting has ended in a convincing victory for American wines.

Peter Michael Winery L'Après Midi 2009

Winner: L’Après Midi

This time the tasting took place at the Vineyard at Stockcross, a Michelin-starred 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

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.

Story by Chris Mercer

Courtesy of Decanter


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