This website uses cookies

Like so many other websites, we use cookies to personalise content, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media and analytics partners, who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them or that they've collected from your use of their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.

Do you fully understand and consent to our use of cookies?

Back to all articles
  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
25 May 2006

Lots of excitement and modified surprise over the results of last night's Judgment of Paris II tasting of California wines with top bordeaux and white burgundies.

There were two panels of nine supposedly expert tastings, one in London and one in the Napa Valley, then a further 31 tasters in each location whose scores were gathered separately. (Don't ask me why these particular numbers.)

The original wines tasted in 1976 were mixed up and tasted completely blind. The flights of white wines and younger California Cabernets and red bordeaux were served 'single blind' i e we knew which six were from which country and, if we liked, we could look at a list of what they were, but we didn't know what was in each glass.

Note that the major discrepancy between the US and UK tasters was in our assessment of turbo-charged California wines such as Staglin and Shafer Hillside Select (whose past vintages I have enjoyed but I found the 2001 terribly oaky).  My personal tasting notes show how much better the young red bordeaux showed than the young California Cabernets. Shame the Bordelais wouldn't let us assess them against each other…