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Monday, May 23, 2011

Syrah Du Monde 2011.

Rhone Valley Syrah.
SYRAH DU MONDE 2011 - The 5th International Competition of the Best Syrah in the World.

The 5th International competition, of the best Syrah varietal wine in the world, held under the banner of SYRAH DU MONDE - and organised by Forum OEnologie was held between the 11th and 13th of May, 2011, at the Chateau d'Ampius in the village of Ampius in the Northern Rhone Valley, France. This competition is the top, international confrontation of the world's best Syrah/Shiraz varietal wines, and the award of gold and silver medals denote distinctive marks of quality of the medal-winning wines in a highly competitive and often complex marketplace.

Syrah du Monde 2011, brought together 383 wines from 24 different countries, making this competition one of the world's top events for Syrah/Shiraz wines. This marvellous success illustrates the impressive growh that this Rhone varietal has enjoyed since the 1970's, and makes it one of the most signifanct and legitimate qualitative competitions in recognizing the world's best Syrah/Shiraz wines.
Shiraz South Africa.

During the three days of tasting under strict optimal conditions, the International Panel of expert Judges awarded a total of 128 medals divided in 34 Gold for the superlative wines and 94 Silver medals for the excellent wines in this varietal category. Tasting and scoring was done in accordance with international wine competition regulations and strict compliance with Quality Assurance requirements. In this competition quality standards are stricter than the norm and are in accordance with Syrah Du Monde's founding principles of: Diversity, Quality and High Standards.
Each of the wines that distinguished themselves, and were awarded medals at Syrah du Monded 2011, did so because of their own distictive qualities and not in comparison to other wines. Favourable scores were given to wines with good Syrah varietal character, and a well-balanced oak flavour was considered to be a plus. However, oakiness was marked down if it masked varietal aromas and flavours. Several gold medals were awarded to wines with well-balanced alcohol levels and with aroma intensity and depth including a wide range from exotic to traditional. On the palate, harmonious tannins and fine expressions of aging were favourably evaluated.

Several marks of quality were awarded to younger wines and rose' wines whose aromatic complexity and soft tannins impressed and won over the Judges.

Various sparkling wines and late-harvest or ice wines also received favourable mention.

This competition is a unique opportunity to bring together and discover the best international Syrah/Shiraz wines in all manner of form: Red; Rose'; Sparkling: Still; Dry or Sweet, hence exposing the diversity of this prime and noble grape variety.

The following list indicate the:

Six countries appear among the world's ten best Syrah/Shiraz wines for 2011, and these are France, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, Italy and Bulgaria.

-  Country:             Product:                                                                        Winery:

1. France:             Pays d'Oc IGP Syrah les epices 2009 -                         Domaine Le Yeuses.
2. Switzerland:      Valais AOC Syrah du Valais Eleve en Barriques 2009 - Cave la Madeleine.
3. South Africa:     Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Shiraz 2008 -                     Distell.
4. Italy: Cortona    Doc Il Bosco Syrah 2007 -                                       Tenimenti Luigi D'Alessandro s.r.l.
5. France:              Crozes Hermitage Les Hauts du Fief 2009 -                  Cave de Taine l'Hermitage.
6. South Africa:      Franschhoek Cellar Baker Station Shiraz 2009 -            DGB Ltd.
7. France:              Vin de Pays d'Oc Camplazens Syrah 2010 -                  Scea Chateau Complazens.
8. Australia:            Mum's Block Barossa Valley Shiraz 2008 -                  Cellarmaster Wines Pty. Ltd.
9. Bulgaria:             Encore Syrah 2007 -                                                    Katarzyna Estate.
10. Australia:          Cumulus Shraz 2008 -                                                   Cumulus Wines Pty. Ltd.

The Gold Medals by country were awarded as follows:

France 8; Australia 7; South Africa 6; Switzerland 4; Chile 2; Italy 2; Bulgaria 2; Spain 1; Greece 1; Portugal 1.

Ist in 2011.
3rd in 2011.
4th in 2011.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tuscany Revisited: Azienda Agricola Il Molino Di Grace.

Il Molino Di Grace Chianti.
What is Chianti? Chianti is no longer just a red table wine bottled in a straw covered bottle. The rolling green hills of the Chianti region of Tuscany, produce wines of different quality and taste, with variations of light/dry and bold/fruity/dry wines. With lands covering 1.2 million acres and nearly a third of Tuscany these varitaions comes as no surprise. Much of the grape growing area of this region is comprised of clay soils with mixtures of flint, limestone, sand and tiny pebbles, all of which contribute to the uniqueness of Chianti classified wine.

Sangiovese grape.
There are seven sub-zones within Tuscany that can call their wine Chianti, all of which are within the Tuscan provinces of Arezzo, Firenze (Florence), Pistoia and Sienna. There is also more than 14 different clones of Sangiovese, which have been divided into Sangiovese Grosso (Prugnolo Gentile) which is used to produce Brunello Di Montalcino and Vino Nobile De Montepulciano, and Sangiovese Piccolo (Sangiovese de Lamole), which is the basis of the Chianti wine.

The term Classico refers to the old and original production area of the Chianti. In 1924  a group of some 33 wine makers gathered in Radda in Chianti and created a Consortium known as "Consorzio per la difesa del vino tipico del Chianti e del suo marchio di origine". This group chose the black rooster emblem as their symbol which was the symbol of the Chianti League. The term "Chianti Classico" was first introduced in 1932 by a Ministerial Commssion which decided to classify this area clearly in order to reduce huge amounts of fake Chianti that was abusively being produced in most of Central Italy at that time.

Sangiovese Piccolo.
In 1967 the Chianti Classico area was granted the DOC regognition, one of the first in Italy.
The first version of the DOCG production code for Chianti and Chianti Classico dates back to 1984, but it was only in 1996 with the Ministerial Decree that Chianti Classico obtained the definitive recognition of its importance, precedence and independence from the other Chiantis. New rules were then adopted to benefit the quality of the wine and the appellation. An important change concerned the variety of the grapes that could be used in the production of the wine. In the new production code, the minimum percentage of Sangiovese (Sangiovese Piccolo), the typical red variety of the zone, was increased from 75% to 80% and the maximum percentage of 100%. In addition to Sangiovese, producers could use other native red grapes like Canaiolo and Colorino, or international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot up-to a maximum ratio of 20%. The white grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia which were previously used in the blend could not be used any more from the beginning of 2006. Varoius other rules were introduced and adopted, dealing with minimum alcohol content (12% for the regular Chianti and 12.5% for a riserva); yield per hectare of land; vine production was limited to three kilos; vinification, maturing, aging and fining in the bottle to be carried out within the production zone; aging in oak was stipulated at 7 months minimum; chemical analyses were to be carried out prior to the award of the appelation for each vintage, prior to the wine's release; and that the release of Chianti is authorized only after the 1st of October of the following year from the vintage year. The Riserva Chiantis required a minimum maturation of 24  months, including at least three months of bottle aging.

With all of the above in mind, and with all the strict laws and competition from other long established producers of premium Chianti, AZIENDA AGRICOLA IL MOLINO DI GRACE opened its winery doors, which is situated in Volano near Panzano in Chianti in 1999, and have in just eleven years developed into one of the foremost quality wine producers in Italy, with world-wide attention for its Chianti Classico DOCG; Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG Il Margone; Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG;  and its IGT Super-Tuscan Gratius.
The vineyards of this wienmaker had already been fruitful for over 350 years, when it was purchased by the present owners in 1995, but there was no winery on the estate. The new winery was designed and built as a state of the art winery, adopting the best equipment and production technologies. All wines are estate produced and bottled using the best organic materials and sustainable practices in both vineyard and the winery. OK so off to the wines:

The - IL MOLINO DI GRACE -  Premium, red wine collection.


This is the flagship wine of this winemaker  and is produced from a selection of the estate's finest,100% Sangiovese single vineyard grapes, cultivated and late-harvested by hand after the 10th of October, from the company's estate at Volano. It is not classified as a Chianti, although produced from exclusive selections of Sangiovese in good vintage years, but due to its unique production methods and concentration, it is classified as an IGT Super-Tuscan.

The hand picked grapes are carefuly selected and after a second grape quality control at the winery, the grapes are pressed and fermented with extended maceration for 20 days at controlled temperatures of 28 to 30 Deg.C, with soft extraction processes and punch-downs to extract the maximum flavor from the must.

After maceration is completed, the wine is then matured for 11 months in French barriques, and aged further for a number of months prior to release.

Due to a long cold winter in 2004, and a rainy spring, which delayed the budding and flowering of the grapes, the prolonged warm, not hot, summer and unusually hot October brought the grapes to optimum ripeness. Overall, the grape harvest in Tuscany, was delayed in most zones by 15 to 20 days, which resulted in a wonderful ripening and good development of flavour compounds, deep dark must with bright tonality, outstanding aromas and depth.These conditions produced excellent fruit harvests, which resulted in the transformation of some excellent wines such as the Gratius 2004.

GRATIUS 2004 is the result of these exceptional conditions in a very good vintage year.
The colour is dense purple, flecked dark and deep ruby.
Rich and complex fragrancies of violets, wild black berry fruit and ripe cherry with a tinge of plum.
On the palate it is dry and full-bodied, with round tannins and an intense flavour of ripe cherries, black berries and currants, spices-cloves and herbs, and chocolate persist. Elegant, rich and complex finish well balanced and long with a very good structure. The wine is unfiltered.

Grape variety: 100% Sangiovese.
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Vintage: 2004.
Price range: Eur36.50


This Chianti Classico Riserva is produced from 100% Sangiovese grapes in accordance with the Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG rules, with an extended aging in French oak barriques and tonneaux and aging in the bottle prior to release.. Vinification and maceration is on the same level as for the Gratius.

The Il Margone is a full-bodied, dry, red wine with a colour bordering on deep, dark crimson.
The bouquet is rich, spicy, earthy and intense suggestive of dark fruit and pepper.
The palate shows good depth, smooth and round tannins and a velvety texture.
The wine is ready to drink now.

Grape Variety: 100% Sangiovese.
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Vintage: 2004.
Price range: Eur29.50


In 2005, climate conditions in Tuscany were very erratic with many producers stating that it  was a tough and difficult vintage. In Chianti, producers across the board complained about the cold, wet weather prior to the harvest, which meant that only the best producers who have had the foresight to take good care of their vines, would achieve to have the best results, through careful and judicial selection of grapes at harvest.
In this regard, this Chianti Classico Riserva 2005 from Il Molino Di Grace, is a result of this attention and selection resulting in the production of an excellent wine., which is ready to drink now.

Grapes are handpicked in early October.

Vinification is 20 days maceration under controlled temperatures of 28 to 30 Deg.C after which the wine spends 11 months maturing in Slovanian oak casks and the Riserva maturing requirement in French barriques and tonneaux. Further aging as per Riserva DOCG rules and aging in the bottle prior to release.

This is a dark, ruby red Chianti Classico Riserva with aromas of prune, plum cherries and spice.
The wine is firm but smooth in the mouth with blackfruit and forest fruit flavours.
The wine is full-bodied, well structured and complex with smooth, round  tannins, harmonious and well balanced. Finish is medium long with a very good aftertatste.
Ready to drink now.

Grape variety: 100% Sangiovese.
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Vintage: 2005.
Price Range: Eur22.


2006 produced highly variable weather in Tuscany, ranging from extreme heat in June and July, more tepid and humid weather in August, and a return to heat, interrupted by heavy rain at the end of the season. This resulted in a grape harvest which, produced wines that although not over the top, nevertheless have proved to be very good, with intensity and concentration, excellent balance and a promise of wine that can age for a good number of years.

This is exactly the case with the Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 DOCG.

This particular style of Chianti Classico Riserva is produced from 100% Sangiovese grapes hand picked in early October, and differ significantly from the blended brands of Chianti Classico Riservas which normally contain about 80% Sangiovese, and 20% of other approved grapes.

This Riserva has a dark ruby red colour of great intensity, dense with a luminous ruby colour and with a lighter, ruby red edge around the periphery of the wine in the glass, indicating that this wine, even after four years from vintage, is still in its infancy and still evolving.

It is full-bodied and very dry indicating more than usual strong tannins.
Bouquet is dense and with sweet aromas of oak and ripe black fruit and powerful flavours of bitter cherry and wood, mixed with black fruit- blackberries, black currants and chocolate.
Long and lasting finish with a very strong full-bodied aftertaste. Good structure and complex and rich in texture. This wine has a good level of warm alcohol and crisp acidty which in a way balance the strong tannins.

The Il Molino Di Grace Chianti Classico Riserva 2006, is in my opinion still evolving and require and will reach its peak between 2012 and 2016. As was indicative of the vintage year, this is a strong wine produced for the long haul, and makes an excellent addition to one's wine collection for aging in the cellar.
To drink now, it is suggested to open the bottle and to decant it at least 1 and if possible 2 hours before drinking. It is a classic wine to be drunk with food.

Grape Variety: 100% Sangiovese.
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Vintage year: 2006.
Price Range: Eur23.


A classic Chianti Classico, produced from 100% Sangiovese grapes, spending 20 days in fermentation and maceration in controlled temperatures of 28/30 Deg.C, and 11 months maturing in stainless steel tanks, Slovanian oak casks and French barriques and tonneaux.

Sunday roast-prime-rib.
The wine is intensely  ruby red in colour, with a nose of small red fruits and violets. Soft tannins with good structure, fruit balanced by wood sweetness in the mouth and a persistent good finish. A classic and tradional 100% Sangiovese Chianti Classico.
Re-taste-tested and rated on June, 26th 2011, at exactly 17Deg.C with an excellent food pairing of a rich tomato and beef sauce on spagetti al-dente with herbs, and roast prime-rib with baked potatoes.
Ready to drink now but can be aged further.

Grape Variety: 100% Sangiovese.
Vintage: 2007.
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Price range: Eur13.50

Unfiltered residue of the Chianti.
Unfiltered residue of the Gratius.
All the above wines are unfiltered.
Food pairings: Roast lamb shanks; Beef Osso Buco; Prime beef steaks- Fiorentina, Rib-eye; etc.
Roast lamb Shanks.
My Beef Osso Buco.
Prime grilled sirloin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Paris Tasting of 24th May, 1976.

The 24th of May, 2011, happens to be the 35th anniversary  of The Judgement of Paris. Let's get a point staight, I am not referring to the story from Greek mythology, which was one of the events that led up to the Trojan wars, and eventually the foundation of Rome. I am referring to the historical, wine tasting event which came to be known as The Paris Tasting of 1976 or the Judgement of Paris, which like the Greek mythology story, created another war and the foundation of an empire. I am talking here about the wine war between the Old and the New World wine producers and the creation of a worldwide open business for good wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon Cluster.
The initial idea somewhat emerged in the Spring of 1975, when a young, British wine merchant, named Steven Spurier, who was running his own wine business in Paris from a wine shop named the Caves de la Madeleine, and a small wine school called the Academie du Vin, as part of his business marketing and exposure to the French wine world, invited the vintners of Bordeaux's elite First Growth red wines, viz: Chateau Haut-Brion, Chateau Lafite, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Mouton, to a comparative tasting of their 1970 vintage in Paris. All of these producers complied with the exception of Chateau Haut-Brion. No one in France had had the audacity to stage such a face-off of the great wines before, and the event attracted attention and numerous press stories.

After this success, Spurier and his business associate, Patricia Gallagher, began thinking of holding an event centered around a selection of wines from California, as stories were emerging from this new wine region about the exciting new products that were being done there, especially around the Napa Valley estates.

In early 1975, Patricia Gallagher came out with the idea, that the Americans were planning all sorts of special events for 1976, which happened to be the bicentenial of  the American Independence, and suggested that they should put together a blind tasting event with a selection of the best Californian wines against the cream of the French producers, as part of those year long celebrations.

Chardonnay grape cluster.
Up to this time, French wines were always in a league by themselves. In the world of wine, there was France, and then there was everybody else. So this idea appealed to Steven Spurier, and organization to obtain the selected wines from California and to transport them safely to Paris, setting the date of the event, appointing the selected eleven judges from the renowned French Establishment of the wine business, booking the venue, inviting the press, and the multitude of other details which are entailed in such a prestigious event, started in earnest.

The eleven Judges, all French, were selected and invited. The press including reporters from Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Gault-Millaur were invited but all declined the offer considering and deciding that this was going to be a non-event, as they were of the idea that the French wines would win outright. Only one reporter agreed at that time, to cover the event, and that was George M. Taber, who at that time was the Paris reporter for Time Magazine. George M. Taber later reported this even to the world in Time Magazine and wrote a very successful and informative book about this event titled "The Judgement of Paris". Little did the French reporters and press realise, that this event was going to revolutionize the world wide business of wine, and to kill old fashioned myths and traditions of the Old World winemakers, and to bring to the fore the production methods of the best producers from California as the lead country of the New World of wine. This event is still being discussed and debated, even now, 35 years later, hence the reason for this feature.

Six Chardonnays and six Cabernet Sauvignons from California were selected from the best producers, and four of each of these varieties were chosen from then top, French, long established, Burgundy and Bordeaux winemakers, whom the organizers were of the idea that they would win explicitly over the Californian newcomers. The wines selected were as follows:

Californian Chardonnays:                                    Burgundy Chardonnays:
Chateaux Montelena 1973.                                       Batard-Montrachet Ramonet Prudhon 1973.
Chalone Vineyard 1974.                                           Mersault Charmes Roulot 1973.
David Bruce Winery 1973.                                       Beaune Clos des Mouches Joseph Drouhin 1973.
Freemark Abbey Winery 1972.                                Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles Domaine
Spring Mountain Vineyard 1973.                              -Leflaive 1972.
Veedercrest Vineyards 1972.

Calfornian Cabernet Sauvignons:                         Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignons:
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1973.                                 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1970.
Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 1971.                           Chateau Montrose 1970.
Heitz Wine Cellars Martha's Vineyard 1970.               Chateau Haut-Brion 1970.
Clos Du Val Winery 1972.                                         Chateau Leoville Las Cases 71.
Mayacamas Vineyards 1971.
Freemark Abbey Winery 1969.

The Paris Tasting was then scheduled for the 24th of May, 1976, at the InterContinental Hotel, which is located just off the Champs' Elysees, on the Rue de Castiglione, Paris, at 3 pm.

The tasting was to be a blind tasting event. Each judge was provided with numbered score sheets, a pencil,  two stemmed wine glasses and a bread roll. Water was available, and spittoons in the form of champagne buckets were placed near each judge. Prior to the start of the tasting the judges were each poured a glass of Chablis to wet and hone the taste buds, and everything was set for the wine tasting event that was, unknowingly, destined to revolutionaze wine.

The wines were to be ranked by four main criteria:
Eye  - colour and clarity;
Nose - aroma;
Mouth - the wine's taste and structure;
Harmony  - balance, combination of all sensations.
Each criteia was to be judged and scored on the basis of 20 points.

As is traditional in wine tasting, the Chardonnays were scheduled first, followed by the Cabernet Sauvignons.

This tasting was to cause a major upset in the world of wine as known up till then, revolutionize the production, business and marketing of wine, and through which the doors became wide open to the marketing of wines internationally from the emerging New World producing countries. The results not only shook the French Judges when they were read out by Steven Spurier, but also succeeded to stun the wine world, especially France.

The results of that first Paris Tasting - which became known as The Judgement of Paris of 1976, were as follows:

Chardonnays:                                                     Cabernet Sauvignons:

1. Chateau Montelena 1973.                                1. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1973.
2. Mersault Charmes 1973.                                  2. Chateau Mouton Rotschild '70.
3. Chalone Vineyard 1974.                                  3. Chateau Montrose 1970.
4. Spring Mountain 1973.                                    4. Chateau Haut-Brion 1970.
5. Beaune Clos des Marches '73.                         5. Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 1971.
6. Freemark Abbey 1972.                                    6. Chateau Leoville-La Cases 1971.
7. Batard Montrachet 1973.                                 7. Heitz Martha's Vineyards 1970.
8. Puligny-Montrachet 1972.                                8. Close Du Val Winery 1972.
9. Veedercrest Vineyards 1972.                           9. Mayacamas Vineyards 1971.
10. David Bruce Winery 1973.                            10. Freemark Abbey 1969.

As was expected, the French wine establishment was at the time up-in-arms against these results, and following the short report which was published in Time Magazine of the time, by which all the world realised what took place in Paris on that faithful day, many other articles and features were written and published even by a number of the adjudicating judges themselves. After the results were read, a prominent French judge, Odette Khan,  had even had the audacity to ask Steven Spurier to give her back her score sheets, which of course he did not do.

Various replica tastings were carried out periodically on these same wines by various institutions. To name a few these were held in 1978 two years after the first tasting in San Francisco; in 1999 in Paris; on the tenth anniversary of the 1976 event, viz on the 24th of May, 1986, at which tasting the Cabernet Sauvignons were again blind tasted by the French Culinary Institute. But the cherry on the cake was once again placed on the authenticity of the original tasting of 1976, on the 30th Anniversary of the Judgement of Paris, on the 24th of May, 2006, when two different blind tastings, in two different countries, and by different judges with different nationalities were conducted simultaneously on the Cabernet Sauvignons at The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts (COPIA) in Napa, California and at Berry Bros. & Rudd, Britain's oldest wine merchants, in London, in association with Steven Spurier.  In all these replica tastings of these wines, the California wines always came out on top. The Chardonnays were only re-tasted for the first few years as unlike the Cabernet Sauvignons which were still in excellent condition after 30 years, the white Chardonnays were considered to have gone past their prime, as white wine is prone to do.

The 18 judges combined results, on the 30th Anniversary tastings in California and London, scored the Cabernet Sauvignon wines as follows:

1. Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello 1971.
2. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars 1973.
3. Mayacamas Vineyards 1971 (tie).
4. Heitz Wine Cellars Martha's Vineyards 1970 (tie).
5. Clos du Val Winery 1972.
These were then followed by the four French wines and one other wine from California in 10th place.

The Paris Tasting of 1976, shattered two foundations of conventional wisdom in the world of wine. First, it demonstrated that outstanding wine can be made in many places beyond the hallowed terroir of France.
Second, the Paris Tasting showed that winemakers did not need long heritage and traditions of passing knowledge from one generation to the next to master the techniques for producing great wine. Newcomers could cut the time dramatically if they did good research and followed the French and Californian procedures and techniques.

Established Old World countries such as Italy and Spain, and more so the newcomers from the New World countries such as South Africa, Australia, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and even Canada, took a hard look at these events and acted accordingly, resulting in the globalization of wine from its European roots.

After the Paris Tasting, winemakers in many countries began concentrating on France's leading grape varietals, just as the Californians did in the 1960's and early 1970's. Eight types of grapes now dominate global wine production. Among the reds we find: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Among the whites we find: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

One other thing that has clearly emerged from the Paris Tasting of 1976 and the subsequent replica tastings, was not only the fact that the results have had a revolutionary impact on expanding the production and prestige, of premium and high quality wine from the New World, but also gave the French a valuable incentive to review traditions and to modernize. Many were those producers from the Old World who eventually sent their sons and daughters to the University of California, Davis as well as to Fresno State College to follow and graduate in their prestigious wine programs. Various international wine schools also sprouted in all parts of the world, offering study programs from the basic wine appreciation courses, up to diploma and degree courses of study, in viticulture, enology/ oenology, and for persons who wanted to specialize as wine professionals. This also opened the door to a new type of writer in the wine field, the wine critic and the wine reviewer.

To a large extent, this event and its results, affected and applied also to the other traditionalists in the Old World of wine, such as Italy and Spain, both of which have their own prestigious, indegenious grape varietals, wine brands and traditions in wine making.

Since 1976, many books have been published on the Paris Tasting of 1976, and many articles have been published in the international press, from which the research for this feature have been made. Special thanks go to each and every author. Many books have also been written and published about wine by many prestigious and world renowned experts in the field, these books are the manna from heaven to perpetual students of wine such as myself.

Will there be another anniversary tasting on the 35th anniversary of the Paris Tasting, on the 24th of May, 2011? Are any of the original wines still available somewhere? If a tasting is held, it would really be a great eye opener if a selection of prestigious wines from the other major New World producers are also included. How about it?