12 September, 2016

L’Academie du Vin celebrates Anniversaries of Judgement of Paris & The Berlin Tasting

L´Academie du Vin in Tokyo was chosen as the ideal site for a joint celebration of two historical events for world wine history: the 40th Anniversary of the Judgement of Paris, created by Steven Spurrier in 1976 and held at L’Academie du Vin in Paris; and the 12th Anniversary of The Berlin Tasting, created by Eduardo Chadwick in 2004 precisely inspired by the aforementioned Paris Tasting.

On the occasion, baptized as “Look Back in Wonder” as a glimpse to both events, the most highly regarded wine experts and specialized wine journalists were able to share privately with the protagonists of these emblematic events in a Master Class that included a selection of wines that participated in the original events, among other wines. This Master Class was accompanied by a private Gala Dinner also hosted by Steven Spurrier and Eduardo Chadwick.

Steven Spurrier was  thrilled, and commented : “What the 1976 Paris Tasting created was quite simply a template that could be used, essentially in impeccable tasting conditions with only highly qualified palates, by “unknown” wines to be compared to their known counterparts to see if they are worthy of the same level of recognition. Eduardo Chadwick used this template in Berlin in January 2004 and achieved instant recognition, which continued to be maintained over 21 subsequent tastings.”

Eduardo Chadwick, President of Viña Errázuriz and Seña wineries, commented: “This is a unique and historical occasion celebrating two milestones that share so much in common.  The Berlin Tasting, that brought the world’s recognition of Chile as a world class appellation, and what Steven Spurrier helped achieve for California earlier on with his historical Judgment of Paris. These two historical tastings were held in a blind tasting format, and both with the most highly respected wine critics at the time. Furthermore, to be celebrating at L´Academie du Vin Tokyo adds even more symbolism to this joyful celebration, particularly now that Chilean wines have taken the leadership position in the sophisticated Japanese wine market.”

The selected wines from Chile for this Master Class were Seña 2000 and 2013, Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve 1984 and 2013; and Viñedo Chadwick 2000 and 2014. These two vintages have a special meaning and purpose in this Seminar, as Viñedo Chadwick 2000 is the very same vintage that was placed first in the original 2004 Berlin Tasting above the great wines of France and Italy, while vintage 2014 recently achieved a perfect 100 points score by international wine critic James Suckling, becoming the first Chilean wine to achieve the world’s highest recognition.
The selected wines from California for this Master Class were the 2013 Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, both of which participated in the 1976 Paris Tasting, winning their respective white and red categories.
The Judgement of Paris, as well as The Berlin Tasting are considered two groundbreaking events that changed the course of world wine history.
The Berlin Tasting totaled over 15 nations and reached more than 1,400 wine experts. Moreover, Chilean wines were placed among the top 3 places in 20 out of the 22 events, achieving a remarkable 90% success rate in the overall preferences, positioning Chile among the most prestigious world-class appellations for red wines, such as Bordeaux, Tuscany and Napa. As Steven Spurrier commented, “It is the consistency across different vintages over a ten-year period that is so important.”
On the other hand, it has been 40 years since the Judgment of Paris, also known as the Paris Tasting, when California’s Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon beat French top producers in a blind tasting of wines in Paris. The tasting forever changed the way the world views American wine and helped put California at the forefront of the wine world.

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