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The Dinner Party Disaster

Judgementparisrubens

I’m proud of the wines that I have saved for decades and nothing gives me more pleasure than preparing a wonderful meal and opening some of these old bottles with friends that love both as much as I do. Last night I had invited a some wine loving friends to enjoy a few of my oldest wines.

I brought the wines up from the cellar days in advance to rest and spent the entire day cooking. That evening my guests arrived and we started on a upbeat note with some Champagne and smoked salmon, but then the disaster happened and I committed a horrible faux paux that I will never live down.

After clearing the plates and glasses of the the first course, I presented what I thought would be the highlight of the evening, a bottle each of 1970 Chateau Haut Brion and 1970 Chateau Montrose. I looked up expecting to see the excited eyes of my guests, but instead met cold stares.

“Well, now we now what you think of us,” said one.

“John, we’re leaving right now,” said another.

“Apparently we’re not good enough for the California wines,” snapped another as he walked out the door. Looking back he added, “What are you trying to do, unload all that old French crap on us? Don’t you think we know the results of The Judgment of Paris 2 – the sequel!”

As the last one slammed the door behind them I could hear them talking outside.

“The nerve, those wines couldn’t even finish in the top five!”

I finished the evening dining alone drowning my sorrows in Haut Brion and Montrose contemplating the damage being done to the world of wines by three ring circuses such as this sequel.

How did the wine world come to this? A bunch of  judges with rows of glasses in front of them decide which wine is the “best”. It’s ridiculous because the only thing they are deciding is which wines taste best when contrasted with the wines lined up in front of them - an unlikely dinner table scenario. By ranking them they imply that there is a linear ranking of best to worst in wine. Something that is a lie. You should mistrust any such ranking as they are not formulated in an environment that has anything to do with what they were made for or how they will be enjoyed.

So if you think this Judgment 2 – The Sequel has any meaning, please get rid of all the old Bordeaux in your cellar. I will be happy to come over and pick them up.

Below you will find the ranking for this tasting as published at Vinography. I publish it here to get more Google hits, which is the only practical use for these rankings.

CALIFORNIA JUDGES
#1 - 1971 Ridge Monte Bello (67 points)
#2 - 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (63 points)
#3 - 1970 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard (62 points)
#4 - 1971 Mayacamas (60 points)
#5 - 1972 Clos du Val (53 points)
#6 - 1970 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (46 points)
#7 - 1970 Chateau Montrose (39 points)
#8 - 1970 Chateau Haut-Brion (36 points)
#9 - 1969 Freemark Abbey (35 points)
#10 - 1971 Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases (34 points)

UK JUDGES
#1 - 1971 Ridge Monte Bello (70 points)
#2 - 1970 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (59 points)
#3- 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (56 points)
#4 - (TIE) 1970 Chateau Montrose and 1972 Clos du Val (53 points)
#5 -
#6 - 1971 Mayacamas (52 points)
#7 - 1970 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard (50 points)
#8 - 1970 Chateau Haut-Brion (46 points)
#9 - 1971 Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases (32 points)
#10 - 1969 Freemark Abbey (24 points)

Combining the scoring from the two judging panels gives us:

#1 - 1971 Ridge Monte Bello (137 points)
#2 - 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (119 points)
#3- (TIE) 1970 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard and 1971 Mayacamas (112 points)
#4 -
#5 - 1972 Clos du Val (106 points)
#6 - 1970 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (105 points)
#7 - 1970 Chateau Montrose (92 points)
#8 - 1970 Chateau Haut-Brion (82 points)
#9 - 1971 Chateau Leoville-Las-Cases (66 points)
#10 - 1969 Freemark Abbey (59 points)

Vinography: A Wine Blog: The Re-Judgment Of Paris Results In California Landslide.