Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Collector’s Corner

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Milestone Articles

The Tasting Panel at Copia

Paris Tasting Recreation 20­06: 30th Anniversary Insights

The 1976 Paris Tasting represented far more than a “best in show” for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. It was an opportunity to stand side by side on the world wine stage with some of the worlds finest producers. We were new to the scene, but we were no less capable.

The event was an important milestone for both our newly founded winery and our fledgling region. Looking back, it’s clear that winning the competition wasn’t really the prize—the ultimate reward was the possibility that was born out of the judgment. The glass ceiling that had existed for anyone making wine in the new world was suddenly removed, and in its place was the very real fact that a centuries old heritage was not necessarily a requirement for producing a great wine.

Today California and the Napa Valley have earned their place among the world’s great winegrowing regions, but the question remained, could new world wines age well? The 30th anniversary of that seminal event seemed an appropriate time to answer the question, and so, earlier this year on May 24, exactly 30 years to the day since the now famous Paris tasting took place, the exact wines and vintages presented in the original competition were once again tasted blind, this time by expert panels in both Napa Valley and London simultaneously.

The panelists included some of the most internationally recognized names in wine, from Andrea Immer Robinson to Jancis Robinson, from Hugh Johnson and Michael Broadbent to Anthony Dias Blue and Dan Berger. All 18 panelists have impeccable credentials.

And so, we are happy to report that Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon was once again a favorite with the panelists. Our California colleagues at Ridge took top honors with their 1971 Monte Bello Cabernet, our own 1973 Cabernet placed second, and in fact the top five wines of the tasting were all from the Golden State.

As with the ’76 tasting, we are very proud of the 2006 reenactment results, which seems to have settled the debate regarding the ability of our wines to age as gracefully as the beautiful and time-honored wines of Bordeaux.

We are equally proud that in a blind tasting of contemporary wines held that same day, the 2001 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars CASK 23 was also well received among the expert panels, placing second among California’s leading Cabernet Sauvignon producers in the combined panel and first in the UK panel.

As we reflect on the past and look to the future, we’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support and encouragement of our customers and our colleagues, who for more than thirty years have helped to put Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars on the global map.