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Judgment of Princeton good for New Jersey Wines

Posted: Thursday, 14 June 2012 10:44

Judgment of Princeton good for New Jersey Wines

June 14 : At a blind tasting conducted last Friday at the University of Princeton on the pattern of Judgment of Paris where 10 each of white and red wines from New Jersey competed against those selected from the same producers as in the 1976 tasting, the NJ whites did extremely well against the Burgundy counterparts, with three of the top four being claimed by the American wines which also garnered 6 of the top 10 spots in the red category.

Unlike in 1976, when the Napa Valley Chardonnay Montelena and Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags leap outscored French wines in the well-known Judgment of Paris and brought American wines onto the world stage, New Jersey wines did not steal the thunder quite the same way but their Chardonnays did very well, capturing  three of the top four spots against five grand cru and premier cru burgundies.  However, the Bordeaux-style New Jersey reds were not as successful against Bordeaux, some of them apparently lacking in depth and complexity.

At the Princeton tasting, 9 wine judges from France, Belgium and the U.S. tasted French against New Jersey wines.  The American wines for the competition were submitted to an informal panel of judges, who then selected the wines that would compete in the final tasting. These judges were not allowed to taste wines at the final competition.

The results were quite surprising. Although, the winner in each category was a French wine-Beaune Clos des Mouches Joseph Drouhin for the whites and Chateau Mouton-Rothschild for the reds, three of the top four whites were from New Jersey. The best NJ red wine won the 3rd place. However, prices for the New Jersey wines are usually a third to a twentieth of their French competitors making them a good value-for-money preposition.

The tasting was organised at the Annual Conference in Princeton by the American Association of Wine Economists ( AAWE) which named it “The Judgment of Princeton” and modeled it after the 1976 “Judgment of Paris,” organised by the then British wine merchant and now a journalist, Steve Spurrier who had organized a blind tasting with 9 French judges who were wine journalists, critics, sommeliers, merchants or winemakers.  In the first flight the judges rated 10 white wines, 6 from Napa and 4 from Burgundy. In the second flight, the judges rated 10 reds, 6 from Napa and 4 from Bordeaux.

In both tastings a wine from Napa, a then relatively unknown wine region, was the top wine. George Taber of TIME magazine, the only attending journalist had reported the results to the world. The results sent shock waves in the wine circles in France and a considerable pleasant surprise in the USA, and helped to put Napa wines on the global wine map.

A statistical evaluation of the tasting, conducted by Princeton Professor Richard Quandt, which was similar to an earlier analysis of the Judgment of Paris, further shows that the rank order of the wines was mostly insignificant. That is, if the tasting were repeated, the results would most likely be different. From a statistical viewpoint, most wines were therefore undistinguishable. Only the best white and the lowest ranked red were significantly different from the other wines.

There was another similarity to the Paris tasting. In Paris, after the identity of the wines was revealed, Odette Kahn, editor of “La Revue du Vin de France,” reportedly demanded her scorecard back. Apparently, she was not happy with having rated American wines number one and two. At the Princeton blind tasting, both French judges preferred NJ red wines over their counterparts from Bordeaux. After disclosing the wines’ identity the French judges were surprised but did not complain. In contrast, several tasters from the U.S. did not want their wine ratings to be published.

Details may be seen also in-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_of_Princeton

Click here for comprehensive results and the statistical analysis.

Results Whites

1

Clos des Mouches Drouhin 2009

FRA

2

Unionville Pheasant Hill Single Vineyard 2010 

NJ

3

Heritage Chardonnay 2010

NJ

4

Silver Decoy "Black  Feather" 2010

NJ

5

Puligny Montrachet Domaine Leflaive 2009

FRA

 6

Bellview Chardonnay 2010

NJ

 6

Bâtard Montrachet Marc-Antonin Blain 2009

FRA

8

Amalthea Chardonnay 2008 

NJ

9

Ventimiglia Chardonnay 2010

NJ

10

Meursault-Charmes Jean Latour-Labille2008

FRA

 Results Reds

1

Ch. Mouton Rothschild 2004 

FRA

2

Ch. Haut Brion 2004

FRA

3

Heritage Estate  BDX 2010

NJ

4

Ch. Montrose 2004

FRA

5

Tomasello Oak Reserve 2007 

NJ

6

Ch. Leoville Las Cases 2004

FRA

7

Bellview Lumiere 2010

NJ

8

Silver Decoy Cab. Franc 2008

NJ

9

Amalthea Europa VI 2008

NJ

10

Four JG's Cab Franc 2008 

NJ

Judges:

Jean–Marie Cardebat, Professor of Economics, Université de Bordeaux
Tyler Colman, DrVino.com
John Foy, Wine Columnist The Star Ledger;
Olivier Gergaud, Professor of Economics, BEM Bordeaux Management School
Robert Hodgson, Fieldbrook Winery, California
Linda Murphy, co-author of American Wine; Decanter
Danièle Meulders, Professor of Economics, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Jamal Rayyis, Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Magazine
Francis Schott, Stage Left Restaurant, New Brunswick; RestaurantGuysRadio.com
Ex officio:
Mark Censits, CoolVines Wine & Spirits
George Taber, Block Island, RI
Source: Wine-Economics.org

Subhash Arora

Although not directly related in any way, the red wine from the winner Clos des Mouches Joseph Drouhin finds a 14th spot and Ch Mouton Rothschild 1999 finds a 5th spot on the List of My Top Favorite 50 Wines in the previous edition of delWine-editor

Comments:

 
 

Frédéric Drouhin Says:

Dear Subhash, thank you for sending the results. I was not aware of this tasting. I really don’t know what to think about it but when a wine is good, it is good, whatever its area of origin. Elegance and complexity are different values difficult to assess in a wine. Anyway it is better to be in the first position and for once, I agree with the panel, the clos des mouches is really good !

Posted @ June 18, 2012 10:48

 
       

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