Last week marked the first annual Judgment of Kingston Tasting, a blind wine tasting that pitted the chardonnays of Prince Edward County against those of California. The event was based on the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting organized by British wine merchant and critic Steven Spurrier which put the best of Burgundy chardonnays and Bordelaise cabernets up against top California examples. In each instance of this blind tasting, a Californian wine was surprisingly awarded best in its category. This year marks the 40th anniversary of definitive tasting that put the Californian wine industry on the map. It has thus prompted many such copycat tastings around the globe but this is the only one featuring the wines of Prince Edward County.
Admittedly the comparison of the elegant and more delicate PEC
chardonnays against the bolder California styles seems like comparing
apples to oranges but the outcome was less black and white than
expected. Along local wine critics and colleagues, seven wines were
blind tasted with a group of 150 consumers in the historic Kingston
City Hall. Of the four Prince Edward County wines, two surfaced as the
top wines of the evening:
Rosehall Run's 2013 "JCR" Chardonnay
Closson Chase's 2014 "South Clos" Chardonnay.
The third place award went to the cooler climate Clos du Val Carneros
Estate 2013 Chardonnay. The tasting illustrated the finesse of the
leaner more Burgundian style Prince Edward County chardonnays which
were favored by this group of engaged consumers. Part Two of the
Judgement of Kingston will feature County pinot noirs against their
Burgundian counterparts. More information can be found at: