The Tasting Panel magazine

Nov 09

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Page 26 of 92

26 / the tasting panel / november 2009 I t takes a lot of nerve to put California sparkling wines into a blind tasting with top Champagnes, but that's exactly what Hugh Davies did in front of the top sommelier palates in Los Angeles. Hugh—the son of Schramsberg founders Jack and Jamie Davies—tempted fate on a late September afternoon at Nobu's handsome new digs. After a fascinating tasting of six stages in the development of J. Schram, Schramsberg's prestige cu- vée, the assembled experts were confronted with an array of six sparklers, which included such heavy hitters as Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot and Laurent Perrier. After tasting, a vote was taken, Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs finished second to Taittinger. Not content with this triumph, Davies forged on and poured three more wines. These wines turned out to be Dom Pérignon 2000, Cristal 2002 and Schramsberg Reserve. In this grouping, the Schramsberg finished a close second to the DP. Quite an impressive showing for an upstart from the States. —Anthony Dias Blue Sparkling Wine Sparkling Showdown Schramsberg takes on Champagne and scores big Schramsberg's Hugh Davies (left) with Joe Bogorad of Wilson Daniels. Anthony Dias Blue hosted the Schramsberg blind tasting, attended by top industry professionals such as sommelier/wine consultant Caitlin Stans- bury (left) and Caroline Styne, owner of L.A. res- taurants Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern.

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