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Washington wines beat Bordeaux wines in SoBeFest tasting


 It wasn’t quite the “Judgment of Paris” -- the 1976 tasting in which top California wines bested their French Bordeaux counterparts and put American wines firmly on the world map for quality.
 But at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February, two merlots from Washington State beat merlot-based wines from top Bordeaux producers chateaus Cheval Blanc, Angelus, Trotanoy and La Conseillante.
 Coming in first at the blind tasting was the 2005 Northstar Walla Walla Merlot, at $50 a bottle; second was the 2005 Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot, at $40. The Bordeaux wines cost $210 to $1,200.
 One might consume a tiny grain of sodium chloride with the results, since all the wines were from the 2005 vintage, and American wines are known to be ready to drink before French wines. Still, there are bragging rights along the Columbia River today.


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