International wine leaders attending the sixth annual World Vinifera Conference in Seattle July 26-27 picked Washington wines over wines from Bordeaux, France in a blind tasting of acclaimed wines from both regions. The international “taste-off” featured four Bordeaux-style wines from Washington’s Columbia Valley and four highly-classified wines from Bordeaux, France. All wines were crafted from vintage 1995. More than 300 industry leaders individually ranked the eight wines, and the final tabulation placed the Washington wines among the top five choices: 1. Columbia Crest Reserve Red, $262. Woodward Canyon Artist Series, $343. L’Ecole No. 41 Apogee-$354. Chateau La Tour Figeac-$1035. Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos-$346. Chateau Rauzan-Segla-$1097. Chateau Haut-Bages Avarous-N/A8. Chateau Phelan-Segur-$89″Washington wines are now competing with, and in many instances, outpacing some of the greatest wine growing regions in the world,” says Washington Wine Commission Executive Director Steve Burns. “Wine consumers and producers world-wide are very excited about the quality of Washington wines.” The World Vinifera Conference, a symposium devoted to elevating wine quality and the enjoyment of fine wine world-wide, included wine industry luminaries Piero Antinori, Marchesi Antinori, Italy; James Halliday, Southcorp Wines, Australia; Sarah Kemp, Decanter Magazine, London; Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, Germany; and Marcel Ducasse, Chateau Lagrange, France, among others.

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