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East vs West: Cool Climate Palates and California Chardonnay

One very interesting aspect of the wine tasting profession is the notion of a regional palate. The difference is clear to those who judge at competitions that use tasters from all over the world, or even just from different parts of North America, from east to west coast. There is a definite propensity for those who taste mainly wines from the west coast, whether it is the Okanagan Valley in BC, Washington, or California, to prefer lower acid, “bigger,” more fruit forward wines. West Coast palates also tend to be far more tolerant of higher alcohol wines.
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Live in BDX: A Hot Afternoon in Saint-Émilion & Pomerol, Party Time in Bordeaux

Before we began the day with our formal tasting, we all trooped over to Château Cheval Blanc. It was, as usual, a media circus with the top wine critics from around the world shooting interviews with each other and with dapper, sophisticated winery manager Pierre Lurton -- who we would later also see at the Château d’Yquem tasting – the other property he manages.