The idea of a Golden Age is an ancient one. It presupposes a glowing moment when both excitement and accomplishment suffuse an era, with one dazzling, revelatory achievement inspiring yet another. Think of jazz in the 1950s. Engineering in the 1920s. Golden Ages do exist. There was such a moment for wine and, this is key, it was worldwide. It began in the mid-'70s. The Judgment of Paris of 1976, where California Chardonnay and Cabernet vanquished big-name white Burgundy and red Bordeaux, is as good an inaugural marker as any.
For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands October 5, 2010.
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