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Wine Spectator's Grand Tour Hits Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Chicago

More than 200 wineries join Wine Spectator's sixth annual Grand Tour in 2007

Thomas Matthews
Posted: May 11, 2007

Wine lovers across America faced an embarrassment of riches as Wine Spectator's sixth annual Grand Tour brought together more than 200 wineries for tastings in Atlantic City, N.J., Las Vegas and Chicago in late April and early May.

The 21 red Bordeaux included all five first-growths. The Italian contingent included seven Brunello di Montalcinos from 2001, a vintage that merited 98 points on the Wine Spectator 100-point scale. You could begin with the Charles Heidsieck Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Blanc des Millénaires 1995 (95 points) and finish with the Croft Vintage Port 2003 (96 points).

Anthony Barton poured 2000 Château Léoville- Barton for attendees of the Chicago event.
The abundance drew nearly 4,000 attendees to the three tastings. At the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas, people traveled from as far away as Florida, Texas and Hawaii. Fred Schwartz, an anesthesiologist from Atlanta, came with two friends and discussed the evening afterward over a late dinner at B&B, the new restaurant from chef Mario Batali and his partner, Joe Bastianich. "We were able to taste some wines we have aging in our cellars, and we made some new discoveries," he said. "It was definitely worth the trip."

Carlos Falco, owner of Marqués de Griñon, in Spain, poured his Petit Verdot Dominio de Valdepusa 2003. Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle, owner of Casa Lapostolle in Chile, poured her Clos Apalta 2004, a blend based largely on Carmenère. Tasting each other's wines, they remarked that not so long ago, both grape varieties were largely unknown; now they're producing outstanding wines.

"An event like this allows us to educate people about the new things we're trying," Falco observed. "And we learn, too," responded Marnier-Lapostolle. "There's always more to learn with wine."

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