Included in the annuls of wine country stories, is one probably as strange a tale as any ever told. Members who will be attending the 2014 AREA Retreat will have an opportunity to witness, first hand, the further unfolding of this story as on Tuesday morning there will be a face-off between California wine country real estate expert, John Bergman and a visitor from France, Pierre S. Cargot over the relative merits of California wines against those of France.
The story has its origins in 1976 when, during a blind tasting competition held in France, the Chardonnay of Chateau Mont Elena, a winery located in Helena, California, deep in the heart of the Napa Valley, was chosen first in the world defeating the pride vintners of all of France.
A certain ageless gentlemen, Pierre S. Cargot, who witnessed this “tragedy” believes that the labels had been switched through a process called “label inversion”, which, when used in the classical manner, allows wine labels to be withdrawn from one bottle and placed on another without any trace of what may have happened. Cargot notes that this practice dates back thousands of years (actually before bottles were invented) and that it was used on urns to enhance their value. The fact that Guttenberg only invented the printing press in the 13th Century, thus making printed labels at the time, not possible, has not deterred Cargot who says that the ancient Chinese has already invented the label making process and it had come to the Middle East on the back of Yaks from the Himalayas well before the first wine tasting events featuring urns had begun.
Cargot, who received a doctorate in truffle cultivation from the Sorbet, an off-shoot of the Sorbonne, graduated at the head of his class, served honorably in several different wars including as a member of the French Foreign Legion. He attributes his ability to analyze, with flawless accuracy, to his great grandfather, Pierre S. Maginot, the designer of the famous Maginot Line that protected France during the Second World War. “Being able to strip away all of the elements of a situation, I am always able to find a credible and working solution to almost any problem. This Maginot trait, has served to separate me from the likes of John Bergman who boldly exclaim truth in the face of incontrovertible facts that contradict the very soul of their hypothesis”, he recently stated. “We all know that the Maginot Line was created to enable Dunkirk to occur so that British and French troops could take a break before returning to destroy the Nazi’s. I am disgusted when I hear that it had failed its purpose because nothing could be further from the truth.”
In his biography, Cargot writes of his harrowing experience while searching for the world’s grandest truffle. He slipped, while standing on a river bank, and fell into the river, nearly drawing. When rescued he was delirious and everyone attributed that to being in Seine.
So, now his mission is to return the reputation of French wines to their previous position of glory. He will spare no expense to do just that on the morning of October 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. when he faces off against John Bergman.