David Rumsey wrote:I really appreciate any help you can give.
David, one obvious direction of inquiry would be the 1982 vintage in Bordeaux, France, which was a long, warm summer that fostered ripe grapes that made big, California-style wines, then unusual for the region. It was that vintage that started the critic Robert M. Parker Jr. on his trajectory, as he loved the wines and wasn't shy about saying so, while his then-better-known contemporaries were more wary because the wines weren't typical of the region. It turned out that the American wine market loved the wines, and Parker's reputation was made. I expect Parker's much publicized influence on the wine market and wine making is well-enough known nowadays that his name is known outside the world of wine geeks.
Some might argue that the 2003 vintage in Europe, an even more torrid summer that produced almost bizarre wines, may ultimately mark the start of Parker's downhill slope. As he approaches retirement age and his tastes become increasingly controversial, his glowing ratings of many of the 2003s may eventually show up as the point where he became visibly out of step with a growing segment of the market.
Either way, though, 1982 and 2003 in France are two vintages in which exceptional weather made its mark.