Despite the best efforts of some Americans to add Freedom Wine to Freedom Fries, most Americans are sane enough to continue enjoying French wine and the fruits of Franco-American cooperation. In Washington state, we have such great French winemakers as Serge Laville and Christophe Baron making some of the best Washingtonian wines. In Oregon, we have the Burgundian Drouhin family making some of the best Pinot Noir. And in California we have fabulous values in sparkling wine thanks to the French Champagne houses Roederer, Mumm, and Chandon. One of the earliest collaborations was that of Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild in the 1980s. The result? Opus One - one of the most highly praised and maligned wines in the world. In recent years, some have taken to putting down Opus One as an example of an overpriced, over-hyped wine living on its laurels. But it has also become the ultimate gift among Japanese businessmen. Recently, son-in-law, Laurent, shared a bottle of the 1999 vintage with us. If anything, at least in this vintage, the wine is under-hyped. The perfect blend of ripe California fruit with the backbone and structure of a French wine that makes a wine taster sit up and pay attention. If you didn't know the origin, you would have thought you were tasting one of the great so-called superseconds comparable to the great first growths such as Chateau Lafite. Let us be grateful for the fruits of Franco/American cross-fertilization.