My opinion is that the French are the best winemakers in the world. As an example it is extremely difficult to find a wine in the US with the elegance of a fine Bordeaux. The best Burgandy in France will be better than Pinot from Oregon. In the US, we are learning to blend grapes whereas this has been done in France for a very long time. It's not that the US is bad - there are a lot of good wines. There is also a lot of horrid stuff. The thing is if you go to a restaurant in France, you will never get horrid wine whereas you do in the US all the time because most people do not have very refined tastes. So, the wine there is differentiated on the low end and the high end. It is partly why there is such a high price paid for the best French wine - it is because it is the best. Napa is getting better. Oregon is up and coming. Argentina is producing something differentiated with their top end Malbecs.
A simple test - forget the studies. Judge for yourself. Buy a Camus or high end Stags Leap from California. Compare it to a Montrose, Leoville Las Cases, Les Forts de LaTour, or Lynch Bages. Try an excellent vintage like 2000 or 2003. You will notice the difference. Throw in an Achaval Ferrer Finca Altamira or Nicolas Catena Zapata from Argentina if you really want something different and an incredible value for exceptional quality.
Actually maybe I will try this. It sounds like fun.