I could waffle on about the icon status of Chateau Montelena or merely refer to you a certain film with Alan Rickman telling the story about the time when the Montelena Chardonnay wiped the floor and came out above some of Burgundy’s best whites. This famous 1976 tasting is known as the ‘Judgement of Paris’.
Chateau Montelena in The Calistoga AVA of Napa Valley was established in 1882 when Alfred Tubbs decided to plant estate vineyards on the soil. Following the prohibition in 1920 and the cessation of winemaking practices at the Chateau, 1934 saw the winery refurbished in anticipation its repeal. Chapin Tubbs, grandson of Alfred, was famed for saying: “It is my hope that the wine makers of this district will be able to prove to the world the excellence of our products, thereby bringing fame to this beautiful and fruitful county.” Little did he know that Montelena would be one of the key players in Napa’s rise to fame!
In 1976 Steven Spurrier (a British wine merchant) organised a tasting of four white Burgundies and six California Chardonnays, this tasting came to be known as The Judgement of Paris. Chateau Montelena came top in the white category, with the French judges believing the wine to be one of their own.
Since 1982 Bo Barrett has been the Winemaker at Montelena, he has been involved in every vintage since.
We are lucky enough to be welcoming Bo and his wife Heidi (the former winemaker of another icon winery from Napa; Screaming Eagle) to Ireland next month. If you would like to meet them and try these world renowned wines we have two events which still have spaces:
- Montelena Dinner at Thornton’s Restaurant, Stephen’s Green, Dublin – 7pm Thursday 6th February
- Montelena Tasting at The Grainstore, Ballymaloe, Co Cork – 7pm Friday 7th February
White wines – The Leader Board
California Chardonnays vs. Burgundy Chardonnays
|2.||Meursault Charmes Roulot||1973||France|
|4.||Spring Mountain Vineyard||1973||USA|
|5.||Beaune Clos des Mouches Joseph Drouhin||1973||France|
|6.||Freemark Abbey Winery||1972||USA|
|8.||Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles Domaine Leflaive||1972||France|
|10.||David Bruce Winery||1973||USA|