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With a score of 96 on Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, the Château Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a truly seamless drink. It has a deep red-purple color, with a medium body, and a wonderful depth and intensity.
It reveals aromas of toasty cedar, crème de cassis, and fresh blackberry, with notes of raspberry jam, mocha, and hints of baking spice. It has a clean and fresh palate, with flavors of strawberry candy, rhubarb pie, and hints of smoky espresso. This is a wine that gets truly better with age.
Chateau Montelena’s win in the historic Judgement of Paris, or Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, didn’t just bag a grand prize recognition for the winery. It also placed Napa Valley wines in general on the map. Given the biased notions at that time that only French wines would reign supreme, the blind tasting composed of nine French judges out of 11, proved that non-French wines had a chance in making a name on its own too.
Although the news of the Napa Valley winery’s win was mostly ignored by French press, The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 had a revolutionary impact on expanding the production and prestige of wine in the New World. It also gave the French a valuable incentive to review traditions that were sometimes more accumulations of habit and to reexamine convictions that were little more than myths taken on trust.
Store unopened red wines in a cool, dry, and dark place safe from constant vibration. Keep your bottle horizontal in a wine rack or cellar to retain the moistness of the cork. The ideal temperature for storage is between 16 to 18°C. Once opened, a bottle will be good for 3 to 5 days standing upright in the refrigerator.