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Chateau Montelena Chardonnay
A Wine Legend
If you haven’t heard of this wine before, now’s the time to take in some rich history. Château Montelena is a wine legend being the California Chardonnay that caused quite a stir when it beat a lineup of the best white Burgundies during a blind tasting competition known as the Judgement of Paris in 1976. Have taste of greatness that expresses hints of pear, apple and citrus with a semi tart dry finish.
Tasting Notes from the Curator
Ripe peach, pear and cloves dominate the nose amidst a flurry of floral and honeysuckle notes. There’s a wonderful fullness and weight on the palate punctuated by ripe melon, green apple, and fresh citrus. The oak contribution remains subtle with a hint of vanilla and baking spice. The density of the wine is readily apparent as grilled pineapple, lychee, and a rich creaminess linger.
Château Montelena Chardonnay is best paired with dishes with rich fish such as baked salmon, grilled tuna steaks or ahi poke. If you’re looking for a healthier option, dishes with vegetables such as potatoes, winter squash, legumes, porcini mushrooms also go well with this white.
Château 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 9 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.