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Chateau Montelena, Chardonnay, Napa & Alexander Valley, California, 1975

Regular price $479.95 Sale price $500.00

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Vault Wine: This wine is stored in our vault.

Overview of the Wine
Chateau Montelena’s history is one of the deepest and most storied in the Napa Valley and California. Founded just north of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to Montelena’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property, blessed with a complex mix of soils, slopes and biodiversity of wildlife and fauna. He had a dream of creating wine at the level of the great First Growths of Bordeaux, and set about replanting the vineyard, outfitting the winery with modern equipment, and studying the processes necessary for farming and winemaking at the highest quality level.

In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who’s-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered for a grand tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book "The Judgment of Paris," by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film Bottle Shock.

Today Chateau Montelena’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley, consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton and Vineyard Manager Dave Vella.

A Napa Green Certified Winery

Grape / Blend

Napa Valley, California

Tasting Notes
In the glass the wine is exactly what you would expect from a young Montelena Chardonnay, showing bright yellow gold, with good color density. It smells great, like a green apple pie, bright and a little citrus-y, a bowlful of fresh fruit. The palate is very nice, very smooth, with classic Chardonnay flavors of apple and kiwi, and a lovely finish that leaves the palate refreshed and wanting more.

90 Points - John Gilman
The 1975 Château Montelena chardonnay is still drinking beautifully out of magnum at age thirty-five, as the non-malo style fashioned here at this time by Mike Grgich has proven to be very ageworthy indeed. The wine is a blend of Napa Valley and Alexander Valley fruit, which a few years later would end up being bottled on their own by the winery. The bouquet is deep and quite classy in its mature, but still vibrant mélange of apple, orange, a touch of popcorn, orange peel, salty soil tones and new leather. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and very, very fresh for its age, with good mid-palate depth, lovely acidity and impressive length and grip on the finish. The complexity here is in the good, but not great camp, but all other aspects of this wine are most satisfying.

Product size: 750ml

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