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6 February 2018 News

Bo Barrett, the CEO of Chateau Montelena, put together a retrospective of the winery’s primarily Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines from the 1970s to the present. It was meant as a testimony to how these wines can age, something that is rarely tested in Northern California as a number producers don’t hold back enough stocks of their older vintages.

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30 January 2018 Feature, News, Videos

13 September 2017 News

Stephen Tanzer recently released a retrospective on 1997 Napa Valley Cabernets. Montelena’s 1997 Estate Cabernet received a glowing 93 point rating, one of the top 3 ratings of the tasting and above Shafer Hillside Select, Mondavi Cabernet Reserve, Corison, Ridge Monte Bello, Dalla Valle, and Stag’s Leap Cask 23 (to name a few.) This acknowledgment speaks to Montelena’s profound ageability—truly a California First Growth.


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3 August 2017 News

In her recent article “Three top-drawer Californians,” Jancis Robinson praises Chateau Montelena as one of “the most respected northern California wine producers.” Noting that Montelena’s calling card is refined Cabernet Sauvignon, Robinson states, “I was impressed by how distinctive the Chateau Montelena wines were – much drier, more austere and apparently slower-burning than the Napa Valley norm. This works brilliantly well for Cabernet…” The article continues with detailed reviews on both current and older vintages of Montelena as well as other top producers in the Valley.

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9 June 2017 News

On June 15, over 100 Ruth’s Chris locations throughout the country will host an epic Chateau Montelena wine dinner. A 5-course menu was specifically curated to pair with select wines from the winery, including the 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine Spectator features this dinner in a recent article, stating “Inspired by the steak house’s founder, Ruth Fertel, the “Taste Maker” series recognizes those in the beverage industry who exemplify an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to quality. Since Chateau Montelena’s Chardonnay beat a Burgundian lineup at the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting, the estate has been hailed for changing the way the world sees American wine.”

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15 July 2016 News

British wine writer Jancis Robinson recently posted a piece on Chateau Montelena, called “That Paris judgment, 40 years on.” Below is an excerpt.

“When his grandson asks him why he is famous, wine writer Steven Spurrier shows him George M Taber’s book Judgment of Paris, a tangible reminder of the fateful blind tasting of California and top French wines he organised on 24 May 1976.

In this 40th anniversary year, Spurrier has been travelling the globe – to Florida, California, Washington DC, Paris and at least five commemorative events in and around London (including this one at Sager & Wilde, reported on recently by Julia, and this one at Christie’s, reported on this week by me) – so long lasting, if slow burning, have been the effects of what he called at one celebration at Christie’s, London, last month ‘a template whereby unknown wines of quality could go against famous ones’. A bottle of each of the winning California wines are even part of the Smithsonian museums’ collection of ‘101 Objects that Made America’.”

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27 June 2016 News

Last week, Vinous Media published the results of a horizontal tasting of 1995 Napa Valley Cabernets. Chateau Montelena’s Estate Cabernet scored higher than many of the region’s most famous wines, including Shafer’s Hillside Select, Ridge’s Monte Bello and Phelp’s Insignia. The review for Chateau Montelena’s 1995 Estate Cabernet appears below. Click here to read the rest of the notes, written by Stephen Tanzer.

“Bright, full medium ruby. Cool, medicinal aromas of black cherry, menthol, graphite, licorice and cinders are quite fresh, even high-pitched. Suave and alive, conveying a slight medicinal coolness to the flavors of dark berries, bitter cherry, leather, minerals and spices. This fine-grained, rather stylish Cabernet is juicy and light on its feet, with enough mid-palate material to cushion its firm tannins. Lovely old-style Cabernet–and not a bruiser.”


29 April 2016 News


Bo Barrett lands on the cover of The Somm Journal in celebration of The Judgement of Paris. Inside are two stories, the first titled The Judgement of Paris Revisited, penned by Steven Spurrier, and full of fantastic anecdotes on the tasting. (if you didn’t know it, Montelena Chardonnay was the clear winner among the whites, with 6 of 9 first place votes). Click here to read the piece.


The second piece is titled The Judgement of Paris Forty Years Later, and looks at how the event “changed wine forever”.


30 March 2016 Feature, News

It’s the 40th Anniversary of Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay’s stunning victory in the Paris Tasting of 1976.  A whole new world of wine followed. See here for a recent article, “Sips that Shocked”, on the Paris Tasting with an awesome photo of the telegram Jim Barrett sent home to Napa letting everyone know about the win, and click here to see an article that discusses the tasting and a recent celebration at Meadowood in Napa, where the 2009 Chardonnay shined and highlighted the ageability of Montelena’s Chardonnays.


25 March 2016 News

A recent article in Wine Business, “The Judgment of Paris at 40: California wines evolution through the lenses of a key event,” recalls the historical 1976 Paris tasting that put California on the wine map. Below is an excerpt:

“There are few tastings that have been as constantly celebrated and memorialized as the one that took place 40 years ago in Paris. It was organized by former British wine merchant, and now wine writer, Steven Spurrier, and pitted some classic French wines against a handful of Napa Valley new comers such as Chateau Montelena and Stag’s Leap. Its moniker is a reference to ancient Greek mythology and a beauty competition between goddesses which supposedly caused the Trojan War.”

Please click here to read the full article.