Town & Country has published an easily digestible A-Z guide to help readers better understand Chardonnay – and perhaps their misconceptions on this versatile grape. As part of the history, Writer Lauren Hubbard notes that American chardonnay started capturing the spotlight in 1976, following Chateau Montelena’s stunning win in The Judgment of Paris blind tasting against French wines. This prompted a huge spike in popularity of California chardonnays until the 1990s when many producers started bottling overly oaky, buttery styles, causing a backlash on Chardonnay. Now, however, there are so many unoaked, fresh and refined styles from around the world – allowing Chardonnay to once again enjoy the credit it deserves. The writer calls out a few of her favorite expressions, including the Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016. There is a lot of great information in this story, worth a read HERE
Napa Valley, California
A true icon. The Napa Valley Chardonnay is the wine that put Chateau Montelena and Napa Valley at the forefront of the wine world in 1976, in what is now memorialized as “The Judgment of Paris.” To great disbelief, the Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay was the top-ranking wine against four white Burgundies and five other California Chardonnays. And as they say, the rest is history.
Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
In 1976 Chateau Montelena put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who's-who of the French wine establishment gathered in Paris for a blind tasting of French and American wines. When the scores were tallied, the top-ranking white wine was Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay. Montelena today continues to be a quality benchmark in Napa Valley, producing some of the finest Cabernet and Chardonnay in California.