Montelena | Chateau
Chateau Montelena's rich history began in 1882 when Alfred L. Tubbs, a San Francisco entrepreneur, bought 254 acres of rugged land just two miles north of Calistoga at the base of Mount Saint Helena. The soils were well drained, stony and loose – perfect for the vine cuttings he would plant. The estate remained in the Tubbs family until 1958 and finally purchased in 1972 by Jim Barrett who had helped the previous owners to revitalize the vineyards and winery.
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 recently in the book "The Judgment of Paris," by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film "Bottle Shock".
Today Chateau Montelena continues to be the quality benchmark in Napa Valley, consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Jim and his son, Winemaker Bo Barrett, continue to run the estate with the help of Managing Director Greg Ralston and Vineyard Manager Dave Vella.
"Modern-day society seems to always be in search of new stars, but this winery has been a Cabernet Sauvignon superhero for over 30 years! Chateau Montelena's Estate Cabernet Sauvignon remains one of California's most remarkable Cabernets. I have been following it since the early 1970s, and even the most difficult vintages are still drinking beautifully. The home vineyard is so consistent that even in difficult vintages this wine is far better than its competition." -Robert Parker, "The World's Greatest Wine Estates".
(Portions complements of Vintus.)