Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bottle Shock, The Movie

Just saw Bottle Shock, a delightful movie, which is about the 1976 Paris Wine Tasting of American versus French wines with the spotlight on Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay from California. Alan Rickman and Dennis Farina are both great in the movie, and it also features beautiful scenery around Napa Valley. The movie centers around relationships of the Barretts (owners of Montelena), but here are all the other wines that participated in the 1976 tasting (courtesy of

1976 Paris Wine Tasting - California Trumps France

The 1976 Paris Wine Tasting was organized by French wine tasters, and was meant to capitalize on the US bicentennial publicity. The tasting was done blind, and organizers expected the French wines to win handily. Here are the results.


From the US:
1973 Chateau Montelena - 1st (winemaker: Mike Grgich)
1974 Chalone Vineyard - 3rd
1973 Spring Mountain Vineyard - 4th
1972 Freemark Abbey - 6th
1972 Veedercrest - 9th (no longer in operation)
1973 David Bruce Winery - 10th

From France:
1973 Meursault-Charmes - 2nd
1973 Beaune Clos des Mouches - 5th
1973 Ramonet-Prudhon Batard-Montrachet - 7th
1972 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet - 8th

Cabernet Sauvignon

The Cabs were tasted second, and judges were explicitly trying to choose French wines at this point

From the US:
1973 Stag's Leap - 1st
1971 Ridge Montebello Vineyard - 5th
1971 Mayacamas - 7th
1972 Clos Du Val - 8th
1970 Heitz Cellars 'Martha's Vineyard' - 9th
1967 Freemark Abbey - 10th

From France:
1970 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild - 2nd
1970 Chateau Haut-Brion - 3rd
1970 Chateau Montrose - 4th
1971 Château Leoville-Las-Cases - 6th

Here are the judges and scores from the Chardonnay tasting (courtesy of Ch. Montelena)...


Vintage Wine Place Total Points No. of first place votes
1973 Chateau Montelena 1st 132 6
1973 Meursault-Charmes (Roulot) 2nd 126.5 0
1974 Chalone Vineyards 3rd 121 3
1973 Spring Mountain 4th 104 0
1973 Beaune-Clos des Mouches (Drouhin) 5th 101 0
1972 Freemark Abbey 6th 100 0
1973 Bâtard-Montrachet (Ramonet-Prudhon) 7th 94 0
1972 Puligny-Montrachet ler cru “Les Pucelles” (Dom. Leflaive) 8th 89 0
1972 Veedercrest 9th 88 0
1973 David Bruce 10th 42 0

These were the tasters and their scores* for Chateau Montelena

Place Points Taster
1st 18.5 Mr. Claude Dubois–Millot – Directeur Commercial “Le Nouveau Guide”
1st 18 Mr. Aubert de Villaine – Co-Gérant, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
1st 17 Mr. Raymond Oliver – “Le Grand Véfour”
1st 17 Mr. Jean-Claude Vrinat – “Taillevent”
1st 16.5 Mr. Christian Vanneque – Chef Sommelier, “La Tour d’Argent”
1st 16.5 Mrs. Odette Kahn – Directrice, Revue du Vin de France
2nd 14 Mr. Pierre Tari – Château Giscours, Secrétaire Général, Syndicat des Grands Crus Classés
4th 10 Mr. Pierre Brejoux – Inspecteur Général, Institut National des Appellations d’Origine
7th 3 Mr. Michel Dovaz – Institut Oenologique de France

*Scoring was based on 20 point maximum


Chubbypanda said...

I so need to stop by your store for lessons.

V said...

You are welcome anytime. I am there on the weekends (if you show up M-F, ask for Alan H). :)

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