Friday, December 5, 2008

Wine Club: Chateau Montelena

Welcome to the Chateau Montelena vertical tasting at Wine Club. But first, a little history lesson.The world-famous Chateau Montelena was on display at this month's CIA Wine Club. The winery has come back into the public eye via the recently released movie, Bottle Shock.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Chateau Montelena was one of the original California wineries that put Napa Valley wines on the world map. The short story is, the winery produced a class-winning wine at the blind Paris Tasting of 1976 that out-classed its French counterparts. This is a replica copy of the Time magazine cover that graced newsstands across the country, and helped build the California wine industry.
Enough of the history lesson, this is wine club. Let's taste some wines. What is a vertical tasting? It is defined as tasting different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery. This emphasizes differences between various vintages. We began tasting the 2004 vintage of Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon, then transitioned all the way to the oldest wine of the session, the 1994 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon. We progressed from 1994-2000 vintages, noting the sometimes subtle, and other times substantial differences between the years. We finished re-tasting the 2004 and compared our notes for all of the vintages. Word in the kitchen was that the budget for this club meeting was almost $1500! Needless to say, this was the best wine club experience I have had during my short time here at the CIA. I look forward to the many educational opportunities with Wine Club in the year to come. Stay tuned for a 2009 Wine Club experience coming your way soon.

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