The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2016

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Page 82 of 100

82  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2016 MILESTONES will always be specific dates we remember for the rest of our lives. For Bo Barrett, CEO and Master Winemaker of Napa Valley–based Chateau Montelena, one of those dates is May 24, 1976. That was the day that his family's 1973 Chardonnay did the unthinkable by beating the top white Burgundy producers at the famous "Judgment of Paris" in France. This momentous victory, and the media coverage by TIME magazine that followed, marked one of the most important days in the history of American wine since the repeal of Prohibition. But on a more personal level, for Bo and his late father, Jim Barrett, the date also represents the beginning of a journey to maintain the winery's hallmark style of Chardonnay over the next four decades. For starters, the 1973 Chardonnay was only the second vintage that Chateau Montelena ever made at the historic estate off Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, pur- chased by the family in 1972. More than half of the fruit from this Chardonnay was sourced from Sonoma, including the pristine Bacigalupi Vineyard in there PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHATEAU MONTELENA PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHATEAU MONTELENA Chateau Montelena CEO and Master Winemaker Bo Barrett with Winemaker Matt Crafton. George Taber wrote the original story about the Paris tasting for TIME magazine and later authored the book Judgment of Paris.

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