18 August 2008

18Aug - blah blah movies blah Montelena blah blah me me me
Not too long ago I read George Taber's book about American wines beating French wines in a blind tasting, Judgment of Paris. At the time (the 70s), America was not known for the quality of its wines and, upon the discovery that several leading French opinons mistook California Chardonnays and red blends for top French wines, the wine world was understandably shaken. To them, it seemed, it was the equivalent of saying "Yes, this is classic Mouton Rothschild." and then finding out that your neighbor's kid made it by mixing things he'd found in the fridge.
Anyway, great book. And two movies are being made from this story, though I'd be surprised if either will spend much time on the screens here in Columbia. (On a somewhat related note, it seems Vicky Cristina Barcelona is playing at Carmike on Harbison, an out-of-the-way mainstream theater that, curiously, shows little movies not shown at more in-the-way places. If I can get my chores done in a timely manner i might catch a showing this afternoon)
Bottleshock, the name of one of these Judgment of Paris movies, is getting mixed reviews.

So the other night we opened a bottle of the current release Chateau Montelena Chardonnay. This was the same vineyard and varietal that came out on top at the famous tasting. I hesitated somewhat when buying the bottle because I don't think it's illustrative of how the wine might have tasted back then as they've changed winemakers since, but I figure i can swing the price and I was curious. I enjoyed it rather more than I thought I would. As with most whites, I preferred it a little warmer than current widely-accepted serving temperature as I thought it brought out more of the apple and slight citrus flavors in it. I found it very refreshing and clean in way I wasn't expecting but thoroughly liked.

A year ago I never gave much attention to Chardonnay but, lately, I've been enjoying some styles more and more. Delicate flavors, crisp acidity and no to mild oak or maloactic fermentation appeal to me when drinking them. True, it seems all the ones I enjoy could be described as French in inspiration but at least I'm exploring other countries' interpretations. Chile's Montes Alpha Casablanca Valley Special Cuvee I found to be absolutely delicious. The most amazing one I've recently had is Burgundy's Clos D'Arlot Nuit St George Blanc, which, like the previously mentioned two, had subtle as well as forward fruit notes, crisp acidity, and an overall refreshing finish that makes one want to drink just one more sip.

Just thought I'd mention that.

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