Vintages from the famous 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting are very hard to obtain. The France vs. U.S. wine tasting forever changed the way the world regarded the then-upstart Napa wine region and the historic event was immortalized in the movie "Bottle Shock." Decanter reports that a rare bottle of ex-cellar 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay will be auctioned off by Spectrum Auctions to raise funds for the Friends of the Orphans Haitian Initiative.
At the Judgment of Paris tasting this wine beat all other whites including four Burgundies. "This wine has historical significance in the annals of winemaking, in that the event changed winemaking for the better, all over the world," said Chateau Montelena owner Jim Barrett. "I can think of no better way to use this wine than to put it up for auction with the proceeds to help alleviate the suffering of the poor people of Haiti."
The bottle comes in a special wooden box engraved with the history of the wine and the lot also includes images of Jim Barrett and the France vs. Paris tasting organizer and wine critic Steven Spurrier and a copy of the official tasting results. There are only a few bottles left in the winery's own cellar and one in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, it is not known how many other bottles remain in private hands.
Online bidding has already begun for the single-lot auction and sits at $1,700 last time I looked. We can expect it to go much higher, Spectrum hasn't set an estimate for this bottle because there is not really a limit to how high it could go. The live auction takes place on July 18 at 8p.m. at Chateau Montelena in Calistoga, California.