In 1976, Steven Spurrier, a sommelier in Paris, comes to the Napa Valley to take the best he can find to Paris for a blind taste test against French wine. He meets Jim Barrett, whose Chateau Montelena is mortgaged to the hilt as Jim perfects his chardonnay. There's strain in Jim's relations with his hippie son Bo and his foreman Gustavo, a Mexican farmworker's son secretly making his own wine. Plus, there's Sam, a UC Davis graduate student and free spirit, mutually attracted to both Gustavo and Bo. As Spurrier organizes the "Judgment of Paris," Jim doesn't want to participate while Bo knows it's their only chance. Barrett's chardonnay has buttery notes and a Smithsonian finish. Written by
The real Jim Barrett, owner of Chateau Montelena, appears in the film as a vineyard owner who pours a wine sample for Alan Rickman. Mike Grgich, the real-life winemaker at Chateau Montelena (and the man who was most responsible for the award-winning 1973 Montelena Chardonnay), appears in several scenes at the chateau, standing next to Bill Pullman as he takes a wine sample from a barrel. See more »
When Spurrier leaves the tasting fee under the ashtray and the owner picks it up, it is a new style bill with the large numbers which were not in use until the nineties. See more »
[voice-over during a vineyard pan]
It wasn't always like this. Before Paris, people didn't drink our wine. I mean, my friends did. But you could hardly consider their palates discerning...
Hell, we were farmers... sort of...
[pan to empty bottles of Montelena label and several early twenties/late teens smoking hookah]
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I recently got a chance to see Bottle Shock and I have to say I thought it was great. It's really charming and interesting in a very different way from Sideways, although because of all the beautiful Napa Valley photography, it still reminded me of it. It also has great characters and hilarious moments the way that film does. I highly recommend this film.
Based on a true story, it chronicles how California wine makers became serious contenders in the world competition of wine-- an honor previously assumed to be rewarded always to the French. It centers around a town of quirky up and coming wine makers, each with their own challenges to face. It's got a great cast, including Bill Pullman, Chris Pine, Freddie Rodriguez, Rachel Taylor, Eliza Dushku and the hilarious Alan Rickman. Rickman plays an English wine seller in France who's desperate to find the best wines to sell in his store. He travels to California to see if the rumors are true about California's wines. His performance alone is worth seeing this.
It's a charming, heartwarming movie that I think will do very well when it opens 8/8. Check it out, you wont be disappointed.
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