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 white car driving toward camera and out of frame immediately after the "Judgement of Paris" is a Jensen Interceptor. See more »
In one scene, a CA license plate of the form "1 ABC 123" is shown, while such license plates weren't issued until 1980. In 1976, CA license plates had the form "123 ABC" 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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Savor it again and again. This is a stunningly beautiful film. It's just about perfect. My BF didn't think he'd be interested and found himself riveted.
Besides being a great script and incredible story, it's the total package, I loved the soundtrack, the cinematography was amazing, the edit, the timing, the cast, the scenery, the vistas, and OMG some of the most wonderful romantic and captivating locations.
I don't want to spoil it, but it'd be a mistake to compare this gentle masterpiece to Sideways. Nothing at all similar. We were captivated from the first minute. It is an incredibly inspiring, uplifting tale of human achievement - overcoming great odds... and manages to make some strong statements about us, and about our culture... without becoming syrupy or pedantic.
When you get the chance, don't turn away. Enjoy.
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