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‘Judgment of Paris’ Montelena fetches US$11,325

One of the few remaining bottles of ex-cellar 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay has been sold by Spectrum Wine Auctions for $11,325 (£7,419).

The wine, which beat both French and American competitors in the 1976 ‘Judgment of Paris’ tasting, was bought by UK-based software engineer Jason Corcoran.

The bottle completes his collection of all 20 ‘Judgment’ wines.

‘I saw the film Bottle Shock and thought it would be fun to collect all the wines from the tasting,’ said Corcoran, a motorsport enthusiast who designs software for cars like Lamborghini, Porsche and BMW.

‘The Chateau Montelena was the last one, I had been googling for three months before I found it for sale. I was prepared to pay a fair bit more.’

Corcoran plans to pick up the bottle in person, possibly touring Napa Valley in a Lamborghini.

‘The Chateau Montelena that won the Paris tasting will be an eternal tribute to Mike Grgich [the winemaker who produced it],’ said journalist George Taber, who covered the tasting for TIME magazine and subsequently wrote a book about it.

‘The lips of the lucky buyer will be touching a wine for the ages.’

Corcoran began buying wine seven months ago, and has since purchased many rare old bottles, including 1902 and 1903 Chateau Lafite. He plans to display the ‘Judgment’ wines in the 20,000 bottle cellar now being built in his UK home – though he said he’ll keep an eye out for another Chateau Montelena.

‘In an ideal world, I’d have two of the Chateau Montelenas – one to keep and one to drink.’

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Friends of the Orphans charity.

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Written by Maggie Rosen

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