The big news in the wine world this week is the announcement of winners in the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. This competition pitted nearly 5,000 wines, hailing from more than 1,500 U.S. wineries, against each other in blind tastings held last week in Sonoma.
The competition divides its winners by varietal and price, bestowing Bronze, Silver, Gold, Double Gold, Best in Class & Judge’s Choice, and Sweepstakes awards. This year’s geographically diverse and budget-friendly Sweepstakes winners, earning the highest award bestowed, were as follows:
J Vineyards & Winery, Russian River Valley
J Brut Rose ($34.99)
Keuka Spring Vineyards, Finger Lakes, New York
2008 Gewurztraminer ($16.99)
Bray Vineyards, Shenandoah Valley, Amador County, CA
2008 Barbera Rosato ($17)
Graton Ridge Cellars, Russian River Valley
Paul Family Vineyard 2007 Estate Pinot Noir ($30)
Watermill Winery, Walla Walla Valley, Washington
2008 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer ($14)
Hmm, where’s Napa on that list? Don’t feel too sorry for the Valley… Napa wineries took home no fewer than 8 Judge’s Choice awards. And, as I’ve noted here before, the results of competitions like this one always have to be sipped with a grain of salt. I know of at least one wine that was sold under two different labels and somehow manage to earn both a Silver and a Bronze in the same category.
For a complete list of award winners, visit http://www.winejudging.com/medal_winners.htm.