Monday, October 10, 2011

Live from the Idaho Wine Competition!

Mulling it over at the 2011 wine compeition
Photo by Meg McKenzie
Boy, you would think a wine competition would be all fun and frolic, but I'm here to tell you: It sure ain't. Very quiet and serious. (I've been to OpEd conferences with more frivolity!) But this is a good thing, folks. Why? Because some heavy Northwest wine hitters are taking Idaho wines seriously, that's why. 

Moya Shatz from the Idaho Wine Commission is buzzing around the mezzanine at the Ste. Chapelle winery here in Caldwell. Andy Perdue is seated at a table with his laptop, doing the live chat with the gold medal announcements, flanked by two tables of wine experts who are doing a lot sipping, spitting, discussing and awarding. Photographer Katherine Jones from the Idaho Statesman is taking some arty shots of the judges. Meanwhile, behind the screen that runs the length of the room, people are pouring the wines so the judges don't know which bottle they're tasting from.
Wines await their fate
Photo by Meg McKenzie
 So who are these judges, you may well ask. They are, alphabetically, Winnie Alberg from Ellensburg, Wash., Leil Cardozo from the Boise Coop, Ilene Dudunake from New Vintage Wine Shop in Eagle, Kathryn House from Washington state, Dixie Huey from Vancouver, Wash., Dave Rader, a "financial consultant" (that's all Andy divulged), Ken Robertson, a longtime Wine Press columnist, and Dave Seaver from Richland, Wash. Jon Bauer from Mount Vernon, Wash., (where my daughter Gwen is stage managing Tosca for the Skagit Opera Co. this very weekend!) is moderating one panel; and moderating the other is Wine Press columnist Eric Degerman. So, it certainly is an interesting "flight" of judges, I would say.

They have their work cut out for them: 170 wines were entered. Their criteria must be pretty rigorous, since no golds were awarded for any of the Cabernets (gasp), though I guess they did give out a bunch of silvers. According to Andy Perdue, each judge goes through the flight silently, then turns in his or her scores. The scores are put together, and majority rules. They can judge a wine gold, silver, bronze or no medal, based on the quality of the wine.  

Andy's at center background, Eric's in the black shirt
Photo by Meg McKenzie
They just broke for lunch, and the full lineup of medals should be made available by 4 p.m., Perdue (who is a very friendly big bear of a guy) told me.

They started early, and Perdue has been releasing the names of the gold medal winners in real time on his live Internet chat (and I have been tweeting them #idahowine). In order of appearance, here they are by category:

Mead - Camas Prairie 2011 Raspberry Mead
Rose - Williamson's 2010 Blossom Rose
Gewurtraminer - Sawtooth Winery's 2010 Estate Gew├╝rztraminer. 
Pinot Gris - No golds
Merlot - Cold Springs Astrology 2006 (!)
Syrah - Snake River 2009, and Cinder
Malbec - No golds, but three silvers (full list will appear below)
A helper gets wines ready backstage
Photo by Meg McKenzie
Cabernet Franc - Woodriver Cellars 2008 Cab Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon - No gold, six silvers
Red Blend? - Koenig 2008 Alden Cuvee Private Reserve
Riesling - Snake River 2010
Chardonnay - Cinder 2009
Ice Wine - Koenig 2009 Riesling (double gold)
Late Harvest Riesling - Ste. Chapelle
Best White Wine - Sawtooth 2010 Estate Gewurztraminer
Best Dessert Wine - Ste. Chapelle's Late Harvest Riesling
And best red wine (drum roll) goes to Woodriver Cellars' Neil Glancey and his Cab Franc!!!!

Best in show... coming up!

OK, the award we've been waiting for all day:

Best in Show goes to Sawtooth Winery 2010 Gew├╝rztraminer

Just for fun, let's go back to my postings and see whether I singled out any of these award-winning vintages... guess what? I did!
If you go back to my July review of Woodriver Cellars, here's my takeout on the Best Red: "Of the wines I tried, the 2008 Cabernet Franc was by far my favorite..."

Well, it's been an exciting day for all. Congrats to the winners (silvers and bronzes and the totals listed below). I look forward to tasting and retasting all your fabulous wines! And may I say, I love the fact that two big dogs (Sawtooth and Ste. Chapelle) were duking it out with some small, special wineries (Williamson, Cold Springs) and some maybe underappreciated ones (Woodriver, Snake River) for best in show. What a great, diverse group of wineries we have in Idaho! And to those who didn't win ... remember, it's all subjective. And there's always next year...

Here's the breakdown of medals by winery, and below that you'll find which wine won what:


Snake River Winery – total of 10 (1 double gold, 1 gold, 2 silver, 6 bronze)
Indian Creek – total of 10 (7 silver, 3 bronze)
Sawtooth – 9 (1 gold, 3 silver, 5 bronze)
Ste. Chapelle – total of 8 (1 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze)
Cinder – 7 (2 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze)
Bitner – 7 (3 silver, 4 bronze)
3 Horse Ranch – 7 (3 silver, 4 bronze)
Colter’s Creek – 6 (3 silver, 3 bronze)
Pend d’Oreille – 6 (2 silver, 4 bronze)
Vale – total of 6 (1 silver, 5 bronze)
Williamson – 5 (1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze)
Clearwater Canyon – 5 (4 silver, 1 bronze)
Fraser – 5 (4 silver, 1 bronze)
Fujishin – 5 (2 silver, 3 bronze)
Koenig – 4 (1 double gold, 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Huston – total of 4 (2 silver, 2 bronze)
Woodriver – 4 (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
Parma Ridge – total of 4 (4 bronze)
Cold Springs – 3 (1 gold, 2 bronze)
Snyder – 3 (3 bronze)
Lost West winery – 2 (2 bronze)
Zhoo Zhoo – 2 (2 bronze)
Camas Prairie – 2 (1 gold, 1 bronze)
Coiled – 1 (1 silver)
Hells Canyon – 1 (1 bronze)
Frenchman’s Gulch – 1 (1 bronze)
Blue Pine – 1 (1 bronze)


Silver
Ste. Chapelle NV Sparkling Riesling, Idaho, $9
Indian Creek Winery 2010 Muscat Canelli, Snake River Valley, $12
Snake River Winery 2009 Arena Valley Vineyard Estate Sangiovese, Snake River Valley, $20
Huston Vineyards 2009 Merlot, Snake River Valley, $27
Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2009 Merlot American, $25
Colter's Creek Winery 2009 Syrah Columbia Valley, $12
Coiled Wines 2009 Sidewinder Syrah, Snake River Valley, $25
Koenig Vineyards 2008 Amelia Cuvee Reserve Syrah, Snake River Valley, $50
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2008 Estate Malbec, Snake River Valley, $25
Pend d'Oreille Winery 2007 Freepons Vineyard Malbec Washington, $28
Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2009 Malbec Washington, $25
Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2009 Cabernet Franc, Idaho, $28
Snake River Winery 2008 Arena Valley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $15
Ste. Chapelle 2008 Winemakers Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $11
Bitner Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $24
Fraser Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $26
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2008 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $25
Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington, $28
Woodriver Cellars 2008 Cal-Malbec, Snake River Valley, $25
Bitner Vineyards 2008 Merlot/Petit Verdot, Snake River Valley, $22
Fraser Vineyards 2009 Couloir Cuvee, Snake River Valley, $17
Colter's Creek Winery 2009 KoosKooskia Red, Snake River Valley, $16
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2008 Estate Syrah/Mourvedre, Snake River Valley, $25
Pend d'Oreille Winery 2008 Bistro Rouge Washington, $12
Woodriver Cellars 2007 Red Meritage, Snake River Valley, $18
Fraser Vineyards 2009 Petit Verdot, Snake River Valley, $24
Fujishin Family Cellars 2009 Petite Sirah, Snake River Valley, $20
Fraser Vineyards 2009 Petite Sirah, Snake River Valley, $24
Cinder Wines 2009 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley, $28
Fujishin Family Cellars 2008 Mourvedre, Snake River Valley, $20
Indian Creek Winery 2010 Late Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley, $16
Bitner Vineyards 2010 Late Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley, $18
Indian Creek Winery 2010 White Pinot Noir, Snake River Valley, $9
Indian Creek Winery 2010 Viognier, Snake River Valley, $12
Cinder Wines 2010 Dry Viognier, Snake River Valley, $17
Sawtooth Winery 2010 Estate Pinot Gris, Snake River Valley, $13
Indian Creek Winery 2010 Mountain Syringa, Snake River Valley, $12
Colter's Creek Winery 2010 Riesling, Idaho, $10
Vale Wine Co. 2010 Reserve Riesling, Snake River Valley, $14
Indian Creek Winery 2010 White Riesling, Snake River Valley, $9
Sawtooth Winery 2010 Estate Riesling, Snake River Valley, $9
Williamson Vineyards 2010 Riesling, Snake River Valley, $9
Huston Vineyards 2010 Private Reserve Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $24
Ste. Chapelle 2010 Winemakers Series Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $11
Sawtooth Winery 2009 Estate Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $9
Indian Creek Winery 2010 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $10
Bronze
Ste. Chapelle 2010 Winemaker Series Sauvignon Blanc, Snake River Valley, $9
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2008 Estate Roussanne, Snake River Valley, $15
Indian Creek Winery 2009 Pinot Noir, Snake River Valley, $16
Williamson Vineyards 2009 Sangiovese, Snake River Valley, $18
Vale Wine Co. 2009 Merlot, Snake River Valley, $20
Woodriver Cellars 2008 Merlot, Snake River Valley, $15
Fujishin Family Cellars 2008 Reserve Merlot, Snake River Valley, $22
Frenchman's Gulch 2007 Syrah Washington, $25
Ste. Chapelle 2009 Winemakers Series Syrah, Snake River Valley, $11
Vale Wine Co. 2009 Syrah, Snake River Valley, $22
Pend d'Oreille Winery 2009 Reserve Syrah Washington, $30
Parma Ridge Vineyards 2008 Syrah, Snake River Valley, $15
Zhoo Zhoo 2006 Model Y06 Syrah, Snake River Valley, $19
Pend d'Oreille Winery 2007 Wood River Vineyard Malbec, Snake River Valley, $28
Colter's Creek Winery 2009 Cabernet Franc, Idaho, $28
Camas Prairie Winery 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Washington, $18
Indian Creek Winery 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $15
Fujishin Family Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $20
Sawtooth Winery 2009 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $25
Pend d'Oreille Winery 2008 Meyer Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Washington, $35
Snyder Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $11
Koenig Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $20
Hells Canyon Winery 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $30
Cold Springs Winery 2008 Chronology Merlot Syrah Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $20
Cinder Wines 2010 Laissez Faire, Snake River Valley, $17
Zhoo Zhoo NV Brunette, Snake River Valley, $10
Snyder Winery 2007 Midnight Train to Ketchum, Snake River Valley, $11
Cinder Wines 2009 Cabernet Merlot, Snake River Valley, $27
Williamson Vineyards 2007 Homestead Red, Snake River Valley, $18
Lost West Winery NV Old Shed Red, Snake River Valley, $10
Parma Ridge Vineyards 2009 Heidi's Blend Red, Snake River Valley, $25
Huston Vineyards 2009 Chicken Dinner Red, Snake River Valley, $18
Bitner Vineyards 2008 Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon, Snake River Valley, $27
Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2009 Renaissance Red, Snake River Valley, $23
Snyder Winery 2008 Ruby LaRue Soft Red, Snake River Valley, $11
Parma Ridge Vineyards 2003 Melange, Snake River Valley, $22
Sawtooth Winery 2009 Estate Reserve Carmenere, Snake River Valley, $25
Snake River Winery 2008 Arena Valley Vineyard Estate Blauer Zweigelt, Snake River Valley, $15
Snake River Winery 2008 Arena Valley Vineyard Estate Tempranillo, Snake River Valley, $18
Snake River Winery 2008 Arena Valley Vineyard Barbera, Snake River Valley, $18
Snake River Winery 2008 Arena Valley Vineyard Grenache, Snake River Valley, $18
Sawtooth Winery 2009 Estate Petite Sirah, Snake River Valley, $25
Ste. Chapelle 2010 Special Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley, $9
Colter's Creek Winery 2009 Late Harvest Riesling, Idaho, $12
Sawtooth Winery 2007 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Snake River Valley, $
Indian Creek Winery NV White Port, Snake River Valley, $
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2010 Reserve Rose, Snake River Valley, $15
Cinder Wines 2010 Rose, Snake River Valley, $14
Ste. Chapelle 2009 Winemakers Series Gewurztraminer, Snake River Valley, $9
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2007 Estate Viognier, Snake River Valley, $17
Vale Wine Co. 2010 Viognier, Snake River Valley, $16
Parma Ridge Vineyards 2009 Viognier, Snake River Valley, $13
Williamson Vineyards 2009 Viognier, Snake River Valley, $15
Fujishin Family Cellars 2010 Viognier, Snake River Valley, $15
Fraser Vineyards 2010 Willamson Vineyards Viognier, Snake River Valley, $17
Lost West Winery NV Old Shed White, Snake River Valley, $10
Huston Vineyards 2010 Chicken Dinner White, Snake River Valley, $16
Bitner Vineyards 2010 Coyotes High Desert White, Snake River Valley, $12
3 Horse Ranch Vineyards 2010 Reserve Riesling, Snake River Valley, $14
Blue Pine 2009 Riesling, Snake River Valley, $1
Bitner Vineyards 2010 Riesling, Snake River Valley, $14
Vale Wine Co. 2010 Riesling, Snake River Valley, $14
Snake River Winery 2009 Cobble Hill Block Estate Arena Valley Vineyard Riesling, Snake River Valley, $13
Cold Springs Winery 2009 Phrenology Riesling, Snake River Valley, $10
Colter's Creek Winery 2009 Chardonnay, Idaho, $12
Snake River Winery 2010 Arena Valley Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $12
Vale Wine Co. 2010 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $16
Bitner Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $16
Pend d'Oreille Winery 2009 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $20
Sawtooth Winery 2009 Estate Reserve Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $15




 








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