Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Recap And A Look Ahead

An update and an advance:

- In reporting here earlier of California State Fair commercial wine competition results I wasn't aware that the rules of engagement had changed this year. In the past, the top award recipients weren't announced until the State Fair was under way or about to commence. That embargo has been lifted this year, however.

Therefore, here are this year's major winners:

- Best-of-Show red wine: Shady Lady 2008 Amador County Primitivo ($30).

- Best-of-Show white wine: Greenwood Ridge Vineyards 2006 Mendocino Ridge White Rieslimg ($30).

- Best-of-Show dessert wine: Navarro Vineyards 2010 Anderson Valley Muscat Blanc ($59).

- Best value: Glen Ellen 2009 California Petite Sirah ($10).

More to follow as I have a chance to taste the wines.

- That isn't likely where I am right now, which is in Paso Robles, the setting for the Central Coast Wine Competition, which commences tomorrow. Though no Cental Coast wines placed high at
the Californis State Fair, I'm excited about this judging, largely because last year's results yielded so many award-winning wines that I'd like to have in my cellar. At dinner tonight in the Paso Robles restaurant Villa Creek we got to revisit several of those wines. I was especially impressed by the minty, spicy and refreshing Rancho Sisquoc 2007 Santa Barbara County Merlot, even though I'm generally not a big fan of merlot. But in freshness and distinctive varietal character, this was an exceptional model. Anyone about to grill skirt steak would do well by their guests to find this wine or a more recent vintage to add to the table.

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