Competition Winners

testing the wine competition

This year the top awards included:

Donaldson Wines 2017 Sparkling Rosé, Sonoma County, California: This gem, crafted of 85% pinot noir and 15% chardonnay, broadcasts a brilliant pink diamond hue, a tantalizing biscuity aroma and tiny bead. It simply shines. Flavors of red raspberries, Rainier cherries, piecrust, and bright citrusy accents meld in harmony as it heads to a spirited finish. Best Domestic Sparkling, Best Of Class (BoC), Double Gold (DG) (97 pts.)

Jean Philippe Moulin NV Champagne Rosé, Champagne, France: Here ‘s a stylish Champagne crafted of 85% chardonnay and 15% pinot noir. Aromas of fresh-baked brioche and sun-kissed apples waft from the glass. Crisp apples, lemon verbena, strawberries and cream, and notes of banana bread fill the palate. Balancing acidity, tiny bubbles, and a fine mousse add to its charm. Best International Sparkling, BoC, Gold (G) medal, (92)

Russian River Vineyards 2019 Wedge Family Vineyard Petite Sirah Rosé, Fountaingrove District, California: The expressive berry aroma of this zesty dry rosé is very inviting. It’s elegant while delivering great depth of flavor, with notes of Santa Rosa plum, fresh strawberry shortcake, huckleberry, citrus accents, and subtle spice. Finely balanced and crisp with a lingering finish. Best Domestic Dry Rosé, BoC, DG (97)

Abacela Winery 2019 Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley, Oregon: This snappy, refreshing dry rosé shows off a shimmering peachy-pink hue and a nose of summer berries and floral tones. Layers unfold of fresh picked raspberries, cranberry juice, a trace of lemongrass, watermelon, and sweet clementines right off the tree. Bracing acidity keeps it perfectly balanced, and the perky finale delivers great length. DGold (95)

checking the wine color

Merriam Vineyards 2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California: Enticing and expressive up front with a bowlful of fresh cherries on the nose, this rosé expands broadly on the palate. Sweetheart cherries, cranberry-raspberry chutney, lemon-scented peaches, and exotic spices intertwine. Sleek, vivid, and well balanced with a persistent finish. G (94)

[Duncan Garrett PhotographyDel Rio Vineyard Estate NV Jolee Rosé, Oregon: This highly aromatic, semi-sweet rosé starts with a stimulating fragrance of fresh spring flowers. It’s then smoothly textured with crisp acidity and a touch of spritz. Succulent berries, cherries, and faint spice swirl richly on the palate as it heads to an upbeat close. Best Domestic Sweet Rosé, BoC, DG (95)

Summerland Winery 2019 Grenache Rosé, Paso Robles, California: This remarkably balanced grenache rosé springs open with a spunky citrus blossom aroma. Layers of loganberry, graphite, pink grapefruit, hints of earth, and spice-dusted red raspberry compote are scintillating. Bright acidity and a silky texture transport the wine to a lifted finish. G (94)

Urban Tree Cidery NV Rosé, Georgia: Here’s an elegant, vivacious elixir. Brimming with scents and flavors of Rome and Macintosh apples, rose petals, accents of sweet crushed herbs, and a trace of raw honey, it captivates the senses. Invigorating from first sip through the juicy apple focused palate, to the last tasty drop. Best Cider, BoC, G (94)