Sunday, March 27, 2011

Red Rooster strikes gold with $17 Chardonnay





Photos: Winemaker Karen Gillis and medal-winning Chardonnay

Thirteen Canadian wineries – the majority from British Columbia - brought home medals from the 2011 Chardonnay du Monde competition in France.

The only gold medal was won by Red Rooster Winery of Penticton for its 2009 Chardonnay. The winery made 1,793 cases and is selling the wine only for $16.99.

It was also judged one of the 10 best wines in a competition in which 914 Chardonnay wines competed.

This competition is now in its 18th year. The same sponsors have also launched competitions for top Syrah, Muscat and Sparkling Wines.

It is difficult to figure out from the web site just precisely how the judging is organized. One assumes that wines are judged in categories of style and probably by country. I note that French wines seem to have dominated, perhaps because it is easy for them to ship their wines to this competition,

Whatever the format, it is still a big achievement to win medals in the world’s biggest Chardonnay competition.

It has to especially satisfying for Red Rooster and Karen Gillis, the winemaker, to win gold with a $17 wine that is readily available. The wine begins with aromas that, as one of my tasting companions put it, say “drink me!” There are notes of apricots, peaches and honey on the nose. On the palate, there are clean citrus flavours and a good, creamy weight. The finish is crisply clean. This is a barrel-fermented wine but the oak is very subtle, supporting the fruit flavours.

Try it yourself and find out what impressed the judges.

Below is the complete list of Canadian medalists.


Gold RED ROOSTER WINERY
Red Rooster Chardonnay 2009

Silver VOLCANIC HILLS ESTATE WINERY
Chardonnay Icewine 2008

Silver ROYAL DE MARIA WINES
Ice Wine Chardonnay Niagara Peninsula 2007

Silver SEE YA LATER RANCH
See Ya Later Ranch Chardonnay 2009

Silver SANDHILL
Sandhill Chardonnay 2009

Silver INNISKILLIN WINES
Inniskillin Canadian Oak Aged Chardonnay Icewine 2007

Silver INNISKILLIN WINES
Inniskillin Three Vineyards Chardonnay 2009

Bronze MISSION HILL FAMILY ESTATE
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Chardonnay 2009

Bronze ROAD 13 VINEYARDS
Road 13 Vineyard Jackpot Chardonnay 2008

Bronze NOBLE RIDGE VINEYARD & WINERY
Noble Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay 2008

Bronze BURROWING OWL ESTATE WINERY
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Chardonnay 2009

Bronze JACKSON TRIGGS OKANAGAN ESTATE
Jackson Triggs Sun Rock Vineyard Chardonnay 2007

Bronze CEDARCREEK ESTATE WINERY
Platinum Chardonnay 2008

These were the 10 best gold medal wines in the competition.


Country Product Winery

France Vin de Pays d'Oc Terradria Collection 2007 Les Vins Georges Dubœuf

Switzerland Valais AOC Fin Bec Chardonnay 2008 Cave Fin Bec

Czech Republic Chardonnay Vyber z Hroznu 2006 Vinarstvi Josef Valihrach

Austria Chardonnay Grubthal 2007 Weingut Muster. Gamlitz

Canada Red Rooster Chardonnay 2009 Red Rooster Winery

France Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut Earl Alain Couvreur

France Champagne Spécial Club 2005 Champagne Vazart-Coquart

France Vin de Pays d'Oc Mas du Novi 2009 Saint Jean de Noviciat

Switzerland Valais AOC Chardonnay - Elevé en Barrique Les Coteaux de Sierre 2009 Cave Clos des Cypres

Lebanon Château Ksara Chardonnay - Cuvée du Pape 2010 Ksara

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