Winners at Cellars of the World wine competition
Okanagan wines held their own - for the most part – against international wines in the recent Cellars of the World wine competition in Kelowna.
This competition, organized by wine writer Michael Botner, was launched a few years ago specifically to have British Columbia wines judged in an international context. None of the other major Okanagan competitions is open to wines from elsewhere.
At $15 per entry, this is one of most affordable wine competitions around. This year, it attracted 136 wines, a surprisingly small number, considering the entry fee.
However, it takes time for a competition to become established. When the Lieutenant Governor’s competition was set up seven or eight years ago, the first few competitions attracted just over 100 entries, even though there is no fee at all. But last year’s competition attracted more than 300 entries.
For the most part, the wines in competition are reasonably priced. There are gold medal winners that we can all afford.
For this year’s Cellars of the World, Botner drew on talent both in the Okanagan and from across the country to put together a panel of 18 judges. These were divided into panels judging about 35 wines each, a commendably leisurely pace that does not wear out palates.
The judging was done in a large room at Kelowna’s Coast Capri Hotel. The facilities were excellent with one exception: the wine glasses that the hotel provided for the competition were gravely inadequate.
In fact, having judged at various competitions over the years, I am often appalled at how bad the stemware can be. Poor wine glasses really handicap the wines. In this instance, all wines suffered the same handicap – so it was perhaps not unfair, except to our enjoyment of the wines.
The award-winning wines are available for a public tasting on March 11 at the International Wine Exhibition, also at the Coast Capri. If you go, you might consider taking your own wine glass.
Here is the complete list of winners.
Champagne and Sparkling wine
GOLD** Henriot Brut Souverain, Champagne, France** NV $59.99
** BEST OF SHOW WHITE **
SILVER De Bortoli Emeri Pink Moscato, Australia NV $16.99
SILVER Sumac Ridge Stellar’s Jay Brut, Okanagan Valley 2006 $26.99 BRONZE Cristalino CAVA Brut, Spain NV $13.99
GOLD Arrowleaf Snow Tropics Vidal, Okanagan Valley 2009 $14.99
GOLD Gray Monk Riesling, Okanagan Valley 2009 $16.99
SILVER Arrowleaf Bacchus, Okanagan Valley 2008 $15.99
BRONZE Nollen Notorious Rooster Riesling, Germany 2009 $13.99
GOLD Nk’Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley 2009 $60.00
SILVER Volcanic Hills Chardonnay Icewine, Okanagan Valley 2008 $49.90
BRONZE Hester Creek Late Harvest Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley 2009 $15.99
Dry Riesling/Alsatian varietals
GOLD Wild Goose Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley 2009 $18.99
SILVER Bounty Crystal White Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley 2008 $19.90
BRONZE Wild Goose Riesling, Okanagan Valley 2009 $18.99
BRONZE Wild Goose Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley 2009 $18.99
BRONZE Orofino Pinot Gris, Similkameen Valley 2010 $19.90
GOLD Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2009 $19.99
SILVER Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2010 $19.99
BRONZE Cousino-Macul Sauvignon Gris, Chile 2009 $17.99
GOLD Burrowing Owl Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley 2008 $25.00
GOLD CedarCreek Platinum Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley 2008 $29.90
SILVER Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley 2008 $16.99
BRONZE Gray Monk Chardonnay Unwooded, Okanagan Valley 2009 $16.99
BRONZE Oyster Bay Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand 2009 $19.99
Other dry white
GOLD Arrowleaf First Crush, Okanagan Valley 2009 $13.99
SILVER Conundrum, California 2008 $24.99
BRONZE Oliver Twist Viognier, Okanagan Valley 2009 $20.00
BRONZE Hester Creek Semillon/Chardonnay 2009 $15.99
GOLD CedarCreek Rosé, Okanagan Valley 2010 $17.90
GOLD Meiomi Belle Glos Pinot Noir, California Coast 2008 $27.99
SILVER CedarCreek Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley 2008 $26.90
BRONZE CedarCreek Platinum Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley 2007 $39.90
BRONZE Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley 2008 $29.99
BRONZE Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley 2009 $30.00
GOLD Oliver Twist Proprietor’s Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley 2008 $28.00
GOLD Bonitas Merlot, Okanagan Valley 2008 $40.00
SILVER Burrowing Owl Merlot, Okanagan Valley 2008 $30.00
BRONZE Kalala Organic Merlot, Okanagan Valley 2007 $28.95
BRONZE Arrowleaf Merlot, Okanagan Valley 2008 $17.99
BRONZE CedarCreek Platinum Merlot, Okanagan Valley 2007 $34.90
Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc/Malbec
GOLD** Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley** 2008 $33.00
** BEST OF SHOW RED **
SILVER Burrowing Owl Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley 2008 $30.00
BRONZE Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2008 $19.99
BRONZE Hester Creek Reserve Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley 2007 $25.99
Bordeaux varietals/ Meritage blends
GOLD Burrowing Owl Meritage, Okanagan Valley 2008 $45.00
SILVER Inniskillin Dark Horse Vineyard Meritage, Okanagan Valley 2007 $24.99
SILVER Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Meritage 2007 $29.99
BRONZE Orofino Beleza, Similkameen Valley 2008 $33.90
GOLD Fetish The Watcher, Barossa Valley, Australia 2008 $24.99
SILVER Jackson-Triggs Gold Series SunRock Vineyard Shiraz, Okanagan 2008 $34.99
SILVER Razor’s Edge Shiraz 2008, Australia 2008 $14.99
BRONZE Henry’s Drive Pillar Box Reserve Shiraz, South Australia 2007 $24.99
GOLD The View Red Shoe, Okanagan Valley 2009 $14.50
SILVER Ruffino Il Ducale Toscano, Italy 2007 $19.99
BRONZE La Mozza I Perazzi Morellino di Scansano, Italy 2007 $24.99
GOLD Rustic Roots Mulberry Pear, Similkameen Valley 2008 $28.90
SILVER Forbidden Fruit Pomme Desirée Iced Apple, Similkameen 2009 $30.00
SILVER Rustic Roots Santa Rosa , Similkameen Valley 2008 $27.90
BRONZE Forbidden Fruit Impearfection, Similkameen Valley 2008 $22.00
BRONZE Forbidden Fruit Cerise d’Eve 2009 $30.00
GOLD Sumac Ridge Pipe 2006 $24.99
SILVER Wild Goose 2009 Black Brant 2009 $19.99