HOOD RIVER, Ore. — A wine available primarily at restaurants won best in show at the inaugural Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.
The Seven Falls 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wahluke Slope in Washington earned top honors at the competition. It is a $15 wine that is made by Doug Gore, a senior executive at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and former head winemaker at Columbia Crest. The wine is available primarily on restaurant wine lists, though it also is sold online through the Seven Falls website.
The wine is made at Columbia Crest in Paterson, and the grapes come from vineyards near Mattawa.
Elk Cove Vineyards in Gaston, Ore., won best white wine for its 2012 Pinot Gris. Lumos Wine Co. in Philomath, Ore., brought home the trophy for best rosé with its 2012 Chiquita Pinot Noir Rosé. And Capitello Wines in Eugene, Ore., won best dessert wine for its 2011 Dolcino, a late-harvest Gewürztraminer.
The Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, run by Great Northwest Wine, is unlike any other competition because the wines are nominated by the judges. Most competitions, any winery may submit any wine it wishes.
The judges for the Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition are influential wine professionals from the Pacific Northwest. They included:
- Fred Armstrong is the wine director for the Ringside Hospitality Group in Portland
- Cole Danehower is the publisher at EssentialNorthwestWines.com, contributes the Northwest content for Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book and was longtime editor of Northwest Palate magazine.
- Ilene Dudunake owns A New Vintage Wine Shop, 12-year-old business near Boise, Idaho.
- Don Elsing is the wine director at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Wash.
- Dave Holstrom owns Guy du Vin, a restaurant wine program consulting business in Portland.
- Chris Horn is the wine director at Seattle-based Heavy Restaurant Group and Purple Cafe &Wine Bar.
- Lane Hoss is vice president of marketing at Anthony’s Restaurants.
- Tim O’Brien is corporate director of beverage at Salty’s Restaurants.
- Yashar Shayan is a sommelier and founder of the Seattle-based retailer ImpulseWine.com.
- Mark Takagi is specialty sales director of the Seattle-based Metropolitan Market group.
- Matt Tessler works for Full Pull Wines in Seattle.
- Jean Yates is founder and former owner of Avalon Wine in Corvallis, Ore. She now owns Oregon Wine Marketing.
The competition was conducted blind, meaning the judges knew neither the producer nor the price. The competition took place at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel.
Six wines earned gold medals and best-in-class honors. They were Avennia 2011 Boushey Vineyard Arnaut Syrah, Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot, Chehalem 2012 Three Vineyard Riesling, Pend d’Oreille Winery 2010 Bistro Rouge, Stoller Family Estate 2010 Cathy’s Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills and Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Chardonnay.
Gold medal winners were: Barnard Griffin 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Boedecker Cellars 2010 Stewart Pinot Noir, Cave B Estate Winery 2010 Syrah, Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Col Solare 2009 Red, Dunham Cellars 2010 XVI Cabernet Sauvignon, Fort Walla Walla Cellars 2008 Syrah, Jones of Washington 2012 Viognier, Jones of Washington 2008 Lewis &Clark Vineyard Barrel Select, Maryhill Winery 2010 Hattrup Farms Marvell, Reininger Winery 2010 Seven Hills Vineyard Carmenere, Smasne Cellars 2010 Upland Vineyard Ancient Rocks, Sparkman Cellars 2011 Kingpin Cabernet Sauvignon, Stoller Family Estate 2010 Reserve Pinot Noir and Woodward Canyon Winery 2011 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon.
Complete results are available online at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.