You may know that the Saxum James Berry Vineyard Paso Robles 2007 ($67) was named No. 1 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines list for 2010, but did you know that just a single New York State wine made the list despite numerous success in international competition this year? Wassup?
While it was nice to see Hermann J. Wiemer’s Riesling Finger Lakes Dry Reserve 2008 ($23) get the No. 97 position, I think a few other possibilities were severely slighted. Here are a few examples of success elsewhere that didn’t translate into respect from Wine Spectator, excerpted from some of my earlier postings this year. In particular, I endorse Belhurst Winery’s Dry Riesling.
• Belhurst Winery won “Best of Show/Wine of the Year” honors for its 2009 Riesling over 2,600 other wines from around the world at the 2010 Indy International Wine Competition held at Purdue University. Belhurst also won “Best White Wine” honors at the Long Beach Grand Cru in California two weeks earlier. And, the same wine also earned Double Gold against an international field in June’s San Francisco International Wine Competition, a Gold medal in May in the 23rd annual Tasters Guild International Wine Competition in Grand Rapids, MI, and “Gold/Best in Class” at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, CA, in April.
• A Finger Lakes wine that already had been crowned as the state’s best wine in the New York Wine & Food Classic in August, heaped on another honor. Sheldrake Point’s 2008 Late Harvest Riesling was named “Best Sweet Riesling In the World” at the 11th Canberra International Riesling Challenge, regarded as one of the world’s premier wine competitions. En route to the honor, it also was named “Best American Riesling” in the competition.
• Chateau LaFayette Reneau’s 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling and Merritt Estate’s Raspberry Truffle each won double gold (unanimous votes) in the Tasters Guild Consumers Wine Judging in Washington, DC. The aforementioned Belhurst took four golds in the same event, for its Winery’s 2009 Dry Riesling, 2008 Cabernet Franc, 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling and Carrie Blush.
• Goose Watch Winery racked up a trio of major awards in the 2010 New York State Fair Commercial Wine Competition in Syracuse, winning “best of category” honors for its Pinot Noir Brut Rosé NV (sparkling), Cabernet Franc Rosé 2008 (rosé/blush) and its Classic Cream Sherry NV (fortified).
• Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery’s 2009 New York Riesling won “Best White Wine” in the San Francisco International Wine Competition, topping an international field.
• Dr. Konstantin Frank took four major medals in the annual International Eastern Wine Competition in Watkins Glen. Its 2008 Riesling Bunch Select Late Harvest took top honors in four categories — Best of Varietal and Best Dessert Wine, plus Best Sweet Riesling and the overall Riesling Championship, the latter two in a subsidiary Riesling competition.
With such sterling examples of finely crafted, highly lauded wines, the Wine Spectator judges might consider broadening their world.
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