Category Archives: Competition

Dr. Konstantin Frank biggest winner in NY Classic

WATKINS GLEN — Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars finished atop the heap in the 27th annual New York Wine & Food Classic held here Monday and Tuesday.

The Finger Lakes winery’s 2011 Semi Dry Riesling won the Governor’s Cup trophy, the event’s top honor, and the winery itself was named winery of the year.

The Governor’s Cup recognizes the best of show, top prize of all 773 entries. The “winery of the year” goes to the enterprise with the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries.

This year’s competition included 752 New York wines, nine hard ciders and 12 spirits from the Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment, Lake Erie, and other regions of New York State.

En route to the top award, the Frank entry also was named best white wine, best overall Riesling and best medium dry Riesling, and its overall portfolio of entries earned one double gold, two gold and four silver medals, which contributed to its winery of the year designation.

The “Best of Category” awards, all eligible for the Governor’s Cup, went to:

• Best Sparkling Wine: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2008 Cuvee Brut
• Best Blush Wine: Miles Wine Cellars Wisteria
• Best Red Wine: Miles Wine Cellars 2009 Lemberger
• Best Dessert Wine: Sheldrake Point Winery 2010 Riesling Ice Wine
• Best Specialty Wine: Baldwin Vineyards Trilogy
• Best Hard Cider: McKenzie’s Hard Cider Black Cherry
• Best Spirit: Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin
• Best Limited Production Wine: Anthony Road Wine Company 2009 Riesling, Martini-Reinhardt Selection Series, Martini Vineyards

The “Best of Class” awards go to Double Gold (unanimous agreement of the judges) or Gold medal wines in classes of at least seven wines. Those awards:

• Best Oaked Chardonnay: Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Chardonnay, Estate Reserve
• Best Unoaked Chardonnay: Paumanok Vineyards 2011 Festival Chardonnay
• Best Overall Chardonnay: Paumanok Vineyards 2011 Festival Chardonnay
• Best Gewürztraminer: Sheldrake Point Winery 2011 Gewürztraminer
• Best Dry Riesling: Lucas Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling
• Best Medium Dry Riesling: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2011 Riesling, Semi-Dry
• Best Medium Sweet Riesling: Belhurst Estate Winery 2011 Riesling, Semi-Dry
• Best Sweet Riesling: Wagner Vineyards 2011 Riesling Select, Estate Bottled & Grown
• Best Overall Riesling: Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2011 Riesling, Semi-Dry
• Best Sauvignon Blanc: Billsboro Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc
• Best Pinot Gris: Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2011 Pinot Gris
• Best Vinifera White Blend: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2011 Riewurz
• Best Vinifera/Hybrid White Blend: Silver Thread Vineyard 2011 Good Earth White
• Best Traminette: Goose Watch Winery 2010 Traminette
• Best Vidal: Long Point Winery 2011 Vidal Blanc
• Best Hybrid White Blend Tug Hill Vineyards Lake Effect
• Best Cayuga: Lucas Vineyards 2011 Cayuga White
• Best Diamond: Goose Watch Winery 2011 Diamond
• Best Catawba: Miles Wine Cellars Wisteria
• Best Cabernet Sauvignon: Kings Garden Vineyards King’s Cab, Estate Grown, Produced & Bottled
• Best Merlot: Bedell Cellars 2008 Merlot
• Best Cabernet Franc: Ventosa Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc, Old Vineyard
• Best Pinot Noir: Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir, Estate Bottled
• Best Lemberger: Miles Wine Cellars 2009 Lemberger
• Best Vinifera Red Blend: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2010 Big Blend
• Best Other Red Vinifera Varietal: Bedell Cellars 2010 Malbec
• Best Concord: Coyote Moon Vineyards Fire Boat Red
• Best Mead: Earle Estates Meadery Cherry Charisma
• Best Fruit: Baldwin Vineyards Trilogy
• Best Spirit: Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin
• Best Late Harvest Wine: Anthony Road Wine Company 2011 Sweet Dream
• Best Ice Wine: Sheldrake Point Winery 2010 Riesling Ice Wine
• Best Vinifera Sparkling White: Atwater Estate Vineyards 2008 Cuvee Brut

The awards were based on blind tastings by 23 judges — four from California, 10 from New York, six from other states, one from France and two from the United Kingdom.

The Classic is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and is open to all 321 New York wineries from all regions.

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Competition, Wine


NY wines collect 141 medals at Indy International

Jim Trezise, president of the New York State Wine & Grape Foundation, has New York state entries’ results from this week’s Indy International Wine Competition at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

And, an excellent outing it was for 21 Brix Winery. Its Ellatawba, a Catawba-based wine from the Lake Erie region, won “best rosé.”

Says Trezise of the NY entries, “The total haul of 141 medals included 12 concordance gold (similar to double gold), 23 gold, 66 silver and 40 bronze medals, with several of New York’s concordance golds included in the final sweepstakes round.”

Other concordance gold medals went to Belhurst Winery 2011 Pinot Grigio and 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, Dr. Frank 2010 Rkatsiteli, Goose Watch 2011 Riesling-Gewurztraminer, Harvest Moon Cidery at Critz Farm 2011 Maple Moon Hard Cider, Hunt Country Dolce di Moscate (Valvin Muscat), Liberty Vineyards Diamond, Swedish Hill Niagara and 2010 Late Harvest Vignoles, Wagner Vineyards 2011 Riesling Ice Wine, and Winery of Ellicottville EVL White (a Diamond blend).

Gold medals were awarded to 21 Brix Cayuga White and Ella’s White (Niagara); Chateau Frank 2007 Blanc de Blancs; Coyote Moon 2010 Pinot Noir, 2011 Island Mama, and 2011 Cherry Bomb; Dr. Frank 2011 Reserve Gewurztraminer; 2011 Semi Dry Riesling and 2011 Pinot Gris; Fox Run 2010 Reserve Chardonnay and 2011 Reserve Riesling; Goose Watch 2011 Melody; Lakewood Vineyards 2010 Lemberger and 2011 Dry Riesling; Long Point Winery 2010 Sangiovese; Seneca Shore Dry Riesling Old Vines; Swedish Hill Viking White, 2011 Vidal Blanc, and 2011 Cayuga White; Thirsty Owl 2011 Vidal Blanc; Torrey Ridge Diamond; Wagner Vineyards 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling and 2011 Vidal Blanc.

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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Competition, Wine


Virginia ‘best of show’ for Chateau Frank

In what is getting to be a habit, a New York State wine took “best of show” honors on a major competition.

The Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noir won “best of show” honors in the 8th annual Atlantic Seaboard Competition held in Haymarket, VA.

In addition, Dr. Frank 2010 Pinot Gris took a gold and “best of category.” Others with the same honors from New York were Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2010 Gewurztraminer, Belhurst Winery 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, and Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2010 Pinot Noir Blanc.

Additional golds went to 21 Brix 2011 Chardonnay, Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2010 Pinot Gris, Dr. Frank 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, and Fulkerson Winery 2010 Dry Riesling.

Panels of 20 judges evaluated 495 wines produced in 17 states. An observation from Dave McIntyre, one of the judges, posted on his blog:

“What a difference a year makes. The sweepstakes round … included 20 wines, and nearly all (especially the reds) were from the very ripe 2010 vintage. Some of these were superb. There were some 2010s that didn’t earn gold medals because they were clumsy and even overripe and alcoholic. The rainy 2011 vintage tended to live down to expectations, with a few exceptions. Even the whites -– Rieslings, Viogniers and especially Chardonnays -– tended to be lackluster, and the reds dilute. Keep in mind that most of the better 2011 reds have not been released.”

The competition, run by the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, is designed to promote and help market wines produced in the eastern U.S. The organization changed its name in 2008 from the Vinifera Wine Growers Association.

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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Competition, Wine


10 NY wines best-of-class in California competition

LONG BEACH, CA — The Long Beach Grand Cru competition held over the weekend was a medal bumper crop for New York State wines — 115 medals, among them 10 best-of-class, 26 gold, 55 silver and 24 bronze.

Best-of-class winners, which were in the final “sweepstakes” round, included:

• 1 for 21 Brix — Ella’s Red (Concord) from Lake Erie

• 1 for Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2– 010 Estate Dry Riesling

• 2 for Coyote Moon — Twisted Sister (Frontenac) and Marquette

• 2 for Goose Watch  — 2011 Diamond and 2011 Rose of Isabella

• 4 for Swedish Hill —  2011 Riesling, Niagara, Catawba, and 2010 Late Harvest Vignoles

Gold medals went to 21 Brix Raspberry, 2011 Dry Riesling, 2011 Gewurztraminer, and 2011 Chardonnay; Anyela’s Vineyards 2010 Riesling and 2008 Cabernet Franc; Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2010 Chardonnay Proprietor’s Reserve, 2010 Semi-Dry Estate Riesling and 2011 Semi-Dry Estate Riesling; Coyote Moon La Crescent; Dr. Konstantin Frank 2010 Rkatsiteli, 2011 Dry Riesling, and 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling;

Also, Goose Watch 2011 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Traminette; Hazlitt 2010 Riesling Homestead Reserve; Johnson Estate 2011 Delaware and Concord; Penguin Bay Tuxedo Red and 2011 Riesling; Sparkling Pointe 2009 Topaz Imperial, North Fork of Long Island; Swedish Hill 2011 Chardonnary-Riesling Blue Waters, Blanc de Blanc, 2011 Dry Riesling, and 2011 Cayuga White; and Wagner Vineyards 2010 Riesling Estate Bottled.

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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Competition, Wineries


Call for entries in HV Wine & Spirits test

The Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association is accepting entries for its Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition, to be judged on September 8.

“The competition is part of the Hudson Valley Wine Festival, who will be hosting the judging for the second year. The top categories of the competition will be announced during the festival, which gives the winners the opportunity to turn awards into immediate sales,” said Michael Migliore, president of the association.

The entry deadline is August 22. Links to use in registering for the event, to be held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck:

HV Wine & Spirits Competition

Call for entries and instructions

Entry cover sheet

Spirit entry form

Wine categories

Spirit categories

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Competition, Hudson Valley


A Chateau Frank gem keeps adding to its luster

Bronze is OK, silver is better, gold is great, but platinum? Now you’re talking!

That’s what was awarded to the Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noirs at the recent Critics Challenge wine competition in San Diego, an honor that merely lengthens the list of such accolades for the Finger Lakes sparkling wine.

“That is just the latest in an impressive string that almost certainly makes it the top award-winning methode champenoise sparkling wine from the Finger Lakes ever,” says Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

Trezise, who is meticulous in tracking such things, lists these other awards for this particular wine:

• Chairman’s Award (Double Gold) at Riverside International;

• Gold at Great Lakes

• Double Gold at Tasters Guild International

• 93 Points/Finalist at the Ultimate Wine Challenge

• Double Gold at U.S. National

• Best New World Sparkling Wine and Double Gold at New World International Wine Competition

• Gold, 93 Points, and Best Northeastern Sparkling Wine at BTI World Wine Championships

• Gold at Florida State Fair International

• Double Gold & Best of Class at American Wine Society.

“And,” says Trezise, “that’s just so far this year!  Coincidentally, in just about a month is the 50th anniversary celebration of Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars, and they sure have great bubbly to toast it.”

The Blanc de Noir is 96% Pinot Noir kissed with just 4% Pinot Meunier. The other important numbers are 1.15 acid, 2.02 PH, 1 residual sugar and 12.3% alcohol. Perhaps the most impressive number, however, is the price — a mere $29.99 a bottle.

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Niagara wine leads NY medalists in California

It was a surprise to many when a wine from the Niagara Escarpment took “Best Dessert Wine” honors at the recent Riverside (CA) International Wine Competition.

The honor went to Arrowhead Spring Vineyards‘ 2009 Late Harvest Vidal that, on the way to the title, also took “Best of Class” and a “Chairman’s Award,” the latter requiring unanimous agreement among judges, like a Double Gold in most other competitions.

Arrowhead is a small farm winery with just 65 rows of grapes under cultivation. The facility is located at 4746 Town Line Road (Route 93) in the Town
of Cambria (14094) between Upper and Lower Mountain Roads on
the Niagara Escarpment.

Other “Best of Class”/”Chairman’s Award” winners from New York, which also were among the “Sweepstakes” round wines:

  • 21 Brix Raspberry
  • Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noirs
  • Keuka Spring Vineyards 2011 Riesling
  • Liberty Vineyards & Winery Reds, Whites & Blues Rosé
  • Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2011 Diamond
  • Thousand Islands Winery 2010 Marquette

Other “Chairman’s Awards”-only winners:

  • Fox Run Vineyards 2009 Tierce Dry Riesling (in collaboration with Anthony Road Winery and Red Newt Cellars)
  • Hazlitt 1952 Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling Homestead Reserve
  • Red Tail Ridge Winery 2010 Dry Riesling
  • Swedish Hill Winery Blue Waters Riesling

“Gold” medals went to:

  • Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2008 Meritage Reserve
  • Casa Larga Vineyards 2009 French Oak Reserve Chardonnay
  • Casa Large Vineyards 2009 Fiori delle Stelle Riesling Ice Wine
  • Chateau LaFayette Reneau Seyval-Chardonnay
  • Dr. Frank 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling
  • Fox Run Vineyards 2010 Riesling
  • Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Late Harvest Riesling
  • Glenora Wine Cellars 2003 Brut
  • Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
  • Keuka Spring Vineyards 2010 Vignoles Dessert Wine
  • Lakewood Vineyards 2010 Riesling
  • Leonard Oakes Estate Winery 2009 Vidal Ice Wine
  • Red Tail Ridge Winery 2009 Blaufrankish
  • Swedish Hill Winery Spumante Blush 2007 Optimus
  • Swedish Hill Winery 2010 Chardonnay Reserve
  • Swedish Hill Winery 2011 Riesling
  • Swedish Hill Winery 2011 Cayuga White
  • Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2011 Snow Owl
  • Wagner Vineyards 2009 Estate Bottled Dry Riesling

Other New York wines received won 96 Silver and 39 Bronze awards, for a total of 164 medals.

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Competition, Wine