Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve 2009 Named ‘Best of the Best’

Vineyard & Winery Management (V&WM) and The Press Democrat have concluded the first Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, held May 29 and 30 at the Sonoma Wine Country Hilton in Santa Rosa, Calif. The new wine competition focused exclusively on wines produced in North Coast AVAs, including those in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Marin and Solano counties.

The wine named as “Best of the Best” from a field of nearly 1,000 entries was the Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve 2009, a red Bordeaux blend.

In keeping with the competition theme, judges represented the best of the North Coast’s wine professionals, including sommeliers, winemakers, retailers and media. To bring a variety of perspectives to the judging, each three-person panel included a winemaker, a sommelier or retailer and a member of the media.

The North Coast Wine Challenge introduced a new approach to award designations, according to Debra Del Fiorentino, V&WM’s director of wine competitions. “Wines were designated the ranking of Best of Class by Category, Best of County, and ultimately, the Best of the Best as the top award.”

In addition to awarding medals, panels submitted point scores for gold medal wines, based on the 100-point scale. A total of 132 wines received gold medals.

Chief Judge Daryl Groom, owner/winemaker for Groom Wines in Healdsburg, Calif., led the event in its inaugural year. “We had a fantastic first event and I could not be happier with the judging and the results,” he said. “Where else in the world do you get to taste that many absolutely top notch wines of such diversity, except on the North Coast of California? Picking the ultimate winners was tough, but some really stunning wines shone through.”

“We live and work in the heart of the leading quality wine region in the country and The Press Democrat is committed to bringing new focus and attention to our great wines,” said Steve Falk, CEO of Sonoma Media Investments, parent company of The Press Democrat.

Judging event sponsors included Wine Industry Network, Penta Water, Wine Country Organics, Wine Country Shipping, Alsco, Graber Olives, Sonoma Wine Country Hilton, Costeaux French Bakery, Vino Chapeau, Corks Restaurant, Big River Coffee Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sonoma Chocolatiers, Oliver’s Market, Clover Stornetta Farms, Spring Hill Jersey Cheese, Top Nest Designs, Screamin’ Mimi’s and Montgomery Village Shopping Center.

The Press Democrat will host a public tasting July 14 featuring a selection of medal-winning wines from the competition. For details about the public tasting, a list of competition judges and complete results visit www.northcoastwinechallenge.com.

BEST OF THE BEST

Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve 2009 ($60.99)

BEST OF COUNTY AWARDS

NAPA:

Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve 2009 ($60.99)

SONOMA (three-way tie):

Sivas-Sonoma Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($22)
Kokomo Dry Creek Valley Grenache Rosé, Pauline’s Vineyard, 2012 ($22)
Trombetta Family Wines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Gap’s Crown Vineyard, 2011 ($58)
MENDOCINO:

Navarro Vineyards Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2012 ($58)

LAKE:

Shed Horn Cellars Lake County Non Typical Red Wine 2010 ($25)

MARIN:

De Loach Vineyards Marin County Pinot Noir 2010 ($18)

SOLANO:

GrapeHeart Vineyards “The Beat” Red Blend 2010 ($69)

BEST OF CLASS AWARDS

BEST SPARKLING: Breathless Wines North Coast Brut NV ($25)

BEST WHITE: Sivas-Sonoma Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($22)

BEST ROSE: Kokomo Dry Creek Valley Grenache Rosé, Pauline’s Vineyard, 2012 ($22)

BEST RED: Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley Tapestry Reserve 2009 ($60.99)

BEST DESSERT: Navarro Vineyards Anderson Valley Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2012 ($58)