Rieslings Shine at Riverside International Wine Competition
Rieslings from four different regions took the top awards at the prestigious Riverside International Wine Competition, held on May 9-10 at the South Coast Resort & Spa in Temecula, CA. The four trophies for best Riesling, sponsored by the International Riesling Foundation, went to:
Dry: 2011 St. Michelle Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington Medium Dry: 2011 Keuka Spring Vineyards, Finger Lakes, New York Medium Sweet: 2010 Jacob Demmer Riesling Auslese, Rheinhessen, Germany Sweet: 2011 St. Julian, Lake Michigan Shore, Michigan.
The Riverside competition, run by wine journalist Dan Berger who also led the effort to develop the IRF Riesling Taste Profile, was the first major competition in the world to use the four categories for the top awards, though others have since followed. The winners receive an elegant slate trophy with the information carved in.
“These are superb wines, and I think it’s great that they come from four different regions known for Riesling,” said Berger. “There were also many other great Rieslings, as reflected by the number of top awards.”
The Riverside competition includes a “Chairman’s Award” category, similar to Double Gold in other contests where unanimity of the judges is required; and the best of these are also designated “Best of Class”. In addition, there are Gold medals which can be awarded with a majority vote.
The four top winners received Chairman’s Award/Best of Class, along with Kilikanoon 2009 Clare Valley Riesling from Australia and Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Harvest Select Riesling.
Five other Chairman’s Awards, four to New York wineries, were given to: 21 Brix 2011 Lake Erie Dry Riesling; Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2010 Finger Lakes Riesling, Homestead Reserve; Red Tail Ridge 2010 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling; Swedish Hill Finger Lakes Blue Waters Riesling; and V.Sattui 2011 Anderson Valley Dry Riesling.
Gold medals, mostly to Michigan and New York, were awarded to 2 Lads 2011 Old Mission Peninsula Riesling; Chateau Tanunda 2011 Barossa Riesling; Arcturos 2011 Old Mission Peninsula Dry Riesling; Bowers Harbor 2011 Old Mission Peninsula Dry Riesling; Chateau Fontaine 2010 Leelanau Peninsula Riesling; Alba Vineyard 2010 Warren Hills Riesling (New Jersey); Jana Winery 2009 Mendocino Old Vine, Nelson Ranch Riesling; Polka Dot 2010 Pfalz Riesling; Fox Run Vineyards 2009 Tierce Dry Riesling (a collaboration with Anthony Road Winery and Red Newt Cellars); Fox Run Vineyards 2010 Riesling; Springs HE 2008 Eden Valley Riesling; Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Finger Lakes Late Harvest Riesling; Lehmann 2011 Eden Valley Dry Riesling; Kiona 2011 Washington Riesling; Lakewood Vineyards 2010 Finger Lakes Riesling; Navarro Vineyards 2011 Anderson Valley Late Harvest Cluster Riesling; St. Julian 2010 Lake Michigan Shore Riesling; Shooting Star 2010 Lake County Riesling; Swedish Hill 2011Finger Lakes Riesling; V. Sattui 2011 Napa Valley Dry Riesling and 2011 Napa Valley Off-Dry Riesling; Wagner Vineyards 2009 Finger Lakes Semi-Dry Estate Bottled Riesling; and Wild Goose 2011 Okanagan Valley Stony Slope Dry Riesling.
“Competitions like Riverside help consumers locate quality wines based on blind- tastings by qualified judges,” said Jim Trezise, President of the IRF. “In addition, many of the wines entered in this competition use the IRF Riesling Taste Profile on their back labels to let consumers know what to expect from each bottle.”
The IRF Riesling Taste Profile is now on more than 30 million bottles of Riesling in the U.S. market, and is being used in other markets as well. All of the guidelines and information for using it are available on the IRF web site.
The IRF is also sponsoring a major Riesling promotion, “Summer of Riesling”, created and orchestrated by Manhattan restaurateur Paul Grieco. Last year, 225 top restaurants in the U.S. promoted Riesling from June 21 to September 22, and this year the goal is 500. For more information, visit www.summerofriesling.com.
The IRF was created in 2008 to promote Riesling as the world’s most noble white wine through communication and education for the media, trade and consumers. It is governed by a Board of Directors representing the world’s top Riesling producers and regions.
Complete results of the Riverside competition, which included 1,950 wines evaluated by 48 expert judges, are available on the competition web site, www.RiversideWineCompetition.com, which includes an easy-to-use and infinitely sortable database.