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Sonoma County Wineries Bring the Gold at 2015 San Francisco Wine Competition

Gloria Ferrer Winery

Before we celebrate the Sweepstakes, Best of Class and Double Gold Medals that Sonoma County wineries took home from the 2015 San Francisco Wine Competition, let’s pause for a moment of sympathy for the judges’ palates.

Dozens of judges representing media, industry, restaurants, wine education and retail tasted a recording-breaking 6,300 wines at the event, held annually at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds. If you’ve tasted more than 10 wines in a flight, including young, tannic reds like Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon, you know that’s not a party, that’s hard work, palate-numbing work. But they got their reward with the annual 2015 Judges Dinner, this year hosted by Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Sonoma County wineries won three out of seven Sweepstakes categories for wine, and 33 were named Best of Class in some 140 categories.

Originally called the Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition, the 32-year-old wine contest has been sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle since 2000, and the field includes entrants from 28 states.

Today, there are more Chardonnay categories than you can shake a medium-plus toast barrel stave at, broken up into rather tight five-dollar price-point increments, but Sonoma County topped most of them. Similar story with Zinfandel—county wineries dominated all but the two least expensive categories.

You can taste all—or more wisely, some—of the winning wines in one place at the public walk-around tasting on February 14, 2015 at Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, San Francisco. 1:30–5pm. Tickets are $65 advance; $80 day of the event.

(The actual Cloverdale Citrus Fair is held in Cloverdale, February 13-16, 2015. Expect more oranges, lemons and 4-H lambs there than wines, however.)

Sweepstakes Winners

Sparkling Wine:

Gloria Ferrer 2010 Carneros Blanc de Blancs ($42)

Red Wine:

Sonoma-Cutrer 2012 Founders Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($65)
Pezzi King 2012 Row 14 Reserve Estate Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ($50)

Best of Class
Dry Sparkling: J Vineyards & Winery NV Russian River Valley J Brut Rosé ($38)
Semi-Dry Sparkling: Gloria Ferrer VA de VI Sonoma County ($22)
Chardonnay $10.00 to $14.99: Kenwood Vineyards 2013 Sonoma County Chardonnay ($14)
Chardonnay $20.00 to $24.99: Clos du Bois Winery 2012 Russian River Valley Calcaire $24.99
Chardonnay $20.00 to $24.99: Blanchard Family Wines 2013 Russian River Valley Blanchard Family Wines Chardonnay ($24.99)
Chardonnay $30.00 to $34.99: Roche Winery 2013 Carneros American Oak Reserve Chardonnay ($33.95)
Chardonnay $30.00 to $34.99: DeLoach Vineyards 2012 Russian River Valley OFS Chardonnay ($32)
Chardonnay $40.00 & Over:
Kokomo Winery 2012 Russian River Valley Mukaida Reserve Chardonnay ($42)
Dry Rose: Martin Ray Winery 2014 Russian River Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir ($18)
Pinot Noir $25.00 to $29.99: Gloria Ferrer 2012 Carneros Pinot Noir ($28)
Pinot Noir $30.00 to $34.99: Anaba Wines 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($34)
Pinot Noir $35.00 to $39.99: HKG Estate Wines at Hop Kiln Vineyards 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($38)
Pinot Noir $35.00 to $39.99: Teac Mor 2011 Russian River Valley Teac Mor Vineyards Pinot Noir ($36)
Zinfandel $25.00 to $29.99: Mazzocco Sonoma Winery 2012 Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County Reserve Zinfandel ($29)
Zinfandel $25.00 to $29.99: Denier-Handal Vineyards 2012 Dry Creek Valley Handal/Denier Zinfandel ($27)
Zinfandel $30.00 to $34.99: Trentadue Winery 2012 Alexander Valley Estate La Storia Zinfandel ($34)
Zinfandel $30.00 to $34.99: deLorimier Winery 2012 Alexander Valley Rege Zinfandel ($32)
Zinfandel $35.00 to $39.99: Mazzocco Sonoma Winery 2012 Dry Creek Valley West Dry Creek Zinfandel ($38)
Zinfandel $35.00 to $39.99: DeLoach Vineyards 2012 Russian River Valley OFS Zinfandel ($35)
Zinfandel $40.00 to $49.99: Graton Ridge Cellars 2013 Russian River Valley Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel ($48)
Primitivo deLorimier Winery 2012 Alexander Valley Primitivo ($32)
Syrah/Shiraz $40.00 & Over: Ty Caton Vineyards 2012 Sonoma Valley Caton Vineyard Ballfield Syrah ($42)
Petite Sirah up to $19.99: Pedroncelli Winery 2012 Dry Creek Valley Family Vineyards Petite Sirah $(18)
Petite Sirah $20.00 & Over: Matrix Winery 2012 Russian River Valley Bacigalupi Petite Sirah ($32)
Grenache: Wattle Creek Winery 2013 Russian River Valley Grenache ($38)
Cabernet Sauvignon $35.00 to $39.99: Tin Barn Vineyards 2012 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($36)
Cabernet Sauvignon $50.00 to $59.99: deLorimier Winery 2011 Alexander Valley Preston Ranch Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($54)
Cabernet Sauvignon $60.00 & Over: Medlock Ames 2012 Alexander Valley Kate's & B's Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)
Petit Verdot: Soda Rock Winery 2011 Sonoma County Reserve Petit Verdot ($45)
All Red Blends up to $14.99: Rosso & Bianco 2013 California Rosso ($11)
All Red Blends $25–$34.99: Ty Caton Vineyards 2012 EnTycement Sonoma Valley ($28)
All Red Blends Over $35: Pezzi King 2012 Three Kings Red Dry Creek Valley ($36)

Double Gold Medals

Gustafson Family Vineyards 2013 Dry Creek Valley Riesling ($20)
Hanna Winery 2012 Slusser Ranch Elias Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($48)
Dry Creek Vineyard 2013 Sonoma County Heritage Vines Zinfandel($20)

…And too many more to list here—Sonoma County continued to be well represented in Double Golds throughout the categories. Go to www.winejudging.com

Find more info about Sonoma County's over 400 wineries here. Get a free wineries map here.

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