Sixty-one Gold Medals were awarded to Northwest wines at the 2013 SavorNW Wine Awards in February. The single blind judging of Northwest wines was conducted February 26 and 27 in Cannon Beach, Oregon with two panels of professional judges tasting over 360 wines from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Idaho. The 61 gold medals awarded reflect the quality of this years entries, said SavorNW Executive Director Gary Hayes. The total included 15 Double Gold awards indicating a unanimous agreement on the judging panel.
Washingtons Smasne Cellars was the top winery, claiming six gold medals including a double gold for its 2010 Icewine and collecting golds for its 2009 Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Carménère, 2009 Block 3 Syrah, 2010 Konner Ray White and 2011 Farm Girl Rose. Three gold medals each were claimed by Southern Oregons Abacela and Schmidt Family Vineyards, Walla Walla Vintners and British Columbias Mt. Lehman Winery.
Several wines earned Best of Varietal status including Walla Walla Vintners 2010 Cabernet Franc, Sinclair Estate Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hip Chicks do Wine 2008 Malbec, Tamarack Cellars 2009 Merlot, Sweet Earth Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Barrel Select, Foris Vineyards 2011 Riesling, Kontos Cellars 2010 Tate Syrah and RoxyAnn Winery 2009 Tempranillo. Also winning Best of Class were J. Scott Cellars 2011 Rousanne in the Other White Varietal category and Swiftwater Cellars 2008 Proprietary Red in the Red Blend category. There were co-winners in the Dessert Wine Best of Class with Smasne Cellars 2010 Icewine and Capitello Wines 2010 Dolcino sharing the honors.
The SavorNW Wine Awards is a showcase of Northwest winemaking that only awards Gold, Silver or Bronze awards for exceptional to above average wines. All of the Gold medal award-winning wines were judged to have exceptional character for their varietal and even Bronze medal winning wines were required to be above average representations of their varietal according to the judges instructions. The judging panel included professional wine judges Ken Robertson, David Seaver and Winnie Alberg of Washington; along with wine educator Patrick McElligott and winemakers Laurel Hood and Steve Reustle of Oregon. The complete list of winners can be seen at www.SavorNW.com.