Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition

A Pennsylvania rosé, a Quebec apple ice wine, a New York Finger Lakes sparkling wine, and a California cabernet sauvignon from the Temecula Valley were among the top wines honored at the 2011 American Wine Society Commercial Wine Competition held at the Radisson Riverside Hotel in Rochester, in November. The wines were evaluated by 21 judges, over two days, in conjunction with the Society’s 44th annual conference. Evaluators included AWS Certified Wine Judges and prominent wine industry representatives.

There were 527 wines entered from the U.S. and Canada. The competition awarded 21 double-gold (double-gold medals require a unanimous vote) and 24 gold medals in six categories, and for the first time since the AWS competition began in 1986, it included “Best of” categories.

The Best of Show winner and Best Red Wine went to boutique producer Fazeli Cellars of Irvine, Calif. for its 2008 Khayyam, a 100 percent cabernet sauvignon. Fazelli Cellars also earned a double-gold for its 2008 Valda, a red Rhône-style blend.

Other top winners included:
  • Best White Wine: Seven Mountains Wine Cellars 2010 Vidal Blanc (Pennsylvania)
  • Best Fruit Wine: Domaine Pinnacle, 2009 Ice Apple (Quebec, Eastern Townships)
  • Best Dessert Wine: Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, 2008 Vidal Ice Wine (Western New York)
  • Best Sparkling Wine: Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noir (Finger Lakes New York)
  • Best Rosé: Presque Isle Wine Cellars Blushing Heron, Concord/Niagara Blend (Western New York)

A complete list of winners, including silver and bronze medalists, can be seen at

About the American Wine Society

Founded in 1967, the American Wine Society (AWS) is the oldest and largest consumer-based organization in the U.S. dedicated to promoting wine appreciation through education. AWS is a non-profit organization of 4,200 wine enthusiasts, from novice to expert, in 125 chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada. Membership is open to adult interested in wine.

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