Australila Gains Ground, but California Still King at Pinehurst's 2009 Wine Competition

2009 Pinehurst Wine CompetitionVILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. - In a year of value in the wine industry, quality is still emerging in Australia, Chile and even North Carolina.  But the 60 panel judges at Pinehurst’s third annual Festival Focus Wine Competition still ruled that California leads the pack.

More than 130 wineries submitted entries to the competition, from four New World varietals:  Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah/Shiraz.  Each varietal division was subcategorized into three price-point driven entries ranging from $10 to $50+ (retail), resulting in 12 gold and 12 silver medalists. 

The results showed a few surprises: North Carolina wineries captured three of the 24 total awards given in Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir categories. While Australian Chardonnays and Shiraz varietals received their due, Chilean Casa La Postolle captured high honors in the Super Premium Chardonnay and Syrah categories. And small producer L’Ecole No. 41from Walla Walla, Washington took honors in the Prestige Syrah category.

The complete list of winners in each category is as follows:

Premium Chardonnay

Gold Medal – Green Point 2005 - Victoria, Australia

Silver Medal – Penfold’s 2007 “Thomas Hyland,” South Australia

Super Premium Chardonnay

Gold Medal – Rodney Strong Chalk Hill 2007 – Sonoma, California

Silver Medal – Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre - Chile

Prestige Chardonnay

Gold Medal – Newton Unfiltered 2006 – St. Helena, California

Silver Medal – Shelton Family Reserve – North Carolina

Premium Sauvignon Blanc

Gold Medal – Shooting Star 2008 – Lake County, California

Silver Medal – Shelton – North Carolina

2009 Pinehurst Wine CompetitionSuper Premium Sauvignon Blanc

Gold Medal – Franciscan 2007 - Napa Valley, California

Silver Medal – Girard 2008 - Napa Valley, California

Prestige Sauvignon Blanc

Gold Medal - Sonoma Coast Vineyards 2006 - Sonoma Coast, California

Silver Medal – Grgich Hills 2007 Fume Blanc – Napa, California

Premium Pinot Noir

Gold Medal – Biltmore - North Carolina

Silver Medal – Steele Santa Barbara 2006 - California

Super Premium Pinot Noir

Gold Medal – Rodney Strong Reserve 2007 – Russian River Valley, California

Silver Medal – Jeriko Estate 2006 – Mendocino, California

Prestige Pinot Noir

Gold Medal - Erath Dundee Hills 2006 – Willamette Valley, Oregon

Silver Medal – Ancien Russian River 2006 - Russian River Valley, California

Premium Syrah/Shiraz

Gold Medal - Toasted Head 2006  - Dunnigan Hills, California

Silver Medal - Rosenblum Cellars 2006 Syrah  - Vintner’s Cuvee, California

Super Premium Syrah/Shiraz

Gold Medal - Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Syrah 2005 – Requinoa, Chile

Silver Medal - Longview Vineyard “Yakka” Shiraz 2006 - Adelaide Hills, Australia

Prestige Syrah/Shiraz

Gold Medal - Penfold’s St Henri Shiraz - South Australia

Silver Medal - L’Ecole No 41, Seven Hills Vineyard Syrah 2006 - Walla Walla Valley, Washington

2009 Pinehurst Wine Competition

The competition was a double-blind tasting with hand scoring, verified and independently audited by an accountant prior to release of the results.  Judges scored each wine based on gustatory (taste), visual, and olfactory (smell) factors for a total score in each flight.  No manufacturers or persons associated in direct brand representation were utilized in the judging of the wines, and each judge could only vote on one flight for the competition.

Winners received awards at the Food and Wine Festival’s Opening Ceremonies on Friday, Sept. 4, 2009.  Each Gold and Silver Medal award winners will also be recognized on Pinehurst’s Master Wine List resortwide for an entire year.

The Pinehurst Food and Wine Festival is held annually each Labor Day weekend at the renowned Pinehurst Resort, featuring a series of seminars, culinary demonstrations, gala dining events and daily grand tastings featuring over 100 bottles from which to sample daily.  An upscale boutique resort event, it draws the most top-rated wines in the world to over 500 guests each year.   The four-day festival celebrated its 21th Anniversary this year. 


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