Taste the Winners
While there were some upsets and surprises — other patterns held true from previous years. The Bordeaux Blend categories in both price points showed exceptionally well across the flight. The largest concentration of awards for those over $25 were from the 2008 and 2009 vintages, while in the lower price range, those awards went predominantly to the 2010 vintage, displaying a ready-to-drink freshness and approachability.
Judges were also impressed with the breadth (31 entries from coast to coast) and overall quality of the Sparkling wine category. Both Charmat and Champeniose techniques were accepted this year. Huff Estates Winery from Prince Edward County, Ontario, won for the second time with their Cuvée Peter F. Huff, this time with the 2008 vintage. This year we also noticed wineries experimenting with many non-traditional grapes for their sparklers—Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling in particular.
Other consistent performers were Forbidden Fruit Winery, Cawston, BC, Joie Farm, Naramata, BC, Pelee Island Winery, Kingsville, Ontario, and Jost Vineyards from Malagash, NS.
Trophy, Best Red Wine of the Year
Lake Breeze Vineyards, BC
2008 Tempest $34.90
Trophy, Best White Wine of the Year
8th Generation Vineyard, BC
2011 Riesling $19.99
Trophy, Best Dessert Wine of the Year
Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery, BC
2011 Riesling Icewine $46.99
Trophy, Best Fruit Wine of the Year
La Vallée de la Framboise Inc., Que.
2011 Douce Anna $15.00
Trophy, Best Sparkling Wine of the Year
Huff Estates Winery, ON
2008 Cuvee Peter F. Huff $39.95