August 2022 Gold Medal Mini-Tasting Recap

The August Gold Medal Mini-Tasting featured five different varietals, two wines each. All ten wines were Double Gold winners in the 2022 Commercial Wine Competition. There were ten  host sites and 155 members and guests spread throughout the county.

The first flight was a Viognier and a Viognier/Grenache Blanc/Roussanne blend. The second was a pair of Barbaras, followed by a pair of Syrahs, two Zinfandels, and a pair of Cabernet Sauvignons. One of the Zinfandels (Macchia’s Mischevious) was awarded Best in Class.

This group tends to favor red wines, and each of the eight red wines were selected as a top three wine at one or more of the sites.

The four favorite wines across the ten host sites:

Place Wine & Winery Year Price DESCRIPTION
1st Macchia Mischevious

Old Vine Zinfandel,


Best of Class

95 pt. Double Gold

Top 3 at 8 of 10 sites

2020 $23 This Mischievous blend uses multiple Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards that when combined, produce the classic, fruit-forward characteristics that are the centerpiece of all great Lodi wines. Just a touch of Petite Sirah adds structure, as well as, increasing its complexity. Aging in small oak barrels creates a soft vanilla finish making it a very food-friendly wine that can be enjoyed daily with everything from rich pasta to a juicy barbecued steak.
2nd Macchia Infamous


Amador County AVA


95 pt. Double Gold

Top 3 at 6 of 10 sites

2020 $28 Barbera arrived in California along with the early Italian immigrants. It is celebrated around the world as an extremely food-friendly wine with refined tannins and lively acidity. At Macchia, 100% of our Barbera is aged in oak barrels for increased complexity which serves to highlight the vibrant red fruit and what makes Amador Barbera grapes famous. The Infamous head-trained Cooper Vineyard yields grapes with intense fruit, deep color, and soft tannin levels.
3rd Volatus G-LOC


Willow Creek AVA

Paso Robles

93 pt. Double Gold

Top 3 at 5 of 10 sites

2020 $42 100% Zinfandel from the Willow Creek District. This is the biggest, baddest, most balanced Paso Zin you can find. Back Label: The pain cave of High G, WVR combat is a cruel mistress, but you have to learn to love her.

Alcohol 16.60%

4th J. Lohr Hilltop

Cabernet Sauvignon

Paso Robles

94 pt. Double Gold

Top 3 at 4 of 10 sites

2020 $29.99 The 2020 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon displays trademark aromas of blackberry, black currant, and toasted pastry crust. Dense and soft on the palate. Elegant layers of black and red currants leave a bright finish, accented by spice and pastry notes from extended oak aging.

Blend: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc

In addition, attendees brought a delicious dish to share and then voted on a Chef of the Evening. The results of the Chef of the Evening at each host site are:

Hosts Rob and Germaine Romano: Bill Forsch – Beef Brisket

Host Bob Topham and Beverly Genis: Mark Godleski – Salmon

Hosts Don and Elee Phillips: Carolyn & Damian Christian – Smoked Pork

Hosts Craig and Ronna Rowe:  Marybeth Ackerman – Mushroom Dip

Hosts Betty Jo and Jay Newell: Rod White – Asparagus Soup

Hosts Pam and Bill Oneida: Linda Crawford – Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

Hosts Marcia and James Vaughan: Cathy Painter – Nanaimo (Coconut Bars)

Hosts Fred and Cheryl Heinecke: Cheryl Heinecke – Bananas Foster

Hosts Dave and Barb White: Donna Hisey – Pulled Pork Sliders

Hosts John Molina and Courtney: Ed and Kim Meier – Baked Ziti

Congratulations to all the winners!  A big Thank You to the Hosts! Please send your recipes to George Cravens at for possible publication on the website.

– George Cravens, Mini-Tasting Event Chair