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|
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.|
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.|
Willow Creek AVA
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.
|4th||J. Lohr Hilltop
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 George@ocws.org for possible publication on the website.
– George Cravens, Mini-Tasting Event Chair