Big Hat, Big Cattle (Highlights From The 2016 TexSom International Wine Awards)

image: Texas Monthly

Ahhh, Dallas, where the rain is big, the convention center is even bigger, and the wine competitions are downright huuuuuuge.

I had such a splendid time judging alongside the consummate professionals at the 2016 TexSom International Wine Awards that I didn’t even mind that Dallas is totally dirty with Cowboys fans (Go Steelers!). Hell, I even had a date while I was in town (because, well, we are talking about my crazy life here).

The results of the 2016 TexSom competition have now been published in their entirety, so I am happy to share with you some of the highlights from my panels there. First, here’s the skinny on the results, as worded by the TexSom crew:

“Entries in the TEXSOM International Wine Awards were blind-tasted and judged by 67 internationally renowned industry influencers from 10 countries. Of these entries, the judges awarded 2,133 medals: 273 Gold medals, 798 Silver medals, and 1062 Bronze medals. Suggested retail pricing of medal-winning entries ranged from US $2.99 to US $770.00. Vintages spanned 75 years, with the oldest being 1941. All winners have been announced, and the winning wines are listed on the Texas Monthly website at http://www.texasmonthly.com/article/tiwa2016/.”

Told ya it was big, pardner!…

Now, I wasn’t reviewing the wines on the panels in which I sat as a judge, so I didn’t take my usual spate of bizarre, barely-coherent tasting notes.

I did, however, manage to jot down the ID digits of the wines that, for whatever reason, stood out to me as particularly interesting, tasty, and drinkable of the flights presented to us, and was able to match those up to the entries after the results were published. These aren’t “big hat, no cattle” wines; they’re more “big hat, big cattle” beverages.

And so, I present to you those wines, any of which I’d be quite happy to drink a full glass of without reservation (ok… probably two full glasses of):

2014 Merryvale Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley, $26); Competition result: Gold

2013 Swanson Vineyards Chardonnay (Napa Valley, $30); Competition result: Gold

2014 Trefethen Family Vineyards Chardonnay Oak Knoll District (Napa Valley, $30); Competition result: Gold

2013 Wallis Family Estate Little Sister Proprietary Red Napa Valley (Diamond Mountain District, $65); Bordeaux-style red blend; Competition result: Silver

2013 Marchesi Vineyards Pace Holiday (Columbia Valley, $42); Primitivo, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah blend (yeah, seriously); Competition result: Gold

2013 L’Ecole No 41 Estate Grown Ferguson Vineyard (Walla Walla Valley, $62); Bordeaux-style red blend; Competition result: Gold

2013 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, $30); Competition result: Gold; Joe result: Pleasantly surprised

2013 Liparita Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville V Block (Napa Valley, $50); Competition result: Gold

Cheers!

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