Go West (Again), (Not-So) Young Man! (The Oregon Wine Competition 2018)

We can surely file this one in the I-still-can’t-believe-that-I’ve-fooled-everyone-for-so-long pile: I’ve been asked to judge yet another wine competition. This time, it’s the 2018 incarnation of The Oregon Wine Competition, part of the more comprehensive Oregon Wine Experience, taking place August 20-26, 2018 in Jacksonville, OR, and benefiting Asante Foundation and Asante’s Children’s Miracle Network.

Historically, 100+ Oregon wineries have participated in this event, which makes it one of the (if not the) best ways to get a deep dive into the state (see what I did there?) of the entire OR wine scene.

I’m looking forward to getting my mouth (and the rest of me) back in OR, and to putting the competition’s 100% Oregon AVA wines under the palate microscope (palmiscope?). In that latter regard, I’ll be joining five distinguished members of the wine biz who are also judging, and most of whom have much more impressive initials after their surnames than I do.

Go West (Again), (Not-So) Young Man! (The Oregon Wine Competition 2018)

For those of you reading this who have OR wine that they’d like to enter, here are the pertinent details. (note that only wines composed of 100% grapes grown in officially-recognized Oregon AVAs, with TTB-approved labels, and produced by Oregon-licensed wineries are eligible).

The rest of you lushes who are thinking of getting in on the action can purchase tickets to this everything-Oregon event, and maybe come and heckle me while I’m working.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Go West (Again), (Not-So) Young Man! (The Oregon Wine Competition 2018) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Critics Challenge 2018 Highlights

Staying Classy with bubbles in San Diego

Once again, I had both the pleasure and the honor of judging at the annual Critics Challenge wine competition, held in (stay classy!) San Diego and helmed by WineReviewOnline.com‘s Robert Whitley. This year, I was paired up with talented author Linda Murphy (whose book American Wine you should absolutely check out, because it kicks all kinds of ass).

Critics Challenge 2018 HighlightsCritics Challenge is top-notch, with excellent, experienced judges and a killer-good volunteer crew (yeah, I don’t understand why they keep inviting me back, either). So the results should, I’d argue, be taken seriously, and you can check out the full list of 2018 medal winners right now at http://www.criticschallenge.com/results.htm.

I wanted to highlight the wines that Linda and I collectively awarded Platinum, as there are some fantastic wines – several of which are surprising bargains – in that lineup of winners. This is why we judge them blind, folks! Fortunately for all of us, picking up many of these wines won’t make the bank account seem appreciably lighter…

Critics Challenge 2018 Highlights

Getting and judge-y & shit

Alexander Valley Vineyards Temptation Zinfandel 2015, $14

Banfi Brunello Di Montalcino 2013, $75

Banfi Belnero 2014, Toscana $29 (100% Sangiovese)

Bel Colle Simposio Barolo 2013, $60

Critics Challenge 2018 Highlights

I was the only ham on the menu at dinner…

 

Brancaia TRE 2014, Rosso di Toscana IGT (Sangiovese 80%; with Merlot; Cabernet Sauvignon)

Due Mari Maremma Toscana 2015, $35 (Sangiovese 60%; Merlot 20%; Cabernet Sauvignon 10%; Other Reds 10%)

Falkner Winery Chardonnay 2017, Temecula Valley $30

Kim Crawford Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Marlborough $18

Line 39 Pinot Noir 2016, California $11 (!!!)

McWilliams Evans & Tate “Bright As Day” Chardonnay 2015, Australia $10 (!!!)

Critics Challenge 2018 Highlights

A delight

Navarro Vineyards Estate Bottled Dry Muscat Blanc 2017, Anderson Valley $22

Prophecy Vin de France Rosé 2017, $14

Très Chic Pays d’Oc Rosé 2017, $17 (Grenache and Cinsault, baby!)

White Oak Vineyards & Winery “Mighty Oak” Proprietary Red 2014, Sonoma County $19 (28% Cabernet Sauvignon; 16% Cabernet Franc; 56% Merlot, in case you cared)

Windsor Vineyards Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016, North Coast $16

Wine Spots Wines Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, $30

Critics Challenge 2018 Highlights

Magnum bottle, magnum stopper, magnum price

And, for sh*ts & giggles, an added bonus:

Moët & Chandon NV MCIII Brut 001.14 Champagne, $650/magnum (ok, so that’s not that much of a bargain… but we had it twice at dinners and it’s the kind of heady, floral, yeasty opulence that’s just a total treat, provided that you have the available cash).

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2016. Originally at Critics Challenge 2018 Highlights from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

And Then, Apparently Everyone Went Insane (Wine Competitions 2016)

“As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy… me… or everyone else.”

– Max Rockatansky, Mad Max: Fury Road

image: texsomiwa.com

I think the wine judging world has officially gone batsh*t crazy. More on that in a minute.

As many of you might have already surmised from my recent updates on The Book of Face, my recent press jaunt to Madeira was, from a tasting perspective, extraordinary. So, there will likely be much more info. to come from that trip soon (after I catch up on writing up some Napa shizzle from the fourth quarter of 2015).

Today, however, I am still reeling (in positive ways) from finally getting my hiney to Madeira, and am just dropping a quick line to let you know about two upcoming wine competitions in which I’ll be playing a small part.

First up: the TexSom International Wine Awards, taking place later this month. This is my first judging stint with TIWA, the organizers of which have apparently lost their minds entirely, as evidenced by my inclusion on a judging lineup consisting primarily of baddass wine people with either “MW or “MS” after their names. I know, I don’t get it, either, but I’m excited to check it out and to return to the Dallas/Fort Worth area (despite the spot being overrun with Cowboys fans).

And Then, Apparently Everyone Went Insane (Wine Competitions 2016)

image: criticschallenge.com

Next, I’ll be returning as a judge to the venerable Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition, this year moved up to March. This will be, I think, my fourth stint with CC, and as always I considered myself blessed to be able to work with such a professional, well-organized, and fun group of organizers, volunteers, and judges. I have been lucky enough now to have judged in a not-insignificant number of wine competitions, and I would easily rank CC as one of the best worldwide; it has become one of my favorite long-weekend work gigs of the year.

I know, I know… that was all way too much positivity for a single 1WD post. In fact, we might have just fulfilled the feel-good quotient here for the entire first quarter…

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at And Then, Apparently Everyone Went Insane (Wine Competitions 2016) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!