Wineries await results of InterVin awards 0
Mirassou Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir, California and Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery 2011 Larch Tree Hill Riesling, Okanagan Valley. (Supplied)
The InterVin International Wine Awards competition in Niagara-on-the-Lake last week saw more than 1,200 wines from 17 countries tasted and evaluated by a panel of Canadian experts.
That's a record number of entries, which, because wineries present three bottles of each submission, translated to a staggering 3,600-plus bottles landing on the doorstep of White Oaks Spa and Resort before the tasting.
As InterVin's head judge, I work with a team that oversees the three-day competition. The back room was positively bursting with bottles as the competition got underway.
Submissions were grouped by grape variety or style to ensure each was fairly evaluated alongside its international peers. Participating wineries submit multiple bottles of each entry to ensure that wine poured for judges is clean and sound. Additional bottles are also required for wines that pass through to the finals round.
The biggest jump in submissions came in the red blends category, which includes Cabernet/Merlot wines as well as a bounty of other creative mixtures of black grapes from across the world. In all, 180 wines were presented in that class.
The categories for sparkling wine, Pinot Noir and blends of different white grapes varieties also showed marked increases.
It's hard to decipher whether these boosts reflect increased production of those styles or enhanced desire from wineries to market different wines than they might typically enter into wine competitions. I suspect it might be a case of a little from column A, a little from column B.
More submissions resulted in the largest judging panel to date for InterVin, including acclaimed sommeliers Sara d'Amato and James Treadwell, respected wine writers Rod Phillips and Daenna Van Mulligen and celebrated winemakers David Paterson and Sue-Ann Staff. The full roster is posted at intervin.ca.
Of course, the results are what truly matter to participating wineries and wine lovers. Tabulation is happening right now, with feverish staff members looking to identify how many gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded as well as which wineries ended up in the InterVin Top 10. Results will start to be released Sept. 15, with all awards reported in Vines Magazine's annual InterVin issue.
Wines of the Week:
Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery 2011 Larch Tree Hill Riesling, Okanagan Valley
BC $12.99 | AB $12.99 | ON $13.95
Made in a fresh, friendly style, this crisp Riesling balances its candied apple flavours with some grapefruit zest notes. That sweet/sour character makes this refreshing and enjoyable, especially during the waning days of summer.
Mirassou Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir, California
BC $14.99 (366880) | AB $13.99 | MB $12.99 (716890) | ON $12.95 (185249)
This full-flavoured and round red wine has established itself as Canada's best-selling Pinot Noir in volume and in sales. Pinot purists might find it simple and confected, but cherry jam and spice flavours make this a crowd-pleaser that works with or without food.