Three wines won Best of Show honors from this year’s Oregon Wine Competition®, announced on Thursday, Aug. 26 during the Oregon Wine Experience® Virtual Medal Celebration. A Willamette Valley winery took home a Best of Show honor for Pinot Noir for the first time in the history of the Oregon Wine Competition, while four wines received Best of Class honors—a new subcategory added to the competition in 2021.
This year, 82 wineries across 17 American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in Oregon entered their wines in the Oregon Wine Competition based on three categories: Specialty, White and Red. Below are the 2021 Best of Show honorees:
Specialty: 2020 Del Rio Vineyards Grenache Rosé (Rogue Valley AVA)
White: 2018 StoneRiver Vineyard Chardonnay (Rogue Valley AVA)
Red: 2017 Blakeslee Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir (Laurelwood District AVA)
The 2021 Virtual Medal Celebration saluted all of the award-winning wines, 178 of which received at least one medal—Silver, Gold, Double Gold, Best of Class or Best of Show. This year’s world– renowned judges commented that there were some really nice wines that came across the table. Syrah, Grenache and Chardonnay, specifically Rhône varieties, were a standout across the state.
“There were a lot of really nice wines that came across the table. We were scoring these at a very high standard,” said Robert Paulinski, Master of Wine and 2021 Oregon Wine Competition judge. “There’s elegance, there’s weight, there’s a lot of structure, but it’s balanced. That’s something you don’t find in a lot of places.”
Best of Class is awarded to one wine of any subcategory (i.e. Pinot Noir) that exceeds 20 entries, as deemed by the panel of judges. This year, four subcategories met these qualifications and here are the winners:
Pinot Noir: 2017 Blakeslee Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir (Laurelwood District AVA)
Chardonnay: 2018 StoneRiver Vineyard Chardonnay (Rogue Valley AVA)
Rosé: 2020 Del Rio Vineyards Grenache Rosé (Rogue Valley AVA)
Red Blend: 2018 Peter William Vineyard “Extravagance” (Rogue Valley AVA)
In addition to the three Best of Show winners and four Best of Class honorees, eight wines merited a Double Gold, 14 took Gold and 152 received Silver. The full list of medal recipients is available here.
The panel of six experienced judges individually scored 343 wines based on quality, typicity, balance and structure at the Oregon Wine Competition in July. This year’s panel included:
James Bube, Master Sommelier
David Keck, Master Sommelier
Robert Paulinski, Master of Wine
Tonya Pitts, Sommelier/Educator, Wine Consultant
Peg San Felippo, Wine Journalist
Sheri Sauter Morano, Master of Wine
“The Oregon Wine Competition is one of the most professionally conducted and meaningful regional wine shows I have encountered,” said Bree Stock, Master of Wine, Education Director at Oregon Wine Board and previous Oregon Wine Competition judge. “This is a competition of the highest caliber, and I recommend both producers and judges accept the invitation to participate should it arise.”
The Oregon Wine Competition continues to expand its reach throughout the state. Wineries can submit their wines to Oregon Wine Competition each year between April and June.
To learn more about Oregon Wine Competition or view the Medal Celebration ceremony, visit: www.theoregonwineexperience.com/wine-competition/.