Monday, August 18, 2008

On medals and scores

I finally got round to reading the press release from the SCMWA on the winners of the 2008 Santa Cruz Mountains Commercial Wine Competition.

First off, congratulations to the winners. Woodside Vineyards not only got best SCM red wine for their 2005 King's Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (I reviewed the 2004 just last month and was very impressed) but also got gold for their Estate Cabernet and silvers for their 2005 estate Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Beauregard got best SCM White for their 2006 Bald Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay, as well as three other silver medals, all for Chardonnays.

The two top wines were a bit of a surprise. Best In Show went to a white port from Picchetti Winery called Angelica. Now personally I find port to be over-rated; I'm more of a Sauternes fan. I'll withhold judgement until I've tried it. But the highest score of all went to a Soquel Vineyards Zinfandel from Lodi!? What's the world coming to?

I was a bit surprised by the number of medals that were handed out; there were more gold medals awarded than Michael Phelps got. It turns out that rather than divide the wines into classes and award first, second and third place within each class all the wines receive a score out of 100 (I'll put aside my views on the 100 point system for now). Anything scoring over 90 points gets a gold, anything over 85 gets a silver and anything over 80 gets a bronze. Out of almost 150 wines only five of them failed to get any kind of medal. It reminded me of the scene from Meet the Fockers where DeNiro says "I didn't know they make 9th place ribbons" and Hoffman replies "Oh, they've got them all the way up to 10th place."

All that aside there were some interesting results, including Golds for Black Ridge (I've been saying that they were worth keeping an eye on) and - of all things - a 2007 Pelican Ranch Lodi Pinotage.

Nice to see several wines from Santa Clara Valley getting decent scores, including Muccigrosso Vineyards "Lynzin" (90, Gold) and "Stanzin" (89, Silver), Sarah's Vineyard 2005 Estate Pinot Noir (89, Silver), Martin Ranch 2004 JD Hurley Cabernet Sauvignon (89, Silver) and Clos LaChance 2004 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (88, Silver).

The medal winners will be on display during the Santa Cruz County Fair, which runs from September 9th-14th. The SCMWA is organising a tasting event for that weekend.

The official results table is here.