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Ultimate Wine Challenge Announces 2017 Results


40 Wines Are Awarded the Chairman’s Trophy, The Highest Accolade

Hawthorne, NY (June 6, 2017) – Ultimate Wine Challenge®, the world’s platinum standard for wine competitions announces the results of the eighth Ultimate Wine Challenge (UWC). UWC was held over the span of four weeks at the Ultimate Beverage Challenge evaluation center in Hawthorne, NY.

Led by UBC Founder and Judging Chairman F. Paul Pacult, thirteen of the world’s foremost wine experts – retail and restaurant buyers, journalists, authors, and educators – convened to evaluate more than 1,200 still, sparkling and fortified wines, ciders, and sakes from around the world.

This extraordinary group of world-class judges included James Conley, wine buyer; Vitalii Dascaliuc, sommelier and wine educator; Doug Frost, Master Sommelier, Master of Wine, journalist, consultant, and buyer; Tim Gagnon, writer and consultant; Tracy Ellen Kamens, Ed.D, DWS, consultant; Tess Rose Lampert, wine educator; John Rankin, consultant and writer; Mike Reilly, CSW; Patricia Savoie, wine journalist; Rick Schofield, CWE, consultant; Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine and author; Paul Tanguay, buyer and consultant, and F. Paul Pacult.

Forty wines were awarded UWC’s highest honor, the Chairman’s Trophy. Additional accolades included Finalist, Great Value (awarded to entries with a high price/value ratio – showing that great wines don’t need to be expensive), and the Tried & True Award®, bestowed on brands that have demonstrated unfailing, consistent quality, year after year.

UWC’s primary mission is to provide a level playing field for all entries. In accordance with UWC’s strict methodology, all wines, ciders and sakes were judged in appropriate glassware at the proper temperature and were grouped in small flights of 2 to 8 wines, according to grape type, region, and price.

Said Pacult of UWC 2017, “Assessing with care and precision an international field of 1,200+ wine, cider, and sake submissions takes a herculean effort from UWC’s exemplary judges and back-of-house team. Each succeeding year’s growth in entries from producers making wine, cider and sake on five continents points to their belief in UWC’s complete commitment to impartial methodology, verifiable authority, and uncompromising integrity. Everything we do, each system we’ve installed, is geared to a singular purpose: to showcase every entry’s virtues in a field of its peers.”

Top-scoring wines will be published in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge 2017 Guide To The World’s Best Wine & Spirits in the October 2017 issue of Beverage Media, which is referenced by over 75,000 beverage alcohol buyers in the U.S. market.

Full results, including scores, awards and tasting notes can be found at www.ultimate-beverage.com/uwc2017results

The 2017 Ultimate Wine Challenge Chairman’s Trophy Winners

Red Wines:

  • Château La Haye Majesté 2012 Saint-Estèphe (Red Wines—France)
  • Doña Silvina de Verano Malbec 2016 Mendoza, Argentina (Malbec—World)
  • J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 St. Helena, United States (Cabernet Sauvignon—World)
  • J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah 2014 Paso Robles, United States (Petite Sirah—World)
  • KWV Classic Collection Pinotage 2015 Western Cape, South Africa (Other Red Varietals—World)
  • Mahrem Ekigaina 2012 Aegean, Turkey (Red Wines—Eastern Mediterranean)
  • Monte do Pintor Tinto 2014 Alentejo (Red Wines—Portugal)
  • MontGras Quatro Red Blend 2016 Colchagua Valley, Chile (Red Blends—Southern Hemisphere)
  • Mullan Road Cellars Red Blend 2014 Columbia Valley, United States (Red Blends—North America)
  • Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2014 Northern Sonoma County (Zinfandel—USA)
  • Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir 2014 Sonoma Coast, United States (Pinot Noir—World)
  • Ron Rubin Dutton Cherry Ridge Vineyard Cool Climate Syrah 2013 Green Valley of Russian River Valley, United States (Shiraz/Syrah—World)
  • San Felo Aulus Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Tuscany (Red Wines—Italy)
  • Viña Albali Gran Reserva Selección Privada Tempranillo 2010 Valdepeñas (Red Wines—Spain)
  • William Hill Estate Winery Merlot 2014 Central Coast, United States (Merlot—World)

White Wines:

  • Arca Nova 2016 Vinho Verde (White Wines—Portugal)
  • Cantine Aurora Moscato 2016 Piedmont (White Wines—Italy)
  • Garciarévalo Finca Tres Olmos Verdejo Liás 2015 Rueda (White Wines—Spain)
  • Joel Gott Pinot Gris 2015 Oregon, United States (Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris—World)
  • Maison Castel Grande Réserve Chardonnay 2016 Pays d’Oc (White Wines—France)
  • Parallel 44 Frozen Tundra White 2016 Wisconsin, United States (Sweet White Wines—World)
  • RDLR The Magician White Wine 2014 California (White Blends—North America)
  • Rodney Strong Chardonnay 2015 Sonoma County, United States (Chardonnay—World)
  • Souverain Sauvignon Blanc 2015 California, United States (Sauvignon Blanc—World)
  • Wagner Vineyards Dry Riesling 2015 Finger Lakes, United States (Riesling—World)

Rosé Wines

  • Les Valentines Le Caprice de Clémentine 2016 Côtes de Provence, France (Rosé/Blush—Europe)
  • Zugibe Vineyards Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2016 Finger Lakes, United States (Rosé/Blush—North America)

Champagne/Sparkling Wines

  • Cantine Aurora Dolce Stilnovo Rosso Piedmont, Italy (Frizzante Wines—World)
  • Chapel Down Three Graces 2010 Tenterden, England (Sparkling Wines—World)
  • Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Le Rêve 2010 Carneros (Sparkling Wines—USA)
  • Merotto Cuvée del Fondatore Graziano Merotto 2015 Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore (Prosecco—Italy)
  • MM Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2012 (Cava—Spain)
  • Moët & Chandon Brut Grand Vintage 2008 Épernay (Champagne—France)

Fortified Wines:

  • Elysium Black Muscat Fortified Dessert Wine 2015 California, United States (Fortified—North America)
  • Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port Douro (Porto—Portugal)


  • Angry Orchard The Muse Hudson Valley, United States (Ciders—North America)

Miscellaneous Wines:

  • Cruz Garcia Rel Red, Spain (Sangria—World)


  • Hakkaisan Yukimuro Snow Aged 3 Years Junmai Ginjo Sake Niigata, Japan (Junmai Ginjo—World)
  • Okuizumo Nita-mai Junmai Dai Ginjo Sake Shimane, Japan (Junmai Dai Ginjo—World)
  • Tengumai Yamahai Jikomi Junmai Sake Hakusan, Japan (Junmai—World)

All products are rated on the 100-point scale by panels of the wine industry’s most renowned judges. All wines rated 80 points and higher receive an individual results page (accessed by clicking on “MORE DATA…” next to the product name) which provides downloadable marketing art work for the product. Wines rated 85 points and higher receive a tasting note also accessed from the individual results page. UWC results are promoted globally via email and web publication to both trade buyers and consumers.

Ultimate Wine Challenge…No shortcuts. Just honest, impartial judging.


Ultimate Beverage Challenge (UBC) provides expert evaluation of wines and spirits for producers, importers, and marketers through its two innovative annual competitions: Ultimate Wine Challenge and Ultimate Spirits Challenge. UBC partners are F. Paul Pacult, Sue Woodley, and David Talbot. Photos and more are at ultimate-beverage.com.

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