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Prominent Wines Dominate Consumer and Industry Professionals Votes at the Double-Blind Tasting for the Third Annual Oakland Wine Festival’s Judgment of Oakland


The Oakland Wine Festival presents the 2017 results for the Judgment of Oakland.TM This annual report shares the detailed outcomes of one of the first such event that invites consumers to double-blind taste exceptional wines from around the world, side-by-side with winemaking legends and wine industry leaders. Double-blind tasting is a rare experience or invitation offered to only select professionals worldwide for centuries.

“It is wonderful that Melody Fuller, Founder and President, Oakland Wine Festival, is involving more consumers in the wine judging process.” – Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Distinguished Professor of Wine and a Professor of Management at Sonoma State University.

Judgment of Oakland TM

This year’s event featured 121 wines. Over 200 winemakers, vintners, winery owners, sommeliers, trade, media and wine aficionados and novices double-blind tasted and privately cast close to 3,000 votes of a 1, 2 or 3 on the wines.

The 2011, Quixote, Helmet of Mambrino, Petite Sirah from the Napa Valley took the top honor for the 2017 Best of Show Judgment of Oakland TM

Keep reading to learn who the other winning wines are for the represented vintages, varietals, appellations and more!

The wines, presented in plush black velvet bags, range in price from the quite affordable to the very expensive, thus representing a broad range of varietals, vintages and winemaking styles.

The wines tasted and voted on covered an expansive landscape and a wide variety of appellations. 

Napa Valley vintners presented an amazing depth of fine wines.  Sonoma County had a spectacular showing of wines.  Exciting wines from France, New Zealand, and Brazil amazed, confused and teased many of our vintners, winery owners, sommeliers, media, trade and consumers. These wines were in the top ten in several categories from top vintages to top varietals.

Beautiful wines from Oregon, Monterey, Livermore, Lodi, Mendocino and Paso Robles showed quite strong in this year’s Judgment of Oakland TM.

Delicious wines from South Africa, the 2017 featured International Wine Region for this year’s Annual Oakland Wine Festival, nearly stole the show while capturing the hearts and palates of the wine savvy and novice alike.

A fine team of sommeliers and wine educators, led by Ryan Williams, CSW the Oakland Wine Festival’s Honorary and Lead Sommelier, provided guidance for participants as they tasted, voted on and discussed the wines. 

All were encouraged to vote their wine palates and to responsibly taste the extensive variety, and not all 121, of the national and international wines that our invited vintners selected to share and showcase.

Votes cast by consumers, sommeliers, winemakers, trade, or media participants were also color-coded, thus identifying the classification of participant who has cast the vote. 

Every wine had its own private black box which allowed votes to be cast with discretion.

Winemakers, vintners, consumers, members of the media and wine trade industry spent much time meeting and enjoying one another during the Judgment of Oakland TM double-blind tasting.  In that spirit, every participant did not submit a vote for every wine tasted. 

Statistics for the Judgment of Oakland TM

Presenting a depth of wine varietals supports the educational and charitable goals of the Oakland Wine Festival which are to provide, promote and preserve the knowledge, exposure, art and understanding of wine, wine appreciation, winemaking, viticulture, enology and food.  We accomplish these objectives by sharing our industry relationships, intimate workshops, special events, and by creating unique excursions and opportunities to spend time with winemakers and chefs from around the world.  Consumers and wine professionals continue to applaud the value and uniqueness of The Oakland Wine Festival and the Oakland Wine and Food Society. 

All remaining wine from the 121 bottles was donated that day to a local nonprofit organization who used the wine for their fundraiser the following day.  Their fundraiser, which was in jeopardy because they had no wine to serve, would not have happened without our donation.

30 Wine Varieties Number of Wines
Cabernet Sauvignon 33
Red Blend 17
Chardonnay 9
Pinot Noir 8
Merlot 5
Sauvignon Blanc 5
Zinfandel 5
Chenin Blanc 4
Viognier 4
Cabernet Franc 3
Petite Sirah 3
Rose’ 3
Brut Rose’ Sparkling Wine 2
Petite Verdot 2
Shiraz 2
Syrah 2
Brut Burgundy 1
Brut Sparkling Wine 1
Malbec 1
Marsanne 1
Mourvedre 1
Pinotage 1
Pinotage Rose’ 1
Riesling 1
Rose’ Burgundy 1
Roussannne 1
Semillon 1
Symphony 1
White Blend 1
Zinfandel Port 1
Total Number of Wines 121

Results for the Judgment of Oakland TM

Fine-wines and high-end wines were the overwhelming all-around favorites with our participants, thus again debunking lingering long held beliefs, biased opinions, stereotypes, urban myths and erroneous wine consumption assumptions.

Best in Show!

Best in Show wines are the wine that takes the top spots from of the highest ranking of the weighted votes cast by consumers and professionals.

The 2011, Quixote, Helmet of Mambrino, Petite Sirah from the Napa Valley took the top honor for the 2017 Best of Show Judgment of Oakland TM

The Top 60 Best in Show wines (represents 50% of the total number of wines showcased) are comprised of 8 of the 10 presented vintages which speaks volumes for the wine quality and diverse winemaking styles of our wines and winemakers.

Within the top ten of our Best in Show, Cabernet Sauvignon represented 50% of the wines, Chenin Blanc held down 20%, and Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel each had 10% of the top 10 wines.

The 2014 vintage took four of the top 10 spots in our Best of Show.  Two 2015 vintages, and a sole 2012 vintage, which also came from Quixote Winery, rounded out our top 10 vintages.

To learn much more about the consumers and professionals wine rankings and choices by varietal, vintage, appellation and more, please click her or visit our website where you will find the full report: www.oaklandwinefestival.com.

About The Oakland Wine Festival

The Oakland Wine Festival is a high-profile, educational, international wine and food event featuring celebrated winemakers from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and around the world. The festival is a collaboration between Founder, Melody Fuller, and several wine industry leaders in the Napa Valley and beyond.  Fuller is a wine educator, wine writer, publisher and editor focused primarily on white papers, lifestyle articles and books.  Melody was named Best Westerner by Sunset Magazine for the innovative and creative work that she does in the wine world.  She was an invited attendee at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley for two years.

The Oakland Wine Festival is the result of the desire to further acknowledge an overlooked – yet key – community of wine lovers who appreciate having world-class vintners and chefs within arm’s reach.  Over 100 wineries accepted the invitation of the festival’s Honorary Steering Committee, composed of wine industry luminaries, to participate or return to this annual event.

“A key part of our mission is to build new relationships and deepen invaluable and authentic relationships between winemakers, wineries, sommeliers, media and trade professional, and the seasoned and curious wine and food enthusiasts from all over the world” states Fuller.

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