Best White goes to 2020 Oak Farm Fiano; Best Rosé to 2020 Bricoleur Rosé of Grenache; Best Sparkling to 2016 Domaine Carneros Brut; Best Dessert to 2018 Burgdorf Vidal Blanc Ice Wine; Best Cider to Black Apple Cidery Hibiscus Hard Cider
Santa Rosa, Calif., —May 17, 2021—What do women want? They want brilliant red blends, crisp enticing whites, rosés they can drink all day, a cider that cuts the dust on a hot summer afternoon and an exotic ice wine they can end the evening with, accompanied by a cheese board. Clearly, the results of the Women’s International Wine Competition, judged by women and featuring a record number of wines from around the world, demonstrate this.
Winemaker Carol Shelton was gratified and honored to take Best of Show for her 2019 Coquille Rouge Rhone Style Blend, a fetching, energetic Rhone style blend comprised of 34% Mourvèdre, 17% Carignane, 17% Petite Sirah 15% Alicante Bouschet and 17% Grenache Noir. This wine literally gets up and dances. Shelton was also named “Woman Winemaker of The Year” for her overall medal winning performance at the competition. Congratulations!
Best Red of Show was actually a tie between the fun and sassy 2019 Shelton Coquille Rouge and the admirably crafted 2018 Sobon Estate Petite Sirah from Amador, elegant, zippy, peppery and acid-driven, which fired on all cylinders, and was described by wine judge Spreti Valente as “Superbly elegant. In short, Elegance over Brawn! Blueberry notes, dark chocolate undertones, silky tannins. I mean really silky tannins in a Petite Sirah?! Hell, yes!!!!! And a finish that went on forever. In my opinion, if you think you are not a Petite Sirah lover, give this one a shot!”
Taking Best of Show White was the herbal-edged 2020 Fiano from Oak Farm Estate, Lodi, made by up and coming rockstar winemaker, Sierra Zeiter, who grew up in Lodi, got her degree from Cal Poly and interned at Daou in Paso Robles.
Best of Show Rosé went to Bricoleur Vineyards of Windsor for their 2020 “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants” Rosé of Grenache, estate grown: a fun quaffer, filled with the flavors of spring, including lime, strawberries and cheery cherries.
Best Sparkling went to the 2016 Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Estate Brut Carneros, Methode Traditionnelle, redolent of yeasty brioche, lemon curd and orange peel, a perfect marriage of Old meets New world styles.
Best Dessert Wine was awarded to Burgdorf Vineyards from Lake Michigan for their 2018 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc, a silky, unctuous, apricot and butterscotch nectar of the gods.
Best Cider went to a rosy magenta pink hued Hibiscus Cider from Black Apple Cidery in Arkansas that tasted like candied apples and hibiscus tea.
To win Best of Show, the 2019 Carol Shelton Coquille Rouge had to compete with 11 other wines in the red category, including a brilliant 2018 Ferrari Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains, which picked up 11 votes in the first round, as well as the 2017 Hawk & Horse Cabernet Franc from Lake County with 11 votes, and the 2018 Sobon Petite Sirah from Amador, with 15 votes. The Coquille Rouge scored 14 points in the first round, where judges vote by acclimation, meaning they can vote for as many wines as they want. Then, the selections are narrowed down to the top two vote getters, and with 20 judges voting, both the Petite Sirah and the Coquille Rouge scored 10 votes. A tie was declared.
In only one round of voting for Best White, the 2020 Oak Farm Fiano received 13 votes to the 2020 Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards Viognier’s 10, making it the clear winner. Other whites garnering significant votes were the 2020 Navarro Pinot Gris with 8 and the perfumey, vivacious 100% Valvin Muscat from Presque Isle Wine Cellars with 7.
In the Rosé Category, the 2020 “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants” Grenache Rosé from Bricoleur Vineyards in Windsor, scored 16 votes right off the bat, with the 50/50 Cinsault and Grenache blend from Rose Gold Rosé, AOP Cotes De Provence, scoring 6, and a rather fun rosé spritzer from Barefoot, scoring 2.
The vote for Best of Show Overall was a showdown between the 2016 Domaine Carneros Brut (2 votes), the 2020 Oak Farm Fiano (3), 2020 “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants” Grenache Rosé (1), the 2019 Shelton Coquille Rouge (7), the 2018 Sobon Estate Petite Sirah (4), the 2018 Burgdorff Vidal Blanc Ice Wine (1) and the Hibiscus Hard Cider (1). They were all amazing, but the Coquille Rouge took the crown.
This year’s competition drew an increase of 200 entries over last year’s competition.
Debra Del Fiorentino, President of Wine Competitions Production & Management (WCP&M), who owns and operates the International Women’s Wine Competition, among many others, said, “Once again, we are grateful for the support of the local county Health Department in allowing us to run this competition. And we are exceedingly grateful to all the wineries who continually send us their wines for evaluation, knowing we give them the utmost consideration. It such a pleasure to see wines from all over the world making it into the finals, giving the judges a chance to taste gems they would never otherwise experience. I highly encourage everyone to order one of each of the Sweepstakes entries listed here. Every bottle, and every can, tells a story!”
- Best of Show Red & Best of Show Overall: 2019 Carol Shelton Coquille Rouge, Central Coast, $25
- Best of Show White: 2020 Oak Farm Fiano, Lodi, Mokelumne River, $31
- Best of Show Sparkling: 2016 Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Estate Brut, Carneros, Methode Traditionnelle, $36
- Best of Show Rosé: 2020 “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants” Rosé of Grenache, Fountaingrove, $29
- Best of Show Reds (Tie): 2019 Carol Shelton Coquille Rouge, Central Coast, $25, and 2018 Sobon Estate Reserve Petite Sirah, Amador County, $28
- Best of Show Dessert: 2018 Burgdorff Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Lake Michigan Shore, $58
- Best of Show Cider: Black Apple Cidery Hibiscus Hard Cider, AR, $8.99
White Sweepstakes Wines:
- 2020 Wakefield Taylors Wines St. Andrews Riesling, Clare Valley, $40
- 2020 Oak Farm Fiano, Lodi, Mokelumne River, $31
- 2020 Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards Viognier, Lodi, $30
- 2019 Halleck Vineyard Dry Gewurztraminer, Calandrelli Vineyard, Russian River Valley, $50
- 2020 Navarro Pinot Gris, Anderson Valley, $19.50
- 2020 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, $21.99
- 2020 Oak Farm Chardonnay, Lodi, Mokelumne River, $20
- NV Cowgirl Sisterhood Moscato, (Vintage Wine Estates), CA $12
- NV San Sebastian “Vintner’s White” Carlos, Florida, $10.99
- NV Presque Isle Wine Cellars “Bianco Fresco,” 100% Valvin Muscat, Lake Erie, PA, $13.99
Red Sweepstakes Wines:
- 2018 Greenwood Ridge Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $40
- 2018 Ferrari Ranch Wines Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains, $58
- 2018 St. Francis Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma County, $22
- 2018 Tenuta de Ghizzano “Il Ghizzano Rosso,” (95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot), Costa Toscana IGT, Italy, $25
- 2018 LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards Macotera 09 Vineyard Barbera, Clements Hills, $32
- 2018 Imagery Estate Winery “Tusca Brava,” (37% Sangiovese, 34% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc), Sonoma Valley, $57
- 2019 Carol Shelton “Coquille Rouge,” (34% Mourvèdre, 17% Carignane, 17% Petite Sirah 15% Alicante Bouschet, 17% Grenache Noir Central Coast, $25
- 2018 Berryessa Gap Malbec, Yolo County, $22
- 2017 Hawk & Horse Estate Cabernet Franc, Red Hills, Lake County, $65
- 2018 Stephen & Walker Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain, Napa, $95
- 2018 Holesinsky Winery Estate 100% JH Syrah, Snake River, ID, $22
- 2018 Sobon Estate Reserve Petite Sirah, Amador County, $28
Results by Best of Show/Class: 2021 Womens Best Of
Results by varietal: 2021 Womens Varietal
Results by company: 2021 Womens Company
Complete results: 2021 Results
About Wine Competitions Management & Production (WCMP)
This organization owns and operates a variety of competitions including Sunset International Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, International Eastern Wine Competition, East Meets West, International Women’s Wine Competition, Harvest Challenge, the Craft Distillers Spirits Competition, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, and Experience Rosé. WCMP also manages the California Cider Competition and the Mendocino Apple Show International Cider Competition