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2021 El Dorado Wine Competition Names 2018 Findleton Estate Winery Cooper Vineyard Carignane Best of Show


Best White goes to 2019 Carol Shelton Coquille Blanc Rhone Blend; Best Sweet to 2016 Batia Dolce Rojo

Placerville, Calif., — June 17, 2021 —Best Red and Best of Show at the 2021 El Dorado Wine Competition went to the 2018 Findleton Estate Winery Cooper Vineyard Carignane, also named Best Rhone of Show. Winemaker, Tom Findleton, was also awarded Best Amador Winemaker for 2021. Tom makes consistently great wines, packaged in the most exquisite bottles with original labels hand-painted by his talented artist wife, Pamela. 

Best White went to the 2019 Carol Shelton Coquille Blanc, Central Coast Rhone blend.  Shelton was recently named Winemaker of the Year at the 2021 Women’s Wine Competition, where her 2019 Coquille Rouge won Best of Show. 

Best Dessert went to the 2016 Batia Vineyard Dulce Rojo, made from Portuguese varieties.

The 2021 El Dorado Wine Competition, marked its 32nd year. Just under 400 wines, were judged by 10 panels of wine industry professionals, including wine writers, winemakers, viticulture experts and wine buyers. The competition was held at the Placerville Fairgrounds. 

The Sweepstakes round included 32 wines, each of which was rated double Gold and awarded Best of Class by the judging panels. Ursa Cellars and Jeff Runquist Wines both had four wines in the Sweepstakes round, and Karmere and Windwalker had three wines each. 

“The El Dorado Wine Competition showcases the tremendous breadth of this winegrowing region: witness a Carignane winning Best of Show for the first time,” commented wine judge and journalist, Laura Ness. “At the same time, the depth in the region’s Zinfandels, Barberas and Petite Sirahs continues to impress. There’s promise in the Italian varietal offerings, including Nebbiolo and Aglianico, and blends, like the Sirah-Syrah (Ursa Cellars), which our panel awarded Best of Class, show how beautifully these grapes can be made to harmonize together.”

Special Awards:

  • Best Barbera: 2019 Jeff Runquist Barbera, Amador County
  • Earth Friendly/Best Biodynamic Wine: 2018 Fenton Herriot Petite Sirah
  • Frank Herbert (EDC/Fairplay Zin Grapes) Award:  2017 Everhart Cellars Happy Zin
  • EDC Grape Growers-Vineyard: 2019 Oakstone Winery Mourvedre 
  • Best of El Dorado Winemaker: Oakstone Winery
  • Back Room Gold White: 2020 Bray Vineyards Barbera Rosé, Shenandoah Valley
  • Back Room Gold Zinfandel: 2019 Macchia “Oblivious” Zinfandel, Lodi
  • Back Room Gold Red: 2018 Lewis Grace Tempranillo, El Dorado

Jody Gray, CEO of the El Dorado County Fair & Event Center, and Wine Competition Director, said, “We were very excited to have our wine competition this year, after missing last year’s competition, which would have been our 32nd one. It was so fun to see old friends, winemakers, judges and back room staff. We have such a great balance of prestigious judges that come to Placerville to judge some exceptional wines. I was happy to see so many awards given out, and that the wines continue to please the judges.”

White Sweepstakes Wines

2019 Carol Shelton Wines Coquille Blanc (40% Grenache Blanc, 25% Viognier, 25% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne), Paso Robles: Best of Show White

  • 2020 Oakstone Winery Sauvignon Blanc Fiddlehead Vineyard, Fair Play
  • NV Barefoot Cellars Chardonnay, California
  • 2020 Ursa Vineyards Chardonnay Wilson Vyd, Clarksburg
  • 2020 Karmere Winery Empress Karmere Viognier, Shenandoah Valley E
  • 2019 Batia Vineyards Marsanne, El Dorado
  • 2020 Jeff Runquist Wines Verdelho, Peroni Ranch, Amador County
  • 2020 Karmere Winery Empress Dawn (55% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 22% Mourvedre), Shenandoah Valley
  • 2020 Ursa Vineyards Rose of Tannat, Silvaspoons Vineyard, Alta Mesa
  • 2020 Lewis Grace Winery Estate 50% Grenache, 50% Pinot Noir, El Dorado
  • 2020 Jeff Runquist Wines Rose of Sangiovese, Amador County

Red Sweepstakes Wines

2018 Findleton Estate Winery Carignane, Cooper Vineyard, Amador County: Best of Show Red

  • 2017 Everhart Cellars Estate Happy Zin Zinfandel, El Dorado
  • 2018 Milliare Winery Zinfandel, Ghirardelli Vyd, Calaveras County
  • 2018 Windwalker Vineyard “Foxy Lady” Old Vine Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills
  • 2018 Windwalker Vineyard Primitivo, Sierra Foothills
  • 2018 Cooper Vineyards Estate Sangiovese, Amador County
  • 2019 Jeff Runquist Wines Barbera, Amador County
  • 2019 Jeff Runquist Wines Barbera, Cooper Vineyard, Amador County
  • 2017 Amador Cellars “Miscela Italiana” (42% Primitivo, 33% Barbera, 25% Aglianico), Amador County
  • 2018 Fenton Herriott Vineyards Petite Sirah, El Dorado
  • 2017 Ursa Vineyards Petite Sirah, Sierra Foothills
  • 2019 Karmere Winery “Empress Joan” Petite Sirah,  Shenandoah Valley
  • 2019 Oakstone Winery DeCascabel Mourvedre, Fair Play
  • 2018 Batia Vineyards Grenache, El Dorado
  • 2017 Ursa Vineyards Sirah-Syrah (Syrah Petite Sirah Blend), Sierra Foothills
  • 2017 Sera Fina Cellars D’s Blend  (50% Syrah, 50% Grenache), Amador County
  • 2018 Shenandoah Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Amador County
  • 2018 Windwalker Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Fair Play
  • 2018 Rosa-Luca Estates “Uncle George” Cabernet Sauvignon, Borello Family Vyd, E l Dorado
  • 2019 Trevor Grace Estate Touriga, El Dorado
  • 2018 Convergence Vineyards “Prospector” (33% Zinfandel, 33% Syrah, 33% Barbera), Amador County

Congratulations to all the medalists. Results can be found here: 2021ElDoradoResults

About The Judges

Thirty prestigious experts within the media, trade, hospitality, winemaking and education industries from around the country come together to judge these wines each year. Judges info can be found on the Fair website here

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