Friday, August 6, 2021 — Distinguished wine judges from Northern California gathered in Mendocino County’s beautiful Anderson Valley to judge the 42nd annual Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition, one of the oldest regional wine competitions in California. This year, there were 233 wine entries from 46 wineries. An impressive number of gold medals were awarded: 46 double golds and 62 gold medals. This year’s judges were Dan Berger, Jim Gordon, Laura Ness, Chris Sawyer, Greg Richtarek, Ziggy Eschliman, Amanda Slade, Marsella Charron, and Wilfred Wong.
The Best of Show awards are:
Best of Show Sparkling – McFadden Farm Cuvée Brut, Potter Valley
Charlie Barra Award / Best of Show White – Navarro Vineyards 2020 Edelzwicker, Anderson Valley
Best of Show Rosé – Lula Cellars 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
John Parducci Award / Best of Show Red – Thomas T. Thomas Vineyards 2018 Reserve Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
Best of Show Dessert – Navarro Vineyards 2019 Cluster Select Late Harvest Riesling, Anderson Valley
Navarro Vineyards was a big winner at the wine competition with all 23 of their entries receiving medals: two Best of Show awards, nine double golds, five golds and nine silver medals. Husch Vineyards also showed well with three of their red wines making it into the Best of Show round out of a total of 11 wines considered for the Best of Show Red. Both Fathers & Daughters Cellars and Greenwood Ridge Vineyards had two wines in the Best of Show round, with one white and one red each.
Of course, Pinot Noir was the big player in the Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition with a total of 44 entries for vintages ranging from 2017—2019. The 2018 Thomas T. Thomas Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir was the judges’ favorite in their first year entering the competition, earning the coveted John Parducci Award for Best of Show red wine.
Veteran Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition judges were thrilled with the quality of wines in this year’s competition. After a long day of tasting, the judges were wowed with the contenders for the Best of Show Red Wine. “This is the best flight of reds in the thirty years I’ve been coming to this competition,” commented Dan Berger. And illustrious wine buyer Wilfred Wong of Wine.com added, “This was the most impressive Best of Show red flight I’ve ever tasted, anywhere in the world.”
Gold medal wines will be poured at the Mendocino County Fair in Boonville, September 17-19, 2021.
A complete list of the 2021 Mendocino County Fair Wine Competition awards is available at www.mendowine.com.