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First-Ever Los Angeles Invitational Wine & Spirits Challenge Names Winners: Adobe Road Winery and Sire Spirits Take Top Honors 

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Adobe Road, Cabernet Sauvignon. Photo by: © Erik Castro

MARCH 1, 2022 – Winners have been announced in the first-ever Los Angeles Invitational Wine & Spirits  Challenge. A Cabernet Sauvignon from Adobe Road Winery (www.adoberoadwines.com) and an XO  Cognac from Sire Spirits (www.sirespirits.com) topped their fields to be named Best of the Best. 

The competition was established, in conjunction with Los Angeles-based beverage professionals  (representing both the on- and off-premise channels), to highlight the best of the best wine and spirits producers in the world, and to introduce those producers to the largest market of consumers in the country.  

Judging took place February 20-22 and, says event producer Debra Del Fiorentino of Wine Competitions  Management & Production (winecompetitions.com), “Typically, a strong first-year competition can expect  about 500 entries. We were thrilled to receive more than 1,250 submissions — producers were clamoring to  get in!” 

Even with a large number of entries, competition was stellar. Among the more than 100 Best of Class  (BOC) category winners, six products earned perfect 100-point scores from the judges. Hundreds more  libations were awarded Double Gold and Gold medals across the wine and spirits fields.  

The top-ranked wine, Adobe Road Winery’s 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon called Beckstoffer Georges III, was  described by judges as “Dusty, cherry, perfume; terroir driven; rich ripe berries; pretty barrel spice.”  Presciently, one judge dubbed the anonymous wine “classic Napa” — well before its winning identity  and Rutherford AVA were revealed. 

Owned by award-winning musician, entrepreneur, actor and producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Sire  Spirits’ Branson Cognac Grande Champagne XO was named Best of the Best in the spirits category. Judges raved, “Ethereal mouth feel; angel’s share; beautiful.”

Branson, Cognac. Photo by: © Erik Castro 

The Los Angeles Times, which is media sponsor of the competition, will publish its own notification of  the event and results in a future edition. Additionally, winning producers will be featured in a robust LA  Times promotional campaign targeting wine, spirits and food enthusiasts. Next year’s competition will take place in February 2023.

Below is a list of Best of Class winners. For a full list of medal winners, go to these links: Wine results; Spirits results.

Los Angeles Invitational Wine & Spirits Challenge 

Best of Show and Best of Class Winners 

Wine

Best of the Best Wine 

Best of Show and Best Red Wine 
Adobe Road Winery 2017 Beckstoffer Georges III (BOC, 100 pts.) 

Best of Show Dessert/Late Harvest 
Quady Winery 2019 Elysium (BOC, 100 pts.) 
Navarro Vineyards 2019 Late Harvest Gewürtztraminer (BOC, 100 pts.) 

Best of Show Rosé Wine 
Baily Vineyard & Winery Grandol Rosé (BOC, 97 pts.) 

Best of Show Sake 
Colorado Sake Company NV American Standard Sake (BOC, 96 pts.) 

Best of Show Sparkling Wine 
Breathless Wines NV Blanc de Noirs (BOC, 97 pts.) 

Best of Show White Wine 
Cru Winery 2020 Albariño (BOC, 97 pts.) 

Spirits

Best of the Best Spirits 

Best of Show and Best Cognac XO or Equivalent 
Sire Spirits Branson Cognac XO (BOC, 100 pts.) 

Best Aquavit 
Oss Craft Distillery Bareksten Botanical Aquavit (BOC, 93 pts.) 

Best American Straight Rye 
Wildwood Spirits Co. Rendition (BOC, 96 pts.) 

Best Brandy (Alambic pts.) 
Jaxon Keys Winery and Distillery Rare Brandy (BOC, 98 pts.) 

Best Gin 
Alley 6 Craft Distillery Harvest Gin (BOC, 98 pts.) 

Best Liqueur 
C88 Holdings, LLC Rivulet Artisan Pecan Liqueur (BOC, 96 pts.) 

Best Ready-to-Drink 
Zing Zang RTD Bloody Mary made with Vodka (BOC, 97 pts.) 

Best Reposado 
Tequila AMAN Reposado Tequila (BOC, 97 pts.) 

Best Small Batch Whiskey 
Garrison Brothers Guadalupe Straight Texas Bourbon (BOC, 95 pts.)

Best Soju/Shochu
Archibald & Wens Inc. West 32 Reserve Soju (BOC, 97 pts.) 

Best Tequila Añejo
E & J. Gallo Winery Familia Camarena Tequila Añejo (BOC, 94 pts.) 

Best Tequila Blanco 
Tequila AMAN Blanco (BOC, 94 pts.) 

Best Vodka 
44º North Idaho Potato Vodka (BOC, 97 pts.) 

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