Chateau Ste. Michelle shines with Riesling at Pacific Rim International Wine Competition

By on April 24, 2015
The Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen 2013 Eroica was named best white wine at the 2015 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, which was stage April 22-13 in San Bernardino, Calif.

The Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen 2013 Eroica was named best white wine at the 2015 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, Calif. The dry Riesling, No. 336-28, appears during the April 23 best-of-show sweepstakes in the same lineup as the Michelle NV Brut — No. 21-1. (Photo by Eric Degerman//Great Northwest Wine)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Bob Bertheau and his team at Chateau Ste. Michelle nearly stole the entire show at the 30th annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition after winning awards for best of class in both the dry and off-dry Riesling categories as well as grand champion for best white wine.

csm-eroica-nv-bottleThe 2013 Eroica  ($20) from Washington’s Columbia Valley came within a single vote of claiming best of show at the San Bernardino, Calif., judging, which is held in conjunction with the 100-year-old National Orange Show.

The 2013 Eroica Gold ($30) won best of class among off-dry Rieslings, while the 2013 Dry Riesling ($10), a stunning, large-production wine, also earned a gold medal. It essentially lost out in the dry category to the Eroica — the wine that many in the industry credit with helping to inspire the rebirth of Riesling in the United States. The project, which began with the 1999 harvest, remains a partnership with famed German Riesling producer Ernst Loosen.

“I am so excited about our ‘Riesling Trifecta’ at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition,” Bertheau told Great Northwest Wine via email. “Gold for our Dry Riesling, Best of Class for Eroica Gold and Best White Wine for our Eroica!

“Well, of course, Riesling is kind of a big deal for us, and we love making them, but it is super exciting when others see how diverse and special our Washington state Rieslings can be,” Bertheau added. “Now grab a plate of Thai food, seafood, Indian food, heck just about any food — and let’s celebrate.”

Best-of-show honors went to Rancho de Philo in the nearby Cucamonga Valley for its Triple Cream Sherry ($39). The solera-style product of Mission grapes earned its way into the sweepstakes by topping the fortified category, and gold medals in major Southern California competitions are a tradition for this coveted nectar. Production is limited to about 350 cases each year, and it is the only wine produced by the family with six generations of winemaking in its background.

Wines from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia excelled during the two-day judging in Southern California, which saw more than 260 wineries create a field of nearly 1,100 entries from California, New York, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Kansas, Virginia, and Florida as well as Australia, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and New Zealand.

Walla Walla Vintners wins 4 gold medals at Pacific Rim

The 30th annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition attracted more than 1,000 entries. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

The 30th annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition attracted more than 1,000 entries. Pacific Northwest wines were awarded 49 gold medals during the Southern California judging.(Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Walla Walla Vintners amassed four gold medals, led by a best of class award for its 2012 Estate Syrah as well as gold medals for the 2012 Cabernet Franc, 2012 Sangiovese and 2012 Bello Rosso, a Super Tuscan-style blend. Earlier this year, the 2012 Estate Syrah made by William vonMetzger received a double gold at the Savor Northwest Wine Awards.

Sinclair Estate Vineyards in Walla Walla, led by former Ste. Michelle winemaker Amy Alvarez Wampfler, grabbed three gold medals, including best of class for her 2010 Merlot.

Victor Palencia, Wine Press Northwest magazine’s 2015 Washington Winery to Watch, continued his hot start to the competition season under his Palencia Wine Co., operation with a best of class for his 2014 Albariño and a gold for the Vino La Monarcha 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé — which won best of show at last month’s Great Northwest Wine Competition.

British Columbia’s Moon Curser strikes gold 4 times

Moon Curser Vineyards in the British Columbia resort community of Osoyoos, received praise from judges at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in the form of four gold medals. Three of them for its work with Syrah.

Moon Curser Vineyards in the British Columbia resort community of Osoyoos, received praise from judges at the 2015 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in the form of four gold medals. Three of those golds were for its work with Syrah. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Moon Curser Vineyards in Osoyoos, British Columbia, earned four gold medals — three of them involving Syrah, including a best of class for its 2012 Dead of the Knight blend. The competition also served as the latest example of the Okanagan Valley’s success with the Rhône grape, as Burrowing Owl Estate Winery also earned a gold medal for its 2012 Syrah.

Schmidt Family Vineyards in Oregon’s Applegate Valley was awarded best of class for its 2012 Tempranillo.

Gold medals won by other Ste. Michelle Wine Estates brands include Seven Falls Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 Hands 2012 The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and two wines by Michelle Sparkling — including the nonvintage Brut for best sparkling of the competition.

The National Orange Show Events Center operates as a non-profit public benefit corporation and manages a 120-plus acre, multiuse facility with the annual Citrus Fair as the centerpiece. Coke Roth, an attorney in Kennewick, Wash., continues to serve as the competition’s chief judge.

Here are the Pacific Northwest results from the 30th annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition:

Best white

Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2013 Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley, $20

Best of class

Backyard Vineyards 2014 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley $15
Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2013 Eroica Gold Riesling, Columbia Valley, $30
Dussek Family Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $36
Gordon Estate 2012 Tradition Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $35
Michelle Sparkling NV Brut, Columbia Valley, $14
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Dead of Night Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $38
Palencia Winery 2014 Albariño, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $18
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2012 Tempranillo, Applegate Valley, $36
Sinclair Estate Vineyards 2010 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $35
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $40

Gold

Amelia Wynn Winery 2012 Dwelley Vineyard Cepage Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $30
Amelia Wynn Winery 2012 Giovanni Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $30
Bench 1775 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Naramata Bench, $20
Bench 1775 2013 Whistler Riesling Ice Wine, Naramata Bench, $50
Brian Carter Cellars 2010 Tuttorosso Red Wine, Yakima Valley, $34,
Brian Carter Cellars 2011 Byzance Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $34
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, $27
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $27
Calona Vineyards 2013 Artist Series Pinot Noir, British Columbia, $13
Calona Vineyards 2013 Artist Series Sovereign Opal, Okanagan Valley, $10
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, $10
Church & State Wines 2011 Coyote Bowl Vineyard Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $20
Cliff Creek Cellars 2009 Claret, Rogue Valley, $25
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, British Columbia, $25
Girardet Wine Cellars 2012 Estate Syrah, Umpqua Valley, $38
Gordon Estate 2012 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Columbia Valley, $39
14 Hands Winery 2012 The Reseve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $30
Grantwood Winery 2012 Les Collines Vineyard Petit Verdot, Walla Walla Valley, $22
Harbinger Winery 2010 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $27
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards 2013 Barbera, Washington, $30
JoieFarm 2014 A Noble Blend White Wine, Okanagan Valley, $20
Kalala Organic Estate Winery 2011 Aspire Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $17
Michelle NV Brut Rosé, Columbia Valley, $14
Monster Vineyards 2013 Cabs, Okanagan Valley, $20
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Border Vines Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $25
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $25
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Bartsch Vineyard Contraband Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $29
Vino La Monarcha 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $15
Roza Ridge 2011 Petit Verdot, Rattlesnake Hills, $20
Sandhill Wines 2013 Sandhill Estate Vineyard Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $14
Sandhill Wines 2013 Osprey Ridge Vineyard Viognier, Okanagan Valley, $15
Seven Falls Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope, $20
Sinclair Estate Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $37
Sinclair Estate Vineyards 2011 Syrah, Wahluke Slope, $35
Stina’s Cellars 2013 Semillon Ice Wine, Wahluke Slope, $65
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Bello Rosso Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $35
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $30
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $25

Silver

Abacela 2012 Fiesta Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $23
Abacela 2014 Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $18.00
Abacela  2014 Albariño, Umpqua Valley, $21
Amelia Wynn Winery 2012 Dwelley Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $30
Backyard Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, $14
Backyard Vineyards NV Blanc de Noir, Fraser Valley, $17
Backyard Vineyards 2013 Syrah, British Columbia, $17
Backyard Vineyards 2014 Off-Dry Riesling, Okanagan Valley $15
Bench 1775 2013 Cab Franc-Malbec, Naramata Bench, $22
Bench 1775 2013 Osoyoos Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $25
Bench 1775 2013 Whistler Merlot Ice Wine, Naramata Bench, $50.00
Bench 1775 2013 Paradise Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Ice Wine, Naramata Bench, $50
Blakeslee Vineyard Estate 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé, Chehalem Mountains, $30
Brian Carter Cellars 2010 Solesce, Washington, $56
Brian Carter Cellars 2013 Oriana, Yakima Valley, $24
14 Hands 2011 The Reserve Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills, $20
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Athene Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $30
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, $28
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $24
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Similkameen Valley, $17
Calona Vineyards 2013 Artist Series Unoaked Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $10
CC Jentsch Cellars 2013 Syrah, Golden Mile Bench, $24
Chandler Reach Winery 2012 Estate Monte Regalo Red Wine, Yakima Valley, $26
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $30
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2011 Artist Series Meritage, Columbia Valley, $55
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Canoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills, $20
Church & State Wines 2012 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $20
Church & State Wines 2012 Coyote Bowl Vineyard Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $28
Church & State Wines 2013 Gravelbourg Vineyard Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $22
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Vineyard Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $22
Cliff Creek Cellars 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rogue Valley, $25
Coeur de Terre Vineyard 2012 Pinot Noir, McMinnville, $22
Coeur de Terre Vineyard  2012 Heritage Reserve Estate Pinot Noir, McMinnville, $36
Columbia Crest 2013 H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $15
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2011 Cougar Hills Vineyard Reserve Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $55
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2011 Cougar Hills Vineyard Anniversary Cuvée, Walla Walla Valley, $38
Darighe 2010 Proprietor’s Blend, Columbia Valley $65
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc, British Columbia, $25
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2013 Meritage, British Columbia, $23
Fort Berens Estate Winery 2013 Chardonnay, British Columbia, $18
Girardet Wine Cellars 2012 Estate Barbera, Umpqua Valley, $59
Girardet Wine Cellars 2012 Estate Sangivoese, Umpqua Valley, $59
Girardet Wine Cellars 2012 Chardonnay, Umpqua Valley, $20
Gordon Estate 2013 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $21
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards 2013 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $30
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards 2013 Primitivo, Wahluke Slope, $30
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards 2014 Shameless Hussy Rosé,  Columbia Valley, $18
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards 2014 Shameless Hussy Viognier, Lake Chelan, $18
Hyatt Vineyards 2012 Syrah, Rattlesnake Hills, $13
JoieFarm 2014 The Pure Grape Muscat, Okanagan Valley, $19
Kalala Organic Estate Winery 2011 Dostana Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $24
Le Chateau 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $30
Le Chateau 2012 Petit Verdot, Columbia Valley, $30
Lost River Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $26
McWatters Collection 2012 Meritage Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $20
McWatters Collection 2013 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $20
Monster Vineyards 2013 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $20
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Cabernet-Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $21
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Malbec, Okanagan Valley, $29
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Petit Verdot, Okanagan Valley, $29
Moon Curser Vineyards 2012 Tempranillo, Okanagan Valley, $29
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Afraid of the Dark White Wine, Okanagan Valley, $22
Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, $36
Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery 2012 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, $22
Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery 2013 Estate Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, $15
O•S Winery 2012 Sonas Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley    $25
Oak Knoll Winery NV Niagara, American, $8
Oak Knoll Winery 2013 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $14
Palencia Winery 2012 Syrah, Yakima Valley, $30
Palencia Winery 2012 Casa Amarilla, Yakima Valley, $36
Palencia Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, $18
Peller Estates Winery 2012 Family Series Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $10
Poplar Grove Winery 2011 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $30
Poplar Grove Winery 2012 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $35
Poplar Grove Winery 2014 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $22
Poplar Grove Winery 2014 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, $20
Poplar Grove Winery 2014 Blanc de Noir Malbec Rosé, Okanagan Valley, $25
Red Rooster Winery 2013 Hen House Ruffled Red, Okanagan Valley, $14
Red Rooster Winery 2013 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $14
Rocky Creek Winery 2014 Robin’s Pinot Noir Rosé, Vancouver Island, $16
Roza Ridge 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills, $20
Roza Ridge 2012 Syrah, Rattlesnake Hills, $15
Roza Ridge 2010 Roadside Red, Rattlesnake Hills, $20
Sandhill Wines 2014 Hidden Terrace Vineyard Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, $15
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Applegate Valley, $40
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2011 Malbec, Applegate Valley, $36
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, Applegate Valley, $24
Sinclair Estate Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $28
Sweet Cheeks Winery 2013 Riesling, Oregon, $14
Territorial Vineyards 2012 Stone’s Throw Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $32
Territorial Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $22
Territorial Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, $16
TIME Estate Winery 2012 Meritage,Okanagan Valley, $25
TIME Estate Winery 2013 Chardonnay,Okanagan Valley, $22
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Yellow Bird Vineyard Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $38
Wayne Gretzky Okanagan 2013 No. 99 Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah, British Columbia, $14
Wayne Gretzky Okanagan 2013 No. 99 Merlot, British Columbia, $14
Wayne Gretzky Okanagan 2013 No. 99 Chardonnay, British Columbia, $13

Bronze

Backyard Vineyards 2014 Rose, Fraser Valley, $13
Brian Carter Cellars2010 Le Coursier White Wine, Columbia Valley, $34
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2013 Chardonnay,Okanagan Valley, $20
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2011 Meritage, Okanagan Valley, $36
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, $25
CC Jentsch Cellars 2013 The Chase Red Wine, Golden Mile Bench, $16
CC Jentsch Cellars 2013 The Dance Rosé, Golden Mile Bench, $14
CC Jentsch Cellars 2013 Viognier, Golden Mile Bench, $18
Chandler Reach Winery 2012 Estate Syrah, Yakima Valley, $29
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $28
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Mimi Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills, $20
Church & State Wines 2012 Coyote Bowl Vineyard Malbec, Okanagan Valley, $28
Church & State Wines 2010 Coyote Bowl Vineyard Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $20
Church & State Wines 2011 Quintessential Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $44
Church & State Wines 2010 Quintessential Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $44
Cliff Creek Cellars 2009 Syrah, Rogue Valley, $25
Columbia Crest 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $45
Columbia Crest 2014 H3 Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven Hills, $15
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2011 Cougar Hills Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley, $42
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2011 Cougar Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $45
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2012 Cougar Hills Vineyard Dedication Nine, Walla Walla Valley, $20
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2013 Cabernet– Merlot, British Columbia, $20
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2012 Kay Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $21
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2013 Hush Rosé, Okanagan Valley, $16
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2013 Say Yes Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, $17
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2013 Riesling, Okanagan Valley, $16
14 Hands 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Washington, $10
Girardet Wine Cellars 2012 Bush Vine Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $59
Gordon Estate 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $28
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards 2014 Nauti Riesling, Lake Chelan, $22
Hyatt Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Rattlesnake Hills, $13
Hyatt Vineyards 2012 Merlot, Rattlesnake Hills, $13
Hyatt Vineyards 2012 Roadside Red Wine, Rattlesnake Hills, $13
JoieFarm 2013 PTG Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $20
JoieFarm 2014 Re-Think Pink Rosé, Okanagan Valley, $17
JoieFarm 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $19
JoieFarm 2014 Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, $19
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Arneis, Okanagan Valley, $22
Noble Ridge Vineyards and Winery 2013 Estate Reserve Meritage, Okanagan Valley, $24
O•S Winery 2012 Sonas Merlot, Yakima Valley, $25
Palencia Winery 2012 Grenache, Yakima Valley, $36
Peller Estates Winery 2012 Family Series Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, $10
Red Rooster Winery 2014 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, $14
Rocky Creek Winery 2014 Siegerrebe, Vancouver Island, $16
Roza Ridge 2011 Malbec, Rattlesnake Hills, $20
Sandhill Wines 2014 Hidden Terrace Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, $15
Sandhill Wines 2013 Sandhill Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, $15
Sandhill Wines 2014  Hidden Terrace Vineyard Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, $15
Schmidt Family Vineyards 2013 Albariño, Applegate Valley, $24
Sinclair Estate Vineyards 2011 Pentatonic Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $40
Sweet Cheeks Winery 2013 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $25
TIME Estate Winery 2013 Sundial White Wine, Okanagan Valley, $15
2 Hawk Vineyard & Winery NV Rosé, Southern Oregon, $20
2 Hawk Vineyard & Winery 2012 Viognier, Southern Oregon, $24
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Sagemoor Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $44
Wayne Gretzky Okanagan 2014 No. 99 Pinot Gris, British Columbia, $13

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast and contributor to Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the region's longest-running golf publication.

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