Brian Carter Cellars scores big at Jefferson Cup Invitational

By on December 2, 2015
Brian Carter is owner and winemaker at Brian Carter Cellars in Woodinville, Washington.

Brian Carter of Brian Carter Cellars walks through Klipsun Vineyard on Washington’s Red Mountain collecting samples of Cabernet Sauvignon. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Capping what has been another superb year, Brian Carter Cellars in Woodinville, Wash., has earned two prestigious Jefferson Cup awards.

The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition is conducted by Doug Frost, one of the world’s foremost wine experts. Unlike most competitions, the Jefferson Cup is open only to wineries that are invited to enter.

“We select the best of the best, culled from tastings and competitions in America throughout 2015,” Frost stated in a news release.

Frost, one of four people in the world who have earned by a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier degree, said  most national and international competitions held in the United States are dominated by California entries and, as such, win the most medals. But the Jefferson Cup included 740 wines from 24 states, and the top Jefferson Cup award was earned by wineries from nine different states.

The Jefferson Cup is named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the third U.S. president and an important early proponent of American wine.

Brian Carter Cellars, under the direction of longtime Washington winemaker Brian Carter, already has earned several top honors, including Washington Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest magazine and best of show last month at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival.

The winery’s 2011 Byzance (a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) and 2013 Opulento (a Portuguese-style fortified dessert wine) won two of the 27 Jefferson Cups awarded.

A Jefferson Cup is the equivalent of a sweepstakes medal winner at most competitions. A Jefferson Cup nominee is the equivalent of a unanimous double gold medal. An Excellence award is roughly equivalent to a gold medal, while a Merit award is similar to a silver medal.

Here are the award winners from the Pacific Northwest at the 16th annual Jefferson Cup Invitational.

Jefferson Cup

Brian Carter Cellars 2011 Byzance, Columbia Valley

Brian Carter Cellars 2013 Opulento, Yakima Valley

Jefferson Cup nominee

Angela Estate 2012 Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton

Camaraderie Cellars 2013 Sangiovese, Horse Heaven Hills

DeLille Cellars 2012 D2, Columbia Valley

DeLille Cellars 2012 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Dusted Valley Vintners 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley

Reininger Winery 2012 Seven Hills Vineyard Carménère, Walla Walla Valley

Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley

Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley

American Excellence

Angela Estate 2012 Abbott Claim Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton

Brian Carter Cellars 2010 StoneTree Vineyard Solesce, Wahluke Slope

DeLille Cellars 2011 Grand Ciel, Red Mountain

Dusted Valley Vintners 2013 StoneTree Vineyard Petite Sirah, Wahluke Slope

Kriselle Cellars 2013 Cabernet Franc, Rogue Valley

Marchesi Vineyards 2013 Achille Riserva, Columbia Valley

Marchesi Vineyards 2013 Buja Nen, Columbia Valley

PINO 2014 Pinot Gris, Oregon

Reininger Winery 2012 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

Stoller Family Estate 2013 Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills

Treveri Cellars NV Blanc de Blancs Brut, Columbia Valley

Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

Woodward Canyon Winery 2013 Chardonnay, Washington

American Merit

Angela Estate 2013 Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton

Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Corrida, Columbia Valley

Brian Carter Cellars 2013 Oriana, Yakima Valley

Camaraderie Cellars 2013 Grace, Columbia Valley

DeLille Cellars 2012 Aix Doyenne, Red Mountain

DeLille Cellars 2013 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley

Elk Cove Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

Elk Cove Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

Helix by Reininger 2013 StoneTree Vineyard SoRho, Columbia Valley

Kriselle Cellars 2013 Estate Tempranillo, Rogue Valley

Pacific Oasis 2013 Riesling, Columbia Valley

PINO 2013 Pinot Noir, Oregon

Wedge Mountain Winery 2014 Stony Hill Vineyard Lemberger, Washington

Wedge Mountain Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain

Wedge Mountain Winery 2014 Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley

Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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