Abacela, Bunnell stand out at Pacific Rim International Wine Competition

By on April 23, 2016
The Abacela 2015 Estate Grenache Rosé brings more honor to Earl and Hilda Jones' storied Umpqua Valley winery in Roseburg, Ore., with its showing in Southern California at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition.

The Abacela 2015 Estate Grenache Rosé brings more honor to Earl and Hilda Jones’ storied Umpqua Valley winery in Roseburg, Ore., with its best of class performance in Southern California at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Abacela in Southern Oregon and Bunnell Family Cellar in Washington’s Yakima Valley each were awarded three gold medals Thursday at the 31st annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in Southern California.

Eight wines from the Pacific Northwest captured best of class honors at the two-day fundraiser for the National Orange Show, including two entries from Church & State Wines from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

One of those BOC awards went to Abacela winemaker Andrew Wenzl for the latest vintage of his perennially popular Estate Grenache Rosé made from the Fault Line Vineyards of Earl and Hilda Jones. Two other wines from the 2015 vintage – Albariño and Muscat – also went gold.

Ron Bunnell, former head winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, continues to produce golds for his eponymous brand in Prosser’s Vintners Village. The Bunnell Family Cellar 2013 Painted Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which earned a double gold at the 2016 Cascadia Wine Competition, followed up with best of class at the Southern California judging.

BC wines earn 17 golds at Pacific Rim

Gary Eberle, who helped pioneer the Paso Robles wine industry in California, judges the sweepstakes at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition.

Pennsylvania native Gary Eberle, widely credited with pioneering the Paso Robles wine industry in California, judges the sweepstakes at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Backyard Vineyards, a best-of-class award winner last year for its Gewürztraminer, will bring home another BOC medal to its tasting room in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley for its 2015 Nosey Neighbour White Wine, an aromatic blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling. James Cambridge wines merited two other gold medals.

British Columbia wines earned 17 gold medals during this judging near the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. The Kismet Estate Winery 2014 Riesling Ice Wine near Canada’s Golden Mile in Oliver, BC, was in the running for best of show at the Pacific Rim as the competition’s best dessert wine.

Heidi Noble’s JoieFarm on British Columbia’s Naramata Bench backed up her sweepstakes award at the 2016 Cascadia for the 2015 A Noble Blend with another gold at the Pacific Rim. Sandhill Wines garnered three gold medals.

Mercer Estates takes best of class with 2013 Cab

Mercer Estates and Bunnell Family Cellar, both in Prosser, Wash., produced two of the top Cabernet Sauvignons at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, Calif.

Mercer Estates and Bunnell Family Cellar, both in Prosser, Wash., produced two of the top examples of Cabernet Sauvignon at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, Calif. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Mercer Estates, Wine Press Northwest magazine’s reigning Washington Winery of the Year, garnered best of class/ gold medal for its 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Last fall, Jessica Munnell’s 2012 vintage was voted the best Pacific Northwest wine for this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition.

Wines from Washington, Oregon and British Columbia shined during the two-day judging in Southern California, which saw more than 200 wineries create a field of more than 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.

Best-of-show honors went to South Coast Winery and Texas-born winemaker Jon McPherson for the 2014 Mourvèdre, an $18 entry from the White Horse Peak plantings near the Temecula, Calif., resort and spa in the South Coast AVA.

The National Orange Show Events Center operates as a non-profit public benefit corporation and manages a 120-plus acre, multi-use 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 31st annual Pacific Rim International Wine Competition:

31st Pacific Rim International Wine Competition

Texan winemaker Jon McPherson hams it up with his South Coast Winery 2014 Mourvedre after the wine was awaded best of show at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition.

Texan-born winemaker Jon McPherson hams it up with his South Coast Winery 2014 Mourvèdre after the wine was awarded best of show at the 2016 Pacific Rim International Wine Competition. (Photo by Eric Degerman/Great Northwest Wine)

Best of class/gold medal

Abacela 2015 Estate Grenache Rosé, Umpqua Valley, $23
Backyard Vineyards 2015 Nosey Neighbour White Wine, British Columbia, $12
Bench 1775 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley
Bunnell Family Cellar 2013 Painted Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $48
Church & State Wines 2014 Lost Inhibitions Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $17
Church & State Wines 2013 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $21
Kismet Estate Winery 2014 Riesling Ice Wine, Okanagan Valley, $30
Mercer Estates 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $24

Gold medal

Abacela 2015 Estate Albariño, Umpqua Valley, $21
Abacela 2015 Muscat, Umpqua Valley, $18
Backyard Vineyards 2013 Nosey Neighbour Red Wine, British Columbia, $15
Backyard Vineyards 2014 Riesling, British Columbia, $15
Bunnell Family Cellar 2010 Lia Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $36
Bunnell Family Cellar 2011 Alx Syrah, Columbia Valley, $42
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, $9
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2012 Estate Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley, $42
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2012 Dedication Ten Estate Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $20
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2013 Kay Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $19
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2014 Riesling, Okanagan Valley, $16
Fort Behrens Estate Winery 2014 Red Gold Meritage, $33
JoieFarm 2013 En Famille Reserve Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $30
JoieFarm 2015 A Noble Blend White Wine, Okanagan Valley, $24
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Carménère, Okanagan Valley, $43
Noble Ridge Vineyards 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, British Columbia, $22
Sandhill Wines 2013 Small Lots Three Estate Vineyard Red Wine, British Columbia, $26
Sandhill Wines 2015 Estate Vineyard Sangiovese Rosé, British Columbia, $13
Sandhill Wines 2015 Hidden Terrace Vineyard Pinot Gris, British Columbia, $14
Sol Stone Winery 2013 Weinbau Vineyard Grenach, Wahluke Slope, $32
TIME Estate Winery 2012 McWatters Red Meritage, Okanagan Valley, $20
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $32

Silver medal

Backyard Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc, British Columbia, $17
Backyard Vineyards NV Brut Rose, Fraser Valley, $23
Backyard Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc, British Columbia, $17
Backyard Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, British Columbia, $15
Backyard Vineyards 2012 Gossip Red Wine, British Columbia, $15
Backyard Vineyards 2015 Gewurztraminer, British Columbia, $15
Backyard Vineyards 2015 Pinot Gris, British Columbia, $14
Barili Cellars 2013 Syrah, Rattlesnake Hills, $24
Bench 1775 2013 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley
Bench 1775 2013 Cabernet Franc-Malbec, Okanagan Valley, $26
Bench 1775 2015 Semillon, Okanagan Valley
Bench 1775 2015 Viognier, Okanagan Valley
Bench 1775 2014 Bliss Ice Wine, Okanagan Valley, $50
Bench 1775 2014 Whistler Viognier Ice Wine, Okanagan Valley, $50
Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Byzance Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $34
Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Corrida Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $34
Brian Carter Cellars 2013 Opulento Port-style, Columbia Valley, $38
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Ethos Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $48
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Canoe Ridge Estate Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $20
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley, $20
Church & State Wines 2012 Quintessential Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $42
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Series Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $27
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Series Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $27
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Series Second Chapter Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $31
Church & State Wines 2013 Gravelbourgh Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $21
Church & State Wines 2015 Lost Inhibitions White Wine, Okanagan Valley, $16
Coeur de Terre Vineyard 2013 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $22
Coeur de Terre Vineyard 2013 Heritag Estate Pinot Noir, McMinnville, $36
Columbia Crest 2014 H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $15
Columbia Crest 2014 H3 Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills, $15
Columbia Crest 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $45
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2012 Estate Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $38
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2014 Estate Viognier, Walla Walla Valley, $24
Deer Creek Vineyards 2014 Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon, $24
Deer Creek Vineyards 2014 Estate Pinot Gris, Rogue Valley, $16
Fort Behrens Estate Winery 2014 Chadonnay, $15
14 Hands 2013 The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $30
14 Hands 2013 Vintage Series Red Wine, Horse Heaven Hills, $60
14 Hands 2013 Limited Release Kentucky Derby Red Wine, Horse Heaven Hills, $12
14 Hands 2014 Stampede Red Blend, Horse Heaven Hills, $12
JoieFarm 2014 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, $24
JoieFarm 2015 Unoaked Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, $23
Kismet Estate Winery 2013 Mantra Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $30
Kismet Estate Winery 2013 Moksha Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $27
Knudsen Vinyads 2014 Chardonnay, Dundee Hills, $45
Madsen Family Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $32
Madsen Family Cellars 2010 Lady MacBeth Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $32
Mercer Estates 2013 Malbec, Horse Heaven Hills, $24
Mercer Estates 2012 Reserve Cavalie, Horse Heaven Hills, $42
Michelle Sparkling Wines NV Brut, Columbia Valley, $13
Michelle Sparkling Wines NV Brut Rosé, Columbia Valley, $13
Monster Vineyards 2014 Meritage, Okanagan Vally, $20
Monster Vineyards 2015 Malbec Rosé, Okanagan Vally, $16
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Contraband Series Malbec, Okanagan Valley, $32
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Tannat, Okanagan Valley
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Contraband Series Petit Verdot, Okanagan Valley, $32
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Contraband Series Tempranillo, Okanagan Valley, $32
Moon Curser Vineyards 2014 Afraid of the Dark White Wine, Okanagan Valley, $22
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Contraband Series Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $32
Newhouse Family Vineyards 2010 Upland Vineyard Vestige Red Wine, Snipes Mountains, $48
Newhouse Family Vineyards 2014 Upland Vineyard Cottontop Aligoté, Snipes Mountains, $34
Noble Ridge Vineyards 2011 The One Brut, British Columbia, $29
Noble Ridge Vineyards 2013 Reserve Red Wine, British Columbia, $25
Noble Ridge Vineyards 2014 Mingle White Wine, British Columbia, $15
Noble Ridge Vineyards 2014 Estate Pinot Gris, British Columbia, $15
Oak Knoll Winery 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, $14
Palencia Wine Co. 2013 Mourvedre, Yakima Valley $36
Peller Estates 2015 Family Series Pinot Gris, British Columbia, $10
Poplar Grove 2013 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, $35
Poplar Grove 2012 The Legacy Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $50
Poplar Grove 2013 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $30
Poplar Grove 2013 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, $35
Raven Wines 2014 Deep Dark Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $14
Red Rooster Winery 2015 Pinot Gris, British Columbia, $13
Sandhill Wines 2013 Small Lots Osprey Ridge Vineyard Viognier, British Columbia, $18
Sandhill Wines 2015 Osprey Ridge Vineyard Viognier, British Columbia, $14
Seven Falls Cellars 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope, $20
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Malbec, Southern Oregon, $29
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Sangiovese, Oregon, $29
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Franc, Southern Oregon, $27
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Primitivo, Oregon, $28
Tagaris Winery 2014 Merlot, Wahluke Slope, $26
Tagaris Winery 2014 Boar Doe Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $13
Tagaris Winery 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $8
Tagaris Winery 2014 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $8
TIME Estate Winery 2014 White Meritage, Okanagan Valley, $20
Vino La Monarcha 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $18
Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $32
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $30
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $38
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $25
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Bello Rosso Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $38
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $40

Bronze medal

Abacela 2013 Fiesta Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $23
Abacela 2015 Blanco Dulce Dessert Wine, Umpqua Valley, $30
Backyard Vineyards 2013 Merlot, British Columbia, $17
Backyard Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir Rose, Fraser Valley, $12
Bench 1775 2013 Cabernet Franc-Merlot, Okanagan Valley
Bench 1775 2013 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, $28
Bunnell Family Cellar 2010 Discovery Vineyard Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, $44
Columbia Crest 2013 H3 Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills, $15
Columbia Crest 2012 Walter Clore Private Reserve Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $35
Conviction Wines 2015 The Financier Pinot Gris, Okanagan Vally, $10
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2012 Anniversary Cuvee Estate Red Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $40
Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $40
Dirty Laundry Vineyard 2014 Hush Rosé, Okanagan Valley, $16
Fort Behrens Estate Winery 2014 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, $19
Gravel Bar 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley $18
JoieFarm 2015 Re-Think Pink Rosé, Okanagan Valley, $21
Kismet Estate Winery 2013 Karma Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $20
Kismet Estate Winery 2013 Safed White Wine, Okanagan Valley, $17
Madsen Family Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $32
Monster Vineyards 2014 Merlot, Okanagan Vally, $20
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Border Vines Red Wine, Okanagan Valley, $27
Moon Curser Vineyards 2013 Dead of the Night Red Wine, Okanagan Valley
Noble Ridge Vineyards 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir, British Columbia, $22
Palencia Wine Co. 2013 Syrah, Yakima Valley $36
Palencia Wine Co. 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley $18
Peller Estates 2014 Family Series Red Wine, British Columbia, $11
Seven Falls Cellars 2014 Merlot, Wahluke Slope, $20
Spangler Vineyards 2013 Grenache, Southern Oregon, $25
Tagaris Winery 2014 Pinot Noir, Wahluke Slope, $26
TIME Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, $13
Vino La Monarcha 2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley, $20

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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