Pinot Noir by Ken Wright wins rare U.S. gold medal in London

By on May 30, 2016
Ken Wright sits down for a 2015 interview at the Imperial Hotel in Portland as part of a historical tasting for Panther Creek Cellars.

Ken Wright sits down for an interview on July 13, 2015, at the Imperial Hotel in Portland as part of a tasting for Panther Creek Cellars. (Photo by Chris Bidleman Photography/Courtesy of Bacchus Capital Management)

LONDON – Angela Estate, a Pinot Noir producer in Carlton, Ore., that retains famed Ken Wright to make its wines and grow its grapes, recently earned one of five gold medals awarded to United States producers at the 33rd annual International Wine Challenge in London.

Wright heads up the program for his friend, South African vintner Antony Beck. The Angela Estate 2013 Pinot Noir ($48) hails from the Yamhill-Carlton American Viticultural Area project established in 2006 that includes Clawson Creek Vineyard on Savannah Ridge. The wines, named for Beck’s wife, are poured in Angela Estate’s tasting room in Dundee.

It was the only Pacific Northwest wine to receive a gold medal in the judging of 15,000 entries spearheaded by more than 20 Masters of Wine. There were 104 entries from the U.S., and 55 out of Canada.

“This has been a fantastic year for American wine producers at the International Wine Challenge,” co-chairman Charles Metcalfe said in a news release. “We think of California as the home of fine wine in the U.S., but it was great to award a gold to an Oregon Pinot Noir to join the golds from California. Never before have so many IWC gold medals been won by U.S. winemakers.”

France, Australia dominate International Wine Challenge

The 2016 International Wine Challenge in London features a a pool of more than 400 judges, and the evaluations span more than 10 days in April.

The 2016 International Wine Challenge in London featured a a pool of more than 400 judges, and the evaluations spanned more than 10 days in April. (Photo by the International Wine Challenge/Courtesy of Manifest New York)

A total of 68 medals were awarded to U.S. wines. France dominated the field by amassing 1,345 medals, followed by Australia (815), Italy (682), Spain (659), Portugal (643), New Zealand (441), South Africa (288) and Germany (105).

The competition involved 421 judges who evaluated the entries over the course of an 11-day period. Chairmen were Metcalfe, Tim Atkin MW, Oz Clarke, Sam Harrop MW and Peter McCombie MW. Panel chairs included Sarah Abbott MW, Nick Adams MW, Richard Bampfield MW, Clive Barlow MW, Susie Barrie MW, Christy Canterbury MW, Sam Caporn MW, Alison Eisermann-Ctercteko MW, author Jamie Goode, Conal Gregory MW, Susan Hulme MW, Martin Moran MW, Sheri Sauter Morano MW, Annette Scarfe MW, Madeleine Stenwreth MW, Matthew Stubbs MW, Cathy Van Zyl MW and Clem Yates MW.

Each medal-winning wine was tasted at least three times by a minimum of 10 judges. In addition to three categories of medals, panels can also determine “commended” awards, which are deemed to be noteworthy.

Here are the Pacific Northwest results from the 31st annual International Wine Challenge:

angela-estate-2013-estate-pinot-noir-bottleGold

Angela Estate 2013 Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton

Silver

Angela Estate 2012 Abbott Claim Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen 2014 Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley
Columbia Crest 2014 H3 Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills
Domaine Verdant 2013 Quintessence Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
Meyer Family Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley
Lunessence Winery & Vineyard 2014 Reserve Merlot Icewine, Okanagan Valley
Resonance 2013 Resonance Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
Whistler 2014 Viognier Icewine, Okanagan Valley

Bronze

Bench 1775 2013 Cabernet Franc-Malbec, Okanagan Valley
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2014 Riesling, Columbia Valley
Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
Columbia Crest 2013 H3 Merlot, Horse Heaven Hills
Columbia Crest 2012 H3 Les Chevaux Red, Horse Heaven Hills
Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Merlot, Columbia Valley
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Series Merlot, Okanagan Valley
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Series Syrah, Okanagan Valley
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Series Second Chapter Vineyard Syrah, Okanagan Valley
Church & State Wines 2012 Quintessential Red Wine, Okanagan Valley
EFESTE 2013 Evergreen Riesling, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley
Joel Gott 2014 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
Four Graces 2014 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
Lunessence Winery & Vineyard 2014 Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley
Lunessence Winery & Vineyard 2014 Sauvignon Blanc-Muscat, Okanagan Valley
Paradise Ranch 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Icewine, Okanagan Valley
Tenet Wines 2014 The Pundit Syrah, Columbia Valley

Commended

Bench 1775 2013 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley
Bench 1775 2014 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley
Charles & Charles 2014 Chardonnay, Washington
Charles & Charles 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, Washington
Church & State Wines 2013 Coyote Bowl Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley
14 Hands 2013 Hot To Trot Red, Washington
Joel Gott 2014 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

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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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  1. Pingback: Sheri Morano grows from grape juice into Master of Wine - Great Northwest Wine

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