As per tradition here at Food & Beverage World, for our final post of 2014, we highlight the best wines we tasted this past year as we announce the winners of our annual “California Wines of the Year” Competition.

Our tasting panel started out by rounding up their favorite wines among those submitted for our review during the past twelve months. Next, we invited wineries to submit their favorite bottles into the competition.

Our panel then went about tasting to narrow the entries down. In the end, they selected five wines to advance to the final round for each category (expect for Port/Dessert Wine, which only had three).

The bottles chosen for the final round were tasted by invited guests, consisting of members of the public who drink wine regularly but are certainly not experts. We asked them to vote for only their favorite wine in each category.

Winners of each category are listed below with the percentage of votes they received. We also noted the other wines that received votes. (Finalists that did not garner votes have been omitted.) Thanks to all the wineries who participated making our 4th annual competition a great success.

Cheers to all the winners for 2014!


California Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year:


Hunt Cellars 2010 “CabOvation” Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 76%


Adelaida 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 8%

Howell Mt. Vineyards 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – 8%

Winery SF 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – 8%

California Pinot Noir of the Year:


Wrath 2012 KW Ranch Pinot Noir – 58%


Lucienne 2012 “Smith Vineyards” Pinot Noir – 42%

California Red Bordeaux of the Year:


Hunt Cellars 2010 Red Velvet Blend – 67%


Calcareous Vineyard 2010 “Lloyd” Blend – 33%

California Zinfandel of the Year


Lone Madrone 2012 “Bailey Ranch” Zinfandel – 58%


Passalacqua 2012 “Old Vine” Zinfanel – 21%

Sbragia 2012 “Gino’s Estate” Zinfanel – 21%

California Red Rhone of the Year:

Hilltop syrah  hunt

Hunt Cellars 2009 “Hilltop Serenade”  Syrah – 33%


Sol Rouge 2011 Petite Sirah – 25%

Vie Winery 2011 “L’Intruse” Mourvèdre – 25%

Brassfield 2011 Syrah – 8%

Vasco Urbano 2012 “Heine” Petite Sirah – 8%

California “Other” Red Wine of the Year


Sottomarino 2013 Sangiovese – 33%


Winery SF 2010 “People Blend” – 25%

DaVero 2012 Barbera – 16.5%

Fenestra 2011 Graciano – 16.5%

West 2010 Tuscan Cuvée – 8%

California Chardonnay of the Year:


Wrath 2012 “3 Clone” Chardonnay – 33%


McGrail Vineyards 2013 Chandler Vineyard Chardonnay – 25%

Seebass 2011 Grand Reserve Chardonnay – 25%

Sbragia 2012 “Home Ranch” Chardonnay – 17%

California White Rhone of the Year:

Yorkville New Face

Vie Winery 2013 Roussanne – 42%


Fore Family 2013 Grenache Blanc – 33%

Lone Madrone 2013 “Points West White” Blend- 25%

California White Bordeaux of the Year:

Yorkville New Face

Yorkville Cellars 2013 “Eleanor of Aquitaine” White – 50%


Hunt Cellars 2010 “Starlight Concerto” Sauvignon Blanc – 42%

Wrath 2013 “Ex Anima” Sauvignon Blanc – 8%

California “Other” White/Rosé Wine of the Year:

Wagon Wheel White Front

Galante “Wagon Wheel” White – 50%


Yorkville Cellars 2013 “Vin Dune Nuit” Rosé – 33%

Hahn 2013 – Pinot Gris – 17%

California Port/Dessert Wine of the Year:


Hunt 2002 “Zinful Delight” (10 Year) Zinfandel Port – 100%