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As per tradition here at Food & Beverage World, for our final wine post of 2015, 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 between three & seven wines to advance to the final round in each category.

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 (rounded) 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 5th annual competition a great success, as perhaps the most competitive ever!

Cheers to all the winners for 2015!

California Cabernet Sauvignons of the Year:

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Freemark Abbey 2010 Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley – 25%

Cab-O

Hunt Cellars 2011 Grand Reserve CabOvation – Paso Robles – 25%

Monte-Rosso-Vineyard-Cabernet-Sauvignon

Louis M. Martini 2012 “Monte Rosso” Cabernet Sauvignon – Sonoma County – 25%

Runners-up

Raymond 2012 “District Collection” Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley – 8.3%

Round Pond 2012 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley – 8.3%

Steven Kent 2012 “Home Ranch” Cabernet Sauvignon – Livermore Valley – 8.3%

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California “Other” Red Bordeaux of the Year:

Red velvet

Hunt Cellars 2011 “Grand Reserve” Red Velvet Blend – Paso Robles – 33%

Runners-up

Foley Johnson 2011 Petit Verdot – Napa Valley – 25%

Raymond 2012 “District Collection” Merlot  – Napa Valley -25%

House Family 2011 Merlot – Santa Cruz Mountains – 8.5%

Round Pond 2012 Rutherford Proprietary Red Blend – Napa Valley – 8.5%

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California Pinot Noir of the Year:

2012_PNQH_Front

Lynmar Estate 2012 Quail Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir – Sonoma County – 42%

Runners-up

Ampelos 2011“Lambada” Pinot Noir – Santa Barabera County – 33%

Riverbench 2012 Estate Pinot Noir – Santa Barabera County – 25%

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California Zinfandel of the Year

OutlawRidgeZin

Hunt Cellars 2011 “Outlaw Ridge” Zinfandel Reserve – Paso Robles – 58%

Runners-up

Howell Mountain Vineyards 2013 Beatly Ranch Zinfandel – Napa Valley – 25%

Zenaida 2012 Zinfandel – Paso Robles – 17%

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California Red Rhone of the Year:

ZenaidaCellars_2012MO

Zenaida Cellars 2012 Mourvedre – Paso Robles – 50%

Runners-up

Vie 2012 “Les Amours” Syrah – Santa Barabera County – 25%

Vasco Urbano 2013 “The Sheriff” GSM Blend – Livermore Valley – 17%

Seven Oxen 2013 Mourvedre – Paso Robles – 8%

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California “Other” Red Wine of the Year

Maestro

Hunt Cellars 2011 Maetro – Paso Robles – 75%

Runner-up

Law Estate 2012 “Beyond Category” Red Blend – Paso Robles – 25%

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California Chardonnays of the Year:

CH-Label

Alpha Omega 2012 Chardonnay – Napa Valley – 33%

2012_CHQH_Front

Lynmar Estate 2012 Quail Hill Vineyard Chardonnay – Sonoma County – 33%

Runners-up

Grgich Hills 2012 “Miljeno’s Section”  Chardonnay – Napa Valley – 25%

McGrail Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay – Livermore Valley – 8%

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California White/Rosé Rhone of the Year:

2013 Viognier Front

Byington 2013 Viognier – Shenandoah Valley – 42%

Runners-up

Eberle 2014 Viognier – Paso Robles – 33%

Midnight Cellars 2012 “Aurora” Blend – Paso Robles – 25%

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California White Bordeaux of the Year:

SB-Label-256x300

Alpha Omega 2013 Sauvignon Blanc – Napa Valley – 58%

Runners-up

Round Pond 2014 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc – Napa Valley – 25%

Steven Kent 2014 “Lola” Blend – Livermore Valley – 17%

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

Albarino

Per Cazo Cellars 2013 Albarino – Paso Robles – 42%

Runners-up

Tangent 2013 Paragon Vineyard Albarino – Edna Valley – 33%

Brassfield Pinot Gris – Lake County – 25%

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California Port/Dessert Wine of the Year:

2000 Tawny Zinfandel Port

Hunt Cellars 2000 “Zinful Delight” (15 Year) Tawny Zinfandel Port – Paso Robles – 83%

Runner-up

Merriam Vineyards Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc – Sonoma County – 17%