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As per tradition here at Food & Beverage World, for our final wine post of 2016, 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 & five 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 6th annual competition a great success!

Cheers to all the winners for 2016!

California Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year:

Steven Kent 2013 “The Premier” Cabernet Sauvignon – Livermore Valley – 40%

Runners-up

Hunt Cellars 2012 Cabernet “Cabovation” – Paso Robles – 30%

Chateau Buena Vista 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Napa Valley -10%

McGrial 2013 “A Jo Elet” Cabernet Sauvignon – Livermore Valley – 10%

The Farm Winery 2012 “LFP” Blend  – Paso Robles – 10%

.

California “Other” Red Bordeaux of the Year:

Hunt Cellars 2012 “Rhapsody in Red” Blend – Paso Robles – 40%

Runners-up

McGrial 2013 “Shawus Patrick” Red Blend – Livermore Valley – 30%

Yorkville Cellars 2013 “Richard the Lion Heart” Blend – Mendocino County -30%.

.

California Pinot Noir of the Year:

 Hunt Cellars 2014 “Imagination” Pinot Noir – Santa Rita Hills – 40%

Runners-up

Claiborne & Churchill 2014 Twin Creeks Pinot Noir – Edna Valley – 30%

Benovia 2013 Pinot Noir – Sonoma County – 20%

Landmark Vineyards 2014 “Rayhill” Pinot Noir – Sonoma County – 10%

.

California Zinfandels of the Year

Buena Vista 2014 “Viticultural Society” Zinfandel – Sonoma County – 40%

Valley of the Moon 2013 Zinfandel – Sonoma County – 40%

Runners-up

Seabass 2011 “Old Vine” Zinfandel – Mendocino County- 20%

.

California Red Rhone of the Year:

Vie 2013 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah – Santa Barbara County 40%

Runners-up

Hunt Cellars 2012 “Hilltop Serenade” Syrah – Paso Robles – 30%

Vasco Urbano 2014 “The Sheriff” GSM Blend – Livermore Valley – 20%

Grey Wolf Cellars 2013 Soul Mate – Paso Robles – 10%

.

California “Other” Red Wine of the Year

Hunt Cellars 2012 “Thriller” Blend – Paso Robles – 50%

Runner-up

Murrieta’s Well 2013 “The Spur” Red Blend – Livermore Valley – 30%

Lone Madrone 2013 “Oveja Negra” Blend – Paso Robles – 20%

.

California Chardonnays of the Year:

Seebass 2014 “Grand Reserve” Chardonnay – Mendocino County – 50%

Steven Kent 2014 “Merrillie” Chardonnay – Monterey County– 50%

Runners-up

(none)

.

California White/Rosé Rhone of the Year:

Vaco Urbano 2015 Grenache Blanc  – Livermore Valley – 50%

Runners-up

Tablas Creek 2013 Esprit Blanc– Paso Robles – 30%

Seabass 2015 “Fantasie” Grenache Rose – Mendocino County – 20%

..

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

Claiborne & Churchill 2014 Dry Gewurztraminer – Central Coast – 40%

Runners-up

Murrieta’s Well 2014 “The Whip” White Blend  – Livermore Valley– 30% 

Lone Madrone 2014 Picpoul Blanc – Paso Robles – 20%

Matanzas Creek 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – Sonoma County – 10%

.

California Port/Dessert Wine of the Year:

Cedar Mountain NV Viognier Port  – Livermore Valley– 60%

Runner-up

Hunt Cellars 2010 Sao Soul Port – Paso Robles – 40%