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#1 chardonnay in Canada and #1 white wine in BC!

#1 chardonnay in Canada and #1 white wine in BC!

Anthony Gismondi’s article today in the Vancouver Sun highlights BC wineries impressive performance at the National Wine Awards of Canada including our 2011 McLean Creek Road Chardonnay. Not only has it received a Platinum medal, it placed #1 Chardonnay in Canada and #1 white wine in BC!

Here is the full article in the Vancouver Sun:

B.C. wines earn eight platinum awards at the Nationals by Anthony Gismondi, Vancouver Sun September 30, 2013 10:21 AM

“This year we decided to award platinum status to one per cent of the wines entered, or 12 wines. These are simply the best of the best.

The most important wine competition in Canada is held once a year somewhere in Canadian wine country and it takes a full week of work to find out who is making the best wine. The newly minted WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, a.k.a. The Nationals, are the latest iteration of the Canadian Wine Awards that has been searching for the best wines in the country since 2001.

I have been running the competition since its inception along with Toronto-based wine writer David Lawrason and after a long week in Niagara-on-the-Lake late this summer, we and 15 other judges with a wealth of tasting experience, found some terrific wines.

Canadian wine is off the charts trendy at the moment and while from this writer’s purview there is a still a lot of fluff written about Canadian wine and wineries there are some wineries hitting it out of the park. That’s why we spend an entire week indoors in the middle of summer tasting almost 1,200 wines blind, watching the best bottles advance from one round to another until they win gold or platinum.

The Nationals have always been stingy when it comes to handing out gold medals, preferring to reserve that accolade for the very best wines entered. It’s one of the reasons why the results of The Nationals (née Canadian Wine Awards) have been so well received by the public and the wineries.

Today I wanted to share with you some impressive results regarding our local wineries in essence giving you the opportunity to buy some of these wines before they completely disappear.

New this year and based on the almost 1,200 wines entered we decided to award platinum status to one per cent of the wines entered, or 12 wines. These are simply the best of the best. In past years we have singled out the best red, white, dessert and sparkling wine but we felt it was more appropriate to honour the best wines regardless of style or colour.

Of the 12 platinum medals awarded an impressive eight went to British Columbia produced wine. Top rated and third in the country is the Road 13 Vineyards 2011 Syrah Malbec ($32). Winemaker J.M. Bouchard is a terroir/blend freak and while malbec and syrah are hardly household B.C. grapes the combination is, well, platinum worthy. Bouchard grabbed a second platinum for the delicious Road 13 Vineyards 2009 Home Vineyard Sparkling Chenin ($35).

Our top scoring white came from Okanagan Falls-based Meyer Family Vineyards. The Meyer Family 2011 McLean Creek Chardonnay ($35) is part of the ‘New Okanagan’ style and the judges rewarded it accordingly.

Next up was the Painted Rock Estate 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ($40). John Skinner’s Skaha Bench winery has consistently proven that when you plant in the right spot and crop accordingly you can produce a fully ripe cabernet Sauvignon.

If you haven’t heard, Mission Hill Family Estate won the coveted Canadian Winery of the Year title based on the strength of its top five scoring wines that included three gold medals and two platinum medals. The best value platinum based on score and price went to the Mission Hill Family Estate 2011 Reserve Riesling ($17); their second platinum went to the silky and sensuous Mission Hill Family Estate 2009 Compendium ($36).

Rounding out the platinum list was another classy chardonnay, the Quails’ Gate Winery 2011 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay ($35) and the Burrowing Owl 2010 Meritage Red ($45). Both wineries have since acquired new winemakers suggesting there will be some big shoes to fill.

All in all, an impressive showing by British Columbia’s wineries in what is the toughest wine competition they will enter all year.”

For complete 2013 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada (The Nationals) results log onto