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Jun 02, 2014
Washington’s Largest Wine Evaluation Program Gives Nod To 2011 Vintage
Seattle, WA – Washington State’s largest independent wine recognition program, the Seattle Wine Awards (SWA), announces the medal winners for this year’s annual wine evaluation program (view complete list here). More than 1,100 wines in 26 categories were submitted exclusively from Washington American Viticultural Area-sourced grapes and were judged “single-blind.”
Executive director of the SWA, Christopher Chan, told Tasting Room Magazine that the panelists seemed to love the 2011 vintage in particular, a tribute to those talented winemakers who rose to the challenges of a tougher-than-normal harvest that year.
“There have never been as many high scores in any of the previous eight years of hosting the Seattle Wine Awards,” Chan said. “I am totally impressed at how well 2011 vintage showed this year. Selfishly, I’d love to see more of the 2010 and 2011 vintages because those wines are the ones that will truly improve with age—vintages that we’ll look back on 10 to 15 years from now and say ‘wow.’ It’s great to see this kind of recognition from such a national and international panel of wine professionals. The coolest part is that wineries big and small, new and old proved their place in the world by crafting such award worthy wine.”
Many white grape varieties, such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay won high marks. Additionally, structure and complexity are clearly evident in Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhone varieties and Bordeaux-style blends. “The tasting results indicate that 2010, 2011 and 2012 are very balanced high-quality vintages,” says Chan, adding, “Those winemakers with exceptional fruit sources and an understanding of tannin management and oak influence did extremely well in the tasting panel’s evaluation.”
Chan, launched the awards as a wine-recognition program focused on Washington state wine in 2006. Once again, more wines were reviewed than in any other Washington wine evaluation. The SWA tasting panel consisted of eighteen prominent sommeliers, wine directors, wine educators, enthusiasts, Masters of Wine and top local and national wine journalists. Each wine was prescreened by a team of sommeliers, then served “single-blind” to the panel, meaning the variety or style was known but not the producer or price. You can find out more at the Seattle Wine Awards website.