Saturday, August 15, 2015

Best of California Wines selected by California State Fair

In addition to the Best of Show and Best of Region awards, the California State Fair also selects the Best of California wines awarded for the best of specific varietals throughout California. With wine entries coming from around the state and from wineries of every size, the judges had to select the best wines of each of 26 varietals.

“California's 78,000 farms and ranches produce roughly half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the United States; and our grape industry accounts for 90 percent of all wine consumed in America. As one of the oldest professional wine competitions in the nation, we are extremely pleased that for the second year in a row the State Fair has seen increased participation in our prestigious wine competition,” said Rick Pickering, CEO of the California State Fair. “With more than 2,800 wine entries from 700 plus wineries, the State Fair continues to be an enormous showcase of the Best of California." 

For more than 160 years, the California State Fair has showcased the best of the Golden State. During the 2014 State Fair at Cal Expo more than 750,000 people experienced the best and made memories that will last a lifetime. Cal Expo was dedicated as a place to celebrate California’s achievements, industries, agriculture, diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State’s future. The 2015 California State Fair will take place July 10 - 26, 2015.

Best of California Wines
Best Chardonnay
Double Gold 98 points, Sean Minor Four Bears 2013 Chardonnay, Central Coast

Best Pinot Grigio
Gold 94 points, Wine Cube 2014 Pinot Grigio, California

Best Riesling
Double Gold 98 points, Mirassou Sun Winery 2013 Riesling California

Best Sauvignon Blanc
Double Gold 98 points, Fancy Pants 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, California

Best Viognier
Double Gold 98 points, Robert Hall Winery 2014 Viognier, Paso Robles

Best Other White Varietal
Gold 94, Wise Villa Winery 2014 Torrontes, Alta Mesa

Best Other Dry White Varietal Blend
Double Gold 98 points, Murrieta’s Well 2013 The Whip, Livermore Valley

Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Double Gold 98 points, Lewis Grace 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, El Dorado County

Best Cabernet Franc
Gold 95 points, Michael David Inkblot 2013 Cabernet Franc, Lodi

Best Pinot Noir
Double Gold 98 points, Woodenhead 2012 Clone 115 Pinot Noir Buena Tierra Vineyard, E Block, Russian River Valley

Best Merlot
Double Gold 98 points, Solis Winery 2011 Merlot, Santa Clara Valley

Best Malbec
Gold 94 points, Wise Villa Winery 2013 Malbec Alta Mesa

Best Sangiovese
Gold 94 points, Mitchell Katz Winery 2012 Crackerbox Vineyard Sangiovese, Livermore Valley

Best Syrah
Double Gold 98 points, Cinquain Cellars 2011 Syrah, Paso Robles

Best Tempranillo
Double Gold 98 points, Fenestra Winery 2010 Tempranillo, Lodi

Best Barbera
Double Gold 98 points, McManis Family Vineyards 2013 Jamie Lynn Vineyards Barbera, California

Best Petite Sirah
Double Gold 98, Trentadue Winery 2013 La Storia Petite Sirah, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County

Best Zinfandel
Double Gold 98 points, Torn Winery 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi

Best Muscat
Gold 94 points, Robert Hall Winery 2014 Orange Muscat Margaret’s Vineyard, Paso Robles

Best Bordeaux Red Varietal Blend
Gold 94 points, Stonehedge Winery 2014 Meritage Reserve, Napa Valley

Best Italian Red Varietal Blend
Gold 94 points, Nello Olivo 2012 Toscanello, El Dorado County

Best Other Red Varietal Blend
Double Gold 98 points, Gen 7 2011 Road to Singapore, Knights Valley

Best Other Red Varietal
Double Gold 98 points, Bokisch Vineyards 2012 Graciano, Lodi

Best Red Generic
Double Gold 98 points, Zucca Mountain Vineyards 2013 Sorprendere, Sierra Foothills

Best Rhone Red Varietal Blend
Gold 94 points, Hearst Ranch Winery 2012 Three Sisters Cuvée, Paso Robles

Best Traditional Vintage Port
Double Gold 98 points, St. Amant Winery 2013 Bootleg Port, Amador County


The first State Fair Wine Competition was held in 1855. The competition is the oldest and one of the most prestigious wine events in the country. Top wines including Best of Region and Best of California winners will be featured at the State Fair in the Save Mart Supermarkets Wine Garden for visitors to enjoy July 10-26.

A complete listing of award-winning wines can be found at castatefair.org.

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