The Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition is conducted by Doug Frost, one of the world’s foremost wine experts. Unlike most competitions, the Jefferson Cup is open only to wineries that are invited to enter.
“We select the best of the best, culled from tastings and competitions in America throughout 2015,” Frost stated in a news release.
Frost, one of four people in the world who have earned by a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier degree, said most national and international competitions held in the United States are dominated by California entries and, as such, win the most medals. But the Jefferson Cup included 740 wines from 24 states, and the top Jefferson Cup award was earned by wineries from nine different states.
The Jefferson Cup is named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the third U.S. president and an important early proponent of American wine.
Brian Carter Cellars, under the direction of longtime Washington winemaker Brian Carter, already has earned several top honors, including Washington Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest magazine and best of show last month at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival.
The winery’s 2011 Byzance (a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) and 2013 Opulento (a Portuguese-style fortified dessert wine) won two of the 27 Jefferson Cups awarded.
A Jefferson Cup is the equivalent of a sweepstakes medal winner at most competitions. A Jefferson Cup nominee is the equivalent of a unanimous double gold medal. An Excellence award is roughly equivalent to a gold medal, while a Merit award is similar to a silver medal.
Here are the award winners from the Pacific Northwest at the 16th annual Jefferson Cup Invitational.
Brian Carter Cellars 2011 Byzance, Columbia Valley
Brian Carter Cellars 2013 Opulento, Yakima Valley
Jefferson Cup nominee
Angela Estate 2012 Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
Camaraderie Cellars 2013 Sangiovese, Horse Heaven Hills
DeLille Cellars 2012 D2, Columbia Valley
DeLille Cellars 2012 Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
Dusted Valley Vintners 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
Reininger Winery 2012 Seven Hills Vineyard Carménère, Walla Walla Valley
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley
Angela Estate 2012 Abbott Claim Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
Brian Carter Cellars 2010 StoneTree Vineyard Solesce, Wahluke Slope
DeLille Cellars 2011 Grand Ciel, Red Mountain
Dusted Valley Vintners 2013 StoneTree Vineyard Petite Sirah, Wahluke Slope
Kriselle Cellars 2013 Cabernet Franc, Rogue Valley
Marchesi Vineyards 2013 Achille Riserva, Columbia Valley
Marchesi Vineyards 2013 Buja Nen, Columbia Valley
PINO 2014 Pinot Gris, Oregon
Reininger Winery 2012 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
Stoller Family Estate 2013 Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills
Treveri Cellars NV Blanc de Blancs Brut, Columbia Valley
Walla Walla Vintners 2013 Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
Woodward Canyon Winery 2013 Chardonnay, Washington
Angela Estate 2013 Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton
Brian Carter Cellars 2012 Corrida, Columbia Valley
Brian Carter Cellars 2013 Oriana, Yakima Valley
Camaraderie Cellars 2013 Grace, Columbia Valley
DeLille Cellars 2012 Aix Doyenne, Red Mountain
DeLille Cellars 2013 Chaleur Estate Blanc, Columbia Valley
Elk Cove Vineyards 2013 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
Elk Cove Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley
Helix by Reininger 2013 StoneTree Vineyard SoRho, Columbia Valley
Kriselle Cellars 2013 Estate Tempranillo, Rogue Valley
Pacific Oasis 2013 Riesling, Columbia Valley
PINO 2013 Pinot Noir, Oregon
Wedge Mountain Winery 2014 Stony Hill Vineyard Lemberger, Washington
Wedge Mountain Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain
Wedge Mountain Winery 2014 Evergreen Vineyard Chardonnay, Columbia Valley
Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley
Woodward Canyon Winery 2012 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington