Complete results are here.
Trentadue 2005 Alexander Vly La Storia Meritage, $22
Their La Storia line are always excellent wines and a good deal
Murphy-Goode 2005 Alexander Vly Claret All In, $45
Best of the Bordeaux-type blends I tried
De Loach 2007 Russian River Maboroshi Vyd, $45
The best of the Pinots I tried, but I was disappointed overall with the Pinots vs. their price.
Leveroni 2007 Sonoma Vly Seven Oaks Vyd, $18
A very drinkable one for the price
Ashton 2006 Sonoma Vly, $55
Great backbone, spices. Should age a bit.
Jus Soli 2007 Sonoma Co Roots Red, $20
A big, rich, excellent wine at a nice price.
I tried a couple other wines from Jus Soli. Never heard of them, but all were very good.
Viansa 2005 Sonoma Vly Thaila, $45
The best Sangi I've ever had, also the most expensive.
Davis Family 2007 Russian River Guyzer Block, $38
Pena Ridge 2006 Dry Creek Piccetti Vyd, $44
Longboard 2006 Russian River Dakine Vyd, $45
I've had and liked this one before and it stood up well here against others
Palmeri 2005 Alexander Vly Van Ness Vyd, $53
Armida 2005 Dry Creek Maple Vyd Tina's Block, $48 (a price drop from previous years)
A stand-out. Great balance, flavors, and a smoothness rather than heat like many Zins.
DH Gustafson 2007 Dry Creek Mountain Vyd, $36
If you like 'em big and ageable rather than fruit bombs, then lay down this one. It's a big boy.
Fannucchi 2005 Russian River Old Vine, $40
A really well-done Zin. Probably my 2nd favorite Zin of the weekend behind the Armida Maple Vyds Tina's Block.
Stryker 2006 Knights Vly Speedy Creek Vyd, $34
Another great wine from Stryker. This one is a little rough on the finish so needs a bit more time.
Other Reds / Generics
Wilson 2007 Dry Creek Family Red Estate, $30
Another outstanding red from Wilson. Well worth the price.
Here's where it got interesting. Two other gold medal winners in this category were from Ravenswood and Ty Caton. What they have in common is they both retail for $75. The Ty Caton was very well done.
Then there was a Wellington gold medal-winning red called The Duke retailing for $8. This one is the QPR of the year for me. Wow, amazing for the price.
Miro 2006 and 2007 Dry Creek, $23
Had these two vintages back-to-back and they do a nice job at a decent price.
I really liked the Bordeaux-type blends and some of the varietals--Cab Franc and Malbec. Also, they're doing a good job with Syrah.
Favorites from the three day event:
-- Armida Maple Vyd Tina's Block Zinfandel
Overall the Pinot Noirs had lousy quality for the prices. It didn't really matter if it was a $18 Pinot (those are hard to find) or $60 (easier to find). I've felt this way about the Pinots I've had at this event for the last couple years or so. The main element of some Pinots and Syrahs was heat. And a few Zinfandels were this way too, but that's almost to be expected these days.
In order to enter a wine in this judging there has to be a certain level of availability so if someone wants to actually buy a medal winner they have the opportunity. Well, Adler Fels Winery took a chance; won big, then lost big. They won the red wine sweepstakes (best red wine) for a Pinot and then it turns out they were nearly out of that vintage. They tried pouring the next year's wine instead hoping nobody would notice. The fair board stripped them of their medal. Well, they got a lot of local publicity, at least.
These are my notes from the 2009 Harvest Fair. Go here for notes on 2010.