SOURCE: Fairplex


June 18, 2012 11:03 ET

Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition Announces Winners for 2012

Rieslings Win Big but Highest Rating Goes to Ghost Pines Dry Red Blend

POMONA, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 18, 2012) - It was the rise of the Rieslings at the 2012 Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. The white wine made a huge impact with nine earning 95 points or higher (making it the highest ranking varietal), and many taking best of class. Judged in May using a point system instituted last year, the wine competition saw nearly 3,300 international wines tasted. Many varietals and price ranges were represented, with the point system acknowledging each varietal's special attributes and providing a level of precision in the competition's wine ranking systems, a benefit for the competition and wine enthusiasts. Wines were tasted by a 75-member panel comprised of international judges, ranging from Master Sommeliers to chefs to wine writers and entries came from as far as Bulgaria and Israel.

Despite Rieslings' prominent showing, it was a red wine that drew the highest rating: coming in with 98 points and best of class was Ghost Pines, Dry Red Blend, Napa/ Sonoma/ San Joaquin counties, 2009 ($15-$29.99).

Among the top Rieslings were: South Coast Winery, Temecula Valley, 2011, best of class ($14.99 and under, 97 points); Cedar Creek Winery, Waterfall, American, ($14.99 and under, 96 points); Wollersheim Winery, Dry, American, best of class ($14.99 and under, 96 points); Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Semi-Dry, Estate, Finger Lakes, New York, 2010 ($14.99 and under, 95 points); Seaglass, Monterey County, 2011, best of class ($14.99 and under, 95 points); Snoqualmie, Winemaker's Select, Columbia Valley, 2011, best of class ($14.99 and under, 95 points); Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Sofia, Monterey County, 2010, ($15-29.99, 95 points); Hagafen Cellars, Estate, Napa Valley, 2011, ($15-29.99, 95 points); Swedish Hill Winery, Finger Lakes, New York, 2011, ($15-29.99, 95 points).

Among the best red wines were: Azienda Claudio Alario, Barolo, Sorano, Diano D'Alba, DOCG, 2007, best of class ($30 and up, 97 points); Gnarly Head, Zinfandel, Old Vine, Lodi, 2010, best of class ($14.99 and under, 96 points); Dutcher Crossing Winery, Zinfandel, Maple Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, 2009, best of class ($30 and up, 95 points); Pizzuli Family Winery, Barbera, Santa Barbara County, 2007, best of class ($30 and up, 95 points); Bargetto Winery, Pinot Noir, Mt. Eden Clone, Santa Cruz Mountains, 2010, best of class ($30 and up, 95 points); Jeff Runquist Wines, Cabernet Franc, Enver Salman Vineyards, Clarksburg, 2010, best of class ($15-29.99, 95 points); Buehler Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2009, best of class ($15-29.99, 95 points); Chateau Ste. Michelle, Bordeaux Blend, Meritage Artist Series, Columbia Valley, 2008, best of class ($30 and up, 95 points).

Among the top white wines beyond the Rieslings were: Boulder Bank, Sauvignon Blanc, Dillon's Point, Marlborough, 2011, best of class ($15-29.99, 96 points); Fat Cat Cellars, Moscato, California, 2011 ($14.00 and under, 95 points); Davis Bynum, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2010, best of class ($15-29.99, 92 points); Chamisal Vineyards, Unoaked Chardonnay, Central Coast, 2011, best of class ($15-$29.99, 92 points).

In the Bordeaux/Bordeaux Superieur special category, golds went to Champ de Fleuret, Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux Superieur AOC, 2011, best of class ($14.99 and under, 93 points); Chateau Sainte Barbe, Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux Superieur AOC, 2010 ($15-29.99, 93 points); Chateau La Freynelle, Bordeaux Rose, Clairet, Bordeaux AOC, 2011, best of class ($14.99 and under, 93 points).

Best of class saké went to Asahi Shuzo Co., Junmai Daiginjo/Daiginjo, Dassai 23, Yamaguchi, Japan 23 ($30 and up, 95 points).

In the spirits competition, William Grant & Sons, USA, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey 10 Year Old Reserve took best of show.

A complete list of winners can be found at

The public will get its first opportunity to taste the medal-winning wines at FUN Decanted June 23, a fundraiser benefitting The Learning Centers at Fairplex. The event features beer and spirits, too, with gourmet food trucks and dancing. The wines will also be available for tasting at the L.A. County Fair, Aug. 31 - Sept. 30. The Fair features a complete wine education program taught by industry experts. For additional news and information from the Competition, please follow us at or "like" us at

About Fairplex
Under the direction of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, Fairplex is home to the L.A. County Fair, the largest county fair in the world, as well as The Learning Centers which encompasses Fairtime Learning, The Child Development Center, The Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) and the Junior Fair Board. Fairplex also operates a diverse hospitality business with the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center, McKinley's Grille, KOA RV Park, Finish Line Sports Grill and Cornucopia Foods. The campus is also home to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona; horse-racing and Barretts Equine Sales; as well as the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition. For more information, please visit

Contact Information

  • Media contacts:
    Renee Hernandez
    (909) 865-4261

    Leslie Galerne-Smith
    (909) 865-4267