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2015 Michigan Wine Competition Results Announced

Outstanding collection of dry red wines are the highlight of the day

August 12, 2015

Source: Karel Bush
Job Title: Promotion Specialist
Department: Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council
Phone: 517-284-5742
Email: bushk9@michigan.gov

2015 Michigan Wine Competition Best of Class WinesEAST LANSING -- Twenty-five wine experts from around the country gathered August 11 in East Lansing for the 38th annual Michigan Wine Competition. Judges included Master Sommeliers Madeline Triffon, Claudia Tyagi and Kathy Morgan; Doug Frost, who is both a Master of Wine and Master Sommelier; and notable wine writers, winemakers and wine educators.

Leading the group through the day was food and wine writer Christopher Cook, who judged at the competition for 12 years before becoming its superintendent in 2001. Cook described the Best of Class round for Dry Red wines as "one of the best flights of dry red wines that I have tasted in any competition this year." Cook judges at several international wine competitions throughout the United States and abroad.

Forty-eight of the state's 115 wineries entered 373 wines for this year's competition, which is open only to wine produced from Michigan grapes and other fruit. The number of entries was lower than recent years, primarily because of reduced production due to the last two harsh winters and multiple freezes at inopportune times.

There were fewer wines, but all judges heartily agreed with Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon, director of wine for Plum Market, who described the collection as "an exciting array, especially the reds. Pinot, Cabernet Franc, Meritage and other blends were very strong."

Amanda Danielson, owner and sommelier at Trattoria Stella in Traverse City, echoed Triffon. "This year's sweepstakes flights were truly remarkable. It was extremely difficult to narrow down the reds in particular. Go Michigan!"

The dry reds were a favorite of many judges, but the white wines were equally impressive. Veteran judge Peter Bell, winemaker from Fox Run Winery in the Finger Lakes, commented that he had a "once in a lifetime experience" when every single wine in one flight of semi-dry white wines was awarded a gold medal at his panel. And Roz Mayberry, wine buyer for D&W Fresh Market, described the white blends judged by her panel as "amazing ... interesting and sophisticated."

Gold medals were awarded to a wide variety of wines -- from bone-dry reds to sweet and luscious dessert wines. At the end of the day, judges awarded the top "Best of Class" awards to eight wines from a group of 63 gold medal winners, including 14 double gold.

The Best of Class award-winners are:
Sparkling: MAWBY/L Mawby Tradition
Dry White: Boathouse Vineyards 2013 "Dry Dock" Riesling
Dry Red: Mari Vineyards 2012 Praefectus
Semi-dry White: Boathouse Vineyards 2014 Semi-Sweet Riesling
Semi-dry Red: Karma Vista Vineyards 2014 Devil's Head Red
Dessert: 45 North Vineyard & Winery 2013 Riesling Ice Wine
Fruit: Chateau de Leelanau Cherry Wine
Rosé: St. Ambrose Cellars 2014 Vin Gris from Pinot Noir

The competition is co-sponsored by the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, which will host a Gold Medal Wine Reception featuring the best wines from the competition on Thursday, August 20. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door, and can be purchased online at www.michiganwines.com/reception. Visit the website for a complete list of the medal-winning wines.

The competition is also sponsored by the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, which is administered by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. For more information about the wines and wineries of Michigan, contact the council online, or by phone at 517-284-5742.

High-resolution image of the 2015 Best of Class wines

Judges for the 2015 Michigan Wine Competition

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