The rewards and frustrations of home winemaking

Best of Class Award and Silver Medal at SD County Fair!

2010 Arg Trio SD Fair Best of ClassI entered two wines into the San Diego County Fair Homemade wine competition: ‘Bahia Belle’ Bordeaux Blend, a 50/50 blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot made from fresh grapes, and ‘Sail Bay Sundown’ RJ Spagnols Argentinian Trio Limited Release white blend.  One of my fellow winemakers also entered the same cabernet sauvignon and merlot as 100% varietals.  Interestingly, his merlot won a Gold medal and the Cab won a bronze, but my blend did not win any awards.  However, the white kit blend did win a Silver medal and Best in Class!  So, although the results for the red wines is a bit baffling, it’s very exciting to win these awards for my RJ Spagnols wine!

My tasting notes for this wine:  Lovely nose of hay, roses, and spice. Flavors have already come together nicely. Crisp, minerally taste of crunchy apples, persimmon, and toasted spice. Really nice!

The judging notes included: “Enjoyable, unique combination of flavors.” “Nice complex balanced flavors.” “Oak, fruit, dry” — this last comment is very interesting;  several other winemakers at the award ceremony commented on the good oak character in this wine, but there was no oak in this wine!  This wine does have a very nice, creamy smoothness and hints of vanilla reminiscent of oak character.  Either way, it is a lovely, tasty wine, and I’m very glad it was recognized for its excellence.

As for the ‘Bahia Belle’ Blend, my average score was pretty decent, and so I think this wine almost got a bronze.  Personally, I think this wine it too young, but we thought it would be interesting to enter several versions of our first fresh grape wines.  I think this one will fare much better next year, or maybe even the year after that.

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