Blind tasting competition pits County vs California wines

Published in November 7 County Live.

Prince Edward County wines trounced offerings from the vineyards of California in a blind tasting competition in Kingston on the weekend.

In the first ‘Judgement of Kingston’ sold-out tasting competition two of the three chardonnays commended by four well-respected wine critics were Prince Edward County wines.

The gold award went to Rosehall Run’s 2013 ‘JCR’ Chardonnay, the silver to Closson Chase’s South Clos 2014 Chardonnay and the bronze was awarded to California’s Clos du Val 2013 (Carneros) Chardonnay.

Organized by the Royal Winers in association with Tourism Kingston, the judges from Canada and the US – Sara D’Amato, Konrad Ejbich, Elin McCoy and Michael Pinkus – tasted wines in front of an enthusiastic audience in Kingston’s Memorial Hall.

The event echoed the famous 1976 Judgement of Paris where California wines unexpectedly bested those of France, transforming the wine world.

“I confess I would have been delighted if just one of the County’s chardonnays had made it into the top three at this blind wine tasting. That County wines won both a gold and a silver medal is remarkable, compelling evidence of just how good some of wines being made out there are getting,” said Professor Lubomyr Luciuk, a member of the Royal Winers. “The judges’ decision reminds me of a comment made 40 years ago in Paris – ‘not bad for the boys from the sticks.’”

Attendees also voted for winners, but preferred the West Coast flavours as their first-place choice was a Californian chardonnay, followed by Closson Chase from Prince Edward County in second and one from the Napa Valley in third.

Next year’s Judgement of Kingston is set for Nov. 4 and will pit some of the County’s best Pinot Noirs against some Burgundy greats.

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