Arizona Judgment: Arizona Wines Vs. the World wine competition RESULTS

June 2nd 2010, Arizona wines faced off against wines from around the world in a blind competition.  The results were stunning.  Let’s take a look…

1st place white: Callaghan Vineyards, 2008 Lisa’s.  Unfortunately this wine seems to be sold out.

1st place red:  Caduceus Cellars, 2008 Judith

These wines were pitted against the likes of Santa Margherita,

Assessing the juice

Conundrum, Doyenne Metier, Turley and Cakebread.  The red matchups included Ruffino Chianti Classico, Mollydooker the boxer, Condado de Haza, Cotes du Rhone E. Guigal and Chateau Lynch Bages.

Here is the top 5 for white wines and red wines:

1. Callaghan 2008 ‘Lisa’s Arizona
2. Santa Margherita 2008 Pinot Grigio Italy
3. Cakebread Cellars 2008 Chardonnay California
4. Caduceus 2008 ‘Dos Ladrones’ Arizona
5. Carlson Creek 2008 Chardonnay Arizona

1. Caduceus 2008 ‘Nagual del Judith’ Arizona
2. Condado de Haza 2006 Ribiera del Duero Spain
3. Keeling Schaefer 2007 ‘Three Sisters’ Syrah Arizona
4. Arizona Stronghold 2008 ‘Nachise’ Arizona
5. Mollydooker 2008 ‘The Boxer’ Shiraz Australia

The judges were:

Gary Vaynerchuck- Winelibrary, and Vayner Media

Laura Williamson- Master Sommelier

The panelists

Chris Bianco-  Pizzeria Bianco

Payton Curry – Cafe Boa

Mark Tarbell-  Tarbell’s restaurant

Tadeo Borchardt – wine maker at California’s Neyers Vineyards

Anne Rosenzweig – New York City award winning chef

The judges tasted all the wines in a blind setting.  First they were brought 10 glasses of white wine and when they were done analyzing those, they were brought 10 glasses of red wine. They analyzed elements of each wine according to Sommelier Journal’s guidelines and rated on the Journal’s 20 point system.  1 point would represent a wine that has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and 20 points would represent a wine that has every redeeming quality. They analyzed the color, aroma, acidity, structure and balance., as well as mouthfeel and finish.  The room was very quiet during the judging as the panelists were not allowed to talk to each other and the press was not allowed to talk to the panelists.  There were 15 traditional media outlets and 4 non traditional -aka bloggers on hand.  When the judges were finished, their scores were collected and emailed to the Denver offices of Sommelier Journal for tabulation and analysis.  While everyone was waiting Journalists and Bloggers interacted with the judges.  During this time judges began speculating on where some of the wines were from.  One one in particular apparently had very distinct Bordeaux like qualities which must have been the 2005 Chateau Lynch Bages from Bordeaux.  Later on the scores came back via email and the results were revealed.  At this time the room was a buzz with activity.  Rhonni Moffit, executive director of The Arizona Wine Growers Association was on the phone ecstatically phoning her members to tell the good news.  Bloggers were texting furiously the results to twitter.  Cameras flashed and filmed.

In all in all the event was a super success for Arizona wines.  The positive attention will go a long way to educating the local public as well as the general public on the fact that best of Arizona wines can compete with the best of the world.


  1. Tim, Looks like it was a good time! If you know of any AZ wineries/PR folks who would be interested in sending some samples up to California Wine country, please feel free to pass my info along!

    Cheers Brother

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