Idaho wines come into their own

GREAT NORTHWEST WINEOctober 4, 2013 

  • WINNING WINES

    Here is the complete list of winning wines at the 2013 Idaho Wine Competition.

    Top winners

    Best in Show, Double Gold and Best White: Coiled Wines 2012 Dry Riesling, $17

    Best Red and Gold: Cold Springs Winery 2009 Merlot, $15

    Best Rose and Gold: Sawtooth Estate Winery 2012 Classic Fly Series Cinsault Rosé, $13

    Best Dessert Wine and Gold: Camas Prairie Winery 2012 Strawberry Mead, $14

    Gold medals

    Bitner Vineyards 2009 Petit Verdot Merlot, $23

    Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2011 Carménère, $28

    Cold Springs Winery 2011 Chardonnay, $10

    Cold Springs Winery 2010 L’attraction: White Table Wine, $10

    Fraser Vineyard 2011 Tempranillo, $24

    Ste. Chapelle 2012 Special Harvest Riesling, $10

    Huston Vineyards 2012 Chicken Dinner White, $16

    Silver medals

    Bitner Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Shiraz, $28

    Camas Prairie Winery 2011 Lemberger, $15

    Cellar 616 2011 Early One Primitivo, $26

    Cinder Wines 2012 Chardonnay, $18

    Cinder Wines 2011 Tempranillo, $28

    Cinder Wines 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec/Merlot, $27

    Cinder Wines 2012 Laissez Faire, $17

    Cinder Wines 2012 Dry Viognier, $18

    Cinder Wines 2012 Off-Dry Viognier, $18

    Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2011 Syrah, $28

    Coiled Wines 2010 Sidewinder Syrah, $25

    Colter’s Creek Winery 2011 Syrah, $13

    Fraser Vineyard 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, $28

    Fraser Vineyard 2012 Petit Verdot, $30

    Fraser Vineyard 2011 Couloir Cuvée, $21

    Fujishin Family Cellars 2011 Late Harvest Chardonnay, $22

    Fujishin Family Cellars 2011 Petite Sirah, $22

    Huston Vineyards 2012 Reserve Chardonnay, $24

    Huston Vineyards 2011 Malbec, $29

    Huston Vineyards 2011 Merlot, $27

    Indian Creek Winery 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $15

    Indian Creek Winery 2010 Malbec, $22

    Indian Creek Winery 2011 Tempranillo, $20

    Indian Creek Winery 2011 Pinot Noir, $16

    Indian Creek Winery 2011 Star Garnet Red Blend, $14

    Indian Creek Winery 2010 Mimi Series Reserve Blend, $28

    Indian Creek Winery 2011 White Riesling, $10

    Indian Creek Winery 2011 Ragin’ Rapids Sweet Riesling, $16

    Indian Creek Winery 2012 White Pinot Noir, $10

    Koenig Vineyards 2011 Merlot, $20

    Koenig Vineyards 2010 Petite Sirah, $25

    Koenig Vineyards 2010 Alden Cuvee, $50

    Koenig Vineyards 2012 Dry Rosé, $15

    Pend d’Oreille Winery 2011 Chardonnay, $18

    Sawtooth Estate Winery 2011 Classic Fly Series Chardonnay, $20

    Sawtooth Estate Winery 2011 Trout Trilogy Malbec, $30

    Sawtooth Estate Winery 2012 Pinot Gris, $12

    Sawtooth Estate Winery 2012 Riesling, $12

    Snake River Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, $15

    Snake River Winery 2011 Touriga Nacional, $18

    Ste. Chapelle 2012 Merlot, Snake River Valley, $10

    Ste. Chapelle 2012 Chateau Series Moscato, $9

    Ste. Chapelle 2010 Winemaker Series Syrah, $10

    Telaya Wine Co. 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $30

    Vale Wine Co. 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, $24

    Vale Wine Co. 2010 U50 Cabernet Sauvignon, $38

    Vale Wine Co. 2011 Chardonnay, $16

    Williamson Vineyards 2010 Reserve Petite Sirah, $35

    Williamson Vineyards 2010 Homestead Red, $18

    Bronze

    Bitner Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, $25

    Bitner Vineyards 2010 Menopause Merlot, $26

    Bitner Vineyards 2012 Riesling, $17

    Cellar 616 2012 Riesling, $18

    Cinder Wines 2011 Syrah, $27

    Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2011 Malbec, $25

    Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2011 Merlot, $25

    Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2011 Renaissance Red, $23

    Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2012 Lochsa, $15

    Coiled Wines 2010 Black Mamba, $28

    Cold Springs Winery 2008 Chron/ology, $20

    Cold Springs Winery 2011 Viognier, $10

    Colter’s Creek Winery 2010 Reserve Chardonnay, $15

    Colter’s Creek Winery 2010 Kooskooskia Red, $20

    Colter’s Creek Winery 2012 Riesling, $11

    Colter’s Creek Winery 2012 Viognier, Idaho, $15

    Fraser Vineyard 2011 Malbec, $28

    Fraser Vineyard 2011 Petite Sirah, $30

    Fujishin Family Cellars 2012 Gewurztraminer, $15

    Fujishin Family Cellars 2011 Malbec/Syrah, $35

    Fujishin Family Cellars 2010 Syrah, $22

    Fujishin Family Cellars 2011 Viognier, $15

    Hat Ranch Winery 2012 Riesling, $18

    Hells Canyon Winery NV Blonde, $11

    Huston Vineyards 2012 Chicken Dinner Red, $18

    Indian Creek Winery 2011 Merlot, $15

    Indian Creek Winery 2010 Mimi Series Reserve Pinot Noir, $25

    Indian Creek Winery 2011 Syrah, $15

    Indian Creek Winery 2012 Viognier, $12

    Koenig Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir, $25

    Koenig Vineyards 2010 Amelia Cuvee, $50

    Pend d’Oreille Winery 2011 Meyer Reserve Chardonnay, $30

    Pend d’Oreille Winery 2011 Petit Verdot, $30

    Pend d’Oreille Winery 2010 Bistro Rouge, $14

    Pend d’Oreille Winery 2008 Syrah, $21

    Sawtooth Estate Winery 2012 Classic Fly Series Gewurztraminer, $13

    Sawtooth Estate Winery 2012 Syrah, $14

    Snake River Winery 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay, $12

    Snake River Winery 2010 Malbec, $20

    Snake River Winery 2007 Merlot, $16

    Snake River Winery 2008 Arena Valley Vineyard Barbera, $19

    Snake River Winery 2010 Arena Valley Vineyard Barbera, $19

    Snake River Winery 2011 Cabernet Franc, $20

    Snake River Winery 2010 GSM, $21

    Snake River Winery 2012 Arena Valley Riesling, $10

    Ste. Chapelle 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, $10

    Ste. Chapelle 2012 Chardonnay, $10

The Gem State’s modern wine industry started in the mid-1970s, and it has taken this long to reach 50 wineries. In the past year, the entire industry has gained some serious momentum.

The Snake River Valley and Boise are attracting excellent winemakers, and consumers, retailers and restaurants are showing their collective support for the wines being produced up and down the state.

In mid-September, the annual Idaho Wine Competition took place. Here are some of top wines, all of which earned gold medals.

BEST IDAHO WINES

Best of Show: Coiled Wines 2012 Dry Riesling, Snake River Valley, $17: Owner/winemaker Leslie Preston is making terrific wines at her urban location in Garden City. This bright white wine earned best-in-show honors, thanks to aromas of apple, orange oil and clove, followed by flavors of Golden Delicious apple, peach and pineapple.

Best Red: Cold Springs Winery 2009 Merlot, Snake River Valley, $15: Here’s a nicely priced wine that was the top red of the competition. It comes from a small winery in the tiny town of Hammett. It offers aromas of dried herbs, sarsaparilla and dark cherry, followed by rich flavors of black olive, walnut, toast and red plum. The winery also won a gold for its 2011 Chardonnay, $10.

Best Rose: Sawtooth Estate Winery 2012 Classic Fly Series Cinsault Rose, Snake River Valley, $13: Who knew anyone was growing Cinsault in the Snake River Valley? This was the top pink wine in the judging, thanks to lovely aromas of cherry and strawberry, followed by flavors of peach, pineapple and strawberry freezer jam. It has just a bit of sweetness to round the edges.

Best Dessert: Camas Prairie Winery 2012 Strawberry Mead, Idaho, $14: Mead, a wine made with honey, is a specialty of Camas Prairie, a longtime winery in the college town of Moscow. This offers aromas of pie cherry and dried strawberry, followed by flavors of peaches, cream and apples.

GOLD MEDAL WINES

Bitner Vineyards 2009 Petit Verdot Merlot, Snake River Valley, $23: Longtime grape grower Ron Bitner collaborates with winemaker Greg Koenig for this superb red blend. It begins with aromas of cedar, vanilla and cherry cola, followed by flavors of dried cranberry, blueberry and boysenberry, all backed with rich tannins and a lengthy finish.

Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2011 Carmenere, Washington, $28: This winery in Lewiston reaches across the border into Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills for this stunning red made with the rare Carménère grape. It opens with aromas of cocoa powder and black currant, followed by flavors of plum, boysenberry and chocolate. It is beautifully balanced.

Fraser Vineyard 2011 Tempranillo, Snake River Valley, $24: Fraser Vineyard in Boise has been making some of Idaho’s top wines for the past decade. This rare Snake River Valley Tempranillo is a big, rough, Spanish-style red that opens with aromas of moist earth, oak and plum, followed by flavors of cherry and pomegranate. Rustic tannins give this terrific balance.

Huston Vineyards 2012 Chicken Dinner White, Snake River Valley, $16: This winery near Caldwell sells more of this Riesling-based white blend than any other wine. The winery is on the regionally famous Chicken Dinner Road, hence the name of this wine. It opens with beautiful aromas of apricot, peach and orange, followed by bright flavors of orchard fruit. There’s a bit of sweetness there, but it’s just enough to round the edges.

Ste. Chapelle 2012 Special Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley, $10: Idaho’s largest and oldest winery continues to make some of the state’s best and least-expensive wines. Its specialty is Riesling, and this is a deliciously sweet sipper. Aromas feature hints of honey, spice and apple, followed by flavors of baked apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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