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January 26, 2018 | News | Team Member Chateau Tumbleweed

2017 azcentral Arizona Wine Competition winners: The best does not come in a bottle (The Republic | azcentral.com)

Richard Ruelas, The Republic | azcentral.com Published 9:00 p.m. MT Jan. 26, 2018 | Updated 11:22 a.m. MT Jan. 27,  2018
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The winner of the 2017 azcentral Arizona Wine Competition marked two firsts: It is the first sparkling wine to win the contest and the first to not come packaged in a bottle. 

Dos Cabezas WineWorks Methode Canpenoise, the sparkling wine named Best in Show, is sold by the can. 

The bubbly wine is fermented by yeast added into that can, the same method used with Champagnes and sparkling wines that are fermented in bottles. That is called methode champenoise; Dos Cabezas plays on that with its Methode Canpenoise name. 

Dos Cabezas, co-owned by Todd and Kelly Bostock, begins with a non-vintage rose wine of Riesling, Grenache and Tempranillo grapes. Yeast is then added to the can so it ferments. 

Bottles of Champagne are usually disgorged of yeast after fermentation. But the yeast is still present in the Dos Cabezas sparkling, settling at the bottom of the can. Careful pouring keeps it out of the glass. The spent yeast is not harmful; just a little bitter. 

But consumers will only need to worry about that if they can get their hands on a can. The Sonoita winery initially released just a small amount of the unique wine in November at $48 for a 1-liter can. Those cans, according to the Dos Cabezas website, are sold out. The next release is not known. 

The Growers Cup for the best red wine in the contest was the 2015 Callaghan Vineyards Aglianico. That grape is typically grown in the southern region of Italy. This wine was made from grapes grown at Cimarron Vineyards in Willcox, a vineyard owned by the Bostocks. 

The Growers Cup for the best white wine went to Pillsbury Wine Co.’s 2016 WildChild White, a white blend grown on Sam Pillsbury’s Willcox-area vineyard. Pillsbury, a New Zealand film director, has operated his namesake vineyard and winery since 2000. 

The Growers Cup award for the best rosé wine went to the students of the Southwest Wine Center in Clarkdale. The 2017 Amphoria is a pink wine made with Sangiovese grapes grown on the Yavapai College campus. The college offers degree programs in grape-growing and winemaking and students, as part of their course work, take part in all aspects of winemaking, from the vineyard to the label design. 

The Growers Cup for dessert wines went to the Arizona Stronghold Vineyards 2016 Bruzzi Vineyards Vidal Blanc. The grapes, as the name suggests, come from the Bruzzi Vineyards in Young. Arizona Stronghold won the Growers Cup for dessert in the 2016 competition as well, for a Vidal Blanc wine called “Zas.” 

Callaghan has won three Growers Cups and two Best In Show Awards.
Dos Cabezas has won a Growers Cup for its rose and was last year’s Growers Cup winner for red wine. Pillsbury won a Growers Cup for dessert in 2014.
It is the first cup win for the Southwest Wine Center. 

The competition was held Dec. 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Phoenix. 

Twenty-four judges, a mix of chefs, sommeliers, out-of-state winemakers, restaurant managers and wine shop owners, were divided into six four-person panels to taste more than 200 entries. 

Each panel tasted a portion of the more than 200 entries, choosing the winners of the subcategories listed below. Each panel then picked two wines to push forward to the sweepstakes round. 

All 24 judges tasted those 12 wines. The top awards were picked through this tasting. The tasting was blind; the judges knew the types of wines, but not who made it. 

The judges also didn’t know — until the awards were announced — that the wine they selected as best came from a can. 

2017 azcentral Arizona Wine Competition winners Best In Show 

Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Methode Canpenoise 

Growers Cup 

Best Red Wine 

1st Place: Callaghan Vineyards, 2015 Aglianico
2nd Place: Flying Leap VIneyards & Distillery, 2015 Petit Verdot
3rd Place: Carlson Creek Vineyard, 2013 Rule of Three 

Best White Wine 

1st Place: Pillsbury Wine Company, 2016 WildChild White
2nd Place: Pillsbury Wine Company, 2015 Malvasia Bonnie Lee 3rd Place: Bodega Pierce, 2016 Sauvignon Blanc 

Best Rosé 

1st Place: Southwest Wine Center, 2017 Amphoria
2nd Place: Dos Cabezas WineWorks, 2016 Pink
3rd Place: Page Springs Cellars, 2016 La Flor Rosa 

Best Dessert wine 

1st Place: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, 2016 Bruzzi Vineyards Vidal Blanc
2nd Place: Wilhelm Family Vineyards, Sunset
3rd Place: Carlson Creek Vineyard, 2013 Sweet Adeline Riesling 

The Finalists: 

Each of the six panels picked two wines they thought merited consideration as the best wine of the competition. Here are those wines:
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, 2016 Bruzzi Vineyards Vidal Blanc
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, 2016 Tazi
Bodega Pierce, 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Callaghan Vineyards, 2015 Aglianico
Carlson Creek Vineyard, 2013 Rule of Three
Dos Cabezas WineWorks #Methode Canpenoise
Flying Leap Vineyards & Distillery, 2015 Petit Verdot
Flying Leap Vineyards & Distillery, 2015 Sangiovese
Pillsbury Wine Company, 2015 Malvasia Bonnie Lee
Pillsbury Wine Company, 2015 Viogner
Pillsbury Wine Company, 2016 WildChild
White Salvatore Vineyards, 2014 Sangiovese 

Best Cabernet Franc 

1st Place: Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery, 2016 Cabernet Franc
2nd Place: Bodega Pierce, 2015 Cabernet Franc
3rd Place: Golden Rule Vineyards, 2015 Cabernet Franc 

Best Cabernet Sauvignon 

1st Place: Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
2nd Place: Page Springs Cellars, 2014 Bonita Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
3rd Place: Saeculum Cellars, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon 

Best Grenache 

1st Place: Rune, 2015 Grenache - Pillsbury Vineyard
2nd Place: Rune, 2015 Grenache - Colibri Vineyard 

Best Malbec 

1st Place: Deep Sky Vineyard, 2015 Big Bang
2nd Place: Coronado Vineyards, 2015 Malbec 

Best Merlot 

1st Place: Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, 2015 Merlot 

Best Mourvedre 

1st Place: Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, 2015 Mourvedre
2nd Place: Pillsbury Wine Company. 2015 Mourvedre Reserve
3rd Place: Bodega Pierce, 2015 Mourvedre 

Best Petit Verdot 

1st Place: Flying Leap VIneyards & Distillery, 2015 Petit Verdot
2nd Place: The Oddity Wine Collective, 2016 Datura
3rd Place: Golden Rule Vineyards, 2015 Petit Verdot 

Best Petite Sirah 

1st Place: Rune, 2015 Petite Sirah
2nd Place: Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, 2015 Petite Sirah 

Best Sangiovese 

1st Place: Salvatore Vineyards, 2014 Sangiovese
2nd Place: Flying Leap Vineyards & Distillery, 2015 Sangiovese
3rd Place: Winery 101 - Gallifant Cellars, 2014 Sangiovese 

Best Syrah 

1st Place: Winery 101 - Gallifant Cellars, 2014 Syrah
2nd Place: Dos Cabezas WineWorks, 2015 Syrah "Club Selection"
3rd Place: Page Springs Cellars, 2012 Colibri Vineyard Syrah Clone 174 

Best Tempranillo 

1st Place: Chateau Tumbleweed, 2015 Cimarron Vineyard Tempranillo
2nd Place: Zarpara Vineyard, 2015 Tempranillo 

Best Zinfandel 

1st Place: Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery, 2016 Zinfandel
2nd Place: Bodega Pierce, 2016 Zinfandel
3rd Place: Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery, 2016 Legacy Zinfandel 

Best Rhone-Style Blend 

1st Place: Carlson Creek Vineyard, 2013 Rule of Three
2nd Place: Golden Rule Vineyards, 2015 Commonwealth
3rd Place: Pillsbury Wine Company, 2014 Diva 

Best Non-traditional Red Blend 

1st Place: Southwest Wine Center, 2016 Puente
2nd Place (tie): Chateau Tumbleweed, 2016 Le Blend
2nd Place (tie): Salvatore Vineyards, 2014 Cerca
3rd Place: Winery 101 - Gallifant Cellars, 2014 Super Tuscan 

Best Chardonnay 

1st Place: Burning Tree Cellars, 2014 Trademarked
2nd Place: Winery 101 - Gallifant Cellars, 2014 Chardonnay
3rd Place: Pillsbury Wine Company, 2016 Chardonnay 

Best Malvasia Bianca 

1st Place: Pillsbury Wine Company, 2015 Malvasia Bonnie Lee
2nd Place: Callaghan Vineyards, 2016 Ann's
3rd Place: Page Springs Cellars, 2016 Dos Padres Malvasia Bianca 

Best Sauvignon Blanc 

1st Place: Bodega Pierce, 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
2nd Place: Carlson Creek Vineyard, 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 

Best Viogner 

1st Place: Pillsbury Wine Company, 2015 Viognier
2nd Place: Saeculum Cellars, 2016 Viognier
3rd Place: Salvatore Vineyards, 2015 Viognier 

Best White Blend 

1st Place: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, 2016 Tazi
2nd Place: Pillsbury Wine Company, 2016 WildChild White
3rd Place: Bodega Pierce, 2016 Pandora 

Best Rosé Varietal 

1st Place: Southwest Wine Center, 2017 Amphoria
2nd Place: Page Springs Cellars, 2016 La Flor Rosa
3rd Place: Mogollon Vineyards, 2016 Grenache Rose 

Best Rosé Blend 

1st Place: Dos Cabezas WineWorks, 2016 Pink
2nd Place: Callaghan Vineyards, 2016 Dry Rose' 3rd Place: Chateau Tumbleweed, 2016 Rose 

Best Late-Harvest Dessert 

1st Place: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, 2016 Bruzzi Vineyards Vidal Blanc
2nd Place: Carlson Creek Vineyard, 2013 Sweet Adeline Riesling
3rd Place: Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, 2016 Riesling Dolce 

Best Port-Style Dessert 

1st Place: Wilhelm Family Vineyards, Sunset

Best Sparkling 

1st Place: Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Methode Canpenoise
2nd Place: Dos Cabezas WineWorks, 2016 Carbonated Pink 

 

 

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