Artevino 2010 Wine Awards: some of the best wines in Prince Edward County

Vineyards at By Chadsey's Cairns Winery in Prince Edward County, Ontario

Last month, I had the chance of joining a distinguished group of Canadian wine experts at Huff Estates, as we judged over 75 wines from Prince Edward County, for the 2010 edition of the Artevino awards.

I had been invited by David Lawrason, who headed the jury, to join Michael Pinkus, Billy Munnelly, Tony Aspler, Konrad Ejbich,  John Szabo and Shari Darling for a full day of judging where everyone tasted everything, from sparkling to stickies, pinot noir to hybrids, cabernet franc to riesling. A great opportunity to get a good sense of what’s going on in County vineyards, even though some nice wineries, for various reasons, had not submitted wines. The results, as listed below, show that chardonnay and pinot noir are indeed the county’s strong suits, with rieslings and some cabernet francs also showing well.

There are still three awards to be announced, and they will be on June 19, at the Art and Wine Festival taking place in Picton on June 19. That’s when the best red and best white will be announced, along with the  Jonathan Welsh Memorial Award. Medal-winning wines will be poured on that occasion.

What’s for sure is that there were a lot of good wines – and some great ones – to be tasted at Artevino. There is a lot of promise in that region, as Jancis Robinson noted at the very end of an article strangely focused on the fading Cellared in Canada crisis, following the May 17 Seriously Cool Chardonnay tasting in London:

The most distinctive [chardonnays] were those called by locals simply “County”, meaning that they come from the relatively new Prince Edward County region that is even cooler than the benchland just west of Niagara Falls where the Ontario wine industry has historically been concentrated. The best of these wines have real delicacy as well as density of flavour. In general they were long on flavour and short on alcohol. Burgundian influence is strong, but those in my list are fine wines with their own personality and great charm, with 2007 a particularly successful vintage.

Delicacy and density, more flavour than alcohol? I can go for that.

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GOLD MEDALISTS

Hillier Creek Estates 2007 Vidal Icewine

Huff Estates  2007 South Bay Vineyards  Chardonnay

Rosehall Run 2008 Chardonnay Cuvee County

Rosehall Run 2008 Pinot Noir Cuvee County

Rosehall Run 2008 Pinot Noir Rosehall Vineyard

SILVER MEDALISTS

Casa Dea Estates 2008 CD Rosso

Exultet Estates 2009 Dolce Ghiacciato

Huff Estates  2008 Riesling Reserve

Huff Estates 2006 Cuvee Peter F. Huff

Norman Hardie 2008 County Pinot Noir

Norman Hardie 2009 Riesling

Rosehall Run 2008 Cabernet  Franc Cold Creek

Rosehall Run 2008 Chardonnay Rosehall Vineyard

Rosehall Run 2008 Sullyzwicker Red

Sandbanks Estates 2008 Cabernet  Franc

The Grange of  PEC 2008 GPE Chardonnay

The Grange of PEC Grange2007 Sparkling Brut

Waupoos Estates 2008 Icewine

BRONZE

Black Prince 2008 Terroir Elite Chardonnay

Casa-Dea Estates 2008 Dea’s Cuvee

Casa-Dea Estates 2009 Cabernet Franc Rosé

Casa-Dea Estates 2009 Pinot Gris

Harwood Estate 2008 Pinot Gris 2008

Hillier Creek Estate 2008 Chardonnay

Hillier Creek Estate 2009 Rosé

Hillier Creek Estates 2007  Gamay

Hillier Creek Estates 2008 Chardonnay Estate

Hillier Creek Estates 2009 Riesling

Huff Estates 2008 Gamay Reserve

Huff Estates 2009 South Bay Vineyards Rosé

Huff Estates Winery 2007 First Frost

Karlo Estates 2008 Chardonnay

Karlo Estates 2008 Malbec

Lacey Estates 2008 Baco Noir

Lacey Estates 2009 Gewurztraminer

Rosehall Run 2008 Gamay Cuvée County

Rosehall Run 2008 Sullyzwicker White

Rosehall Run 2009 Chardonnay Musqué

Rosehall Run 2009 Sullyzwicker Rosé

Sandbanks 2008 Waves Chardonnay

Sandbanks 2009 Dunes Vidal Riesling

The Grange  of PEC 2008 Trumpour’s Mill Cabernet Franc

The Grange of PEC 2008 Trumpour’s Mill Pinot Noir

The Grange of PEC 2009 Trumpour’s Mill Rosé

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