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Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011

Winners of Ray's 24th annual Retrospective of Northwest Wines

Every January, Ray’s Boathouse Restaurant on Shilshole Bay in Seattle, Washington conducts its Retrospective of Northwest Wines Competition and Dinner. Now in its 24th year, this wine-lover’s event has uncovered hidden gems from up-and-coming wineries, as well as reaffirmed the well-deserved praise earned by established wineries.

On January 4-5, 2011, Ray’s wine director Richard Kelsey assembled a panel of judges consisting of sommeliers, wine writers and local wine experts to blind-taste Northwest wines released in 2010 (list of judges available upon request). The wines were submitted for judging by the winemakers and their distributors. All Washington, Oregon and Idaho wineries were eligible to participate and 432 entries were received. The categories for entry were Pinot Gris, Dry Whites, Aromatic Whites, White Blends, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Single Varietal Reds, Merlot, Syrah, Red Blends, Cabernet Sauvignon and Dessert. The judges meticulously evaluated the wines for characteristics such as nose, palate, finish and other notable qualities. Each judge assigned a numerical score based on their evaluation and the wines with highest combined average won.

2011 Retrospective winners:

Pinot Gris
Gold: Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley 2009
Silver: Latah Creek Pinot Gris, Washington 2008
Bronze: WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2009

Dry Whites
Gold: Hogue Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley 2009
Silver: Pacific Rim Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley 2008
TIE Bronze: Claar Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley 2010
Woodinville Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley 2009

Aromatic Whites
Gold: Yamhill Valley Vineyards Riesling, Oregon 2008
Silver: Dunham Cellars Riesling, Columbia Valley 2008
Bronze: R. Stuart & Co. Riesling, Willamette Valley 2008

White Blends
Gold: Coyote Canyon Downtown White, Columbia Valley 2009
Silver: Northwest Cellars Adagio, Columbia Valley 2009
Bronze: Vin du Lac Les Amis, Columbia Valley 2009

Chardonnay
Gold: Citation Chardonnay – W3, Oregon 2007
Silver: Vin du Lac Barrel Select Chardonnay, Columbia Valley 2008
Bronze: Gilbert Cellars Doc Stewart Vineyard Chardonnay, Wahluke Slope 2009

Pinot Noir
Gold: Vista Hills Vineyard Skyraider Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2008
Silver: WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Léon Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2007
Bronze: William Hatcher Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2007

Single Varietal Reds
Gold: Spangler Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Southern Oregon 2008
Silver: WillaKenzie Estate Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2008
Bronze: Bunchgrass Winery Malbec, Walla Walla Valley 2008

Merlot
Gold: Vin du Lac Barrel Select Merlot, Columbia Valley 2007
Silver: Five Star Cellars Merlot, Walla Walla Valley 2007
Bronze: Otis Kenyon Merlot, Walla Walla Valley 2007

Syrah
Gold: Dusted Valley Tall Tales Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2008
Silver: Longshadows Sequel Syrah, Columbia Valley 2006
Bronze: Betz Family Winery La Côte Rousse Syrah, Red Mountain 2008

Red Blends
Gold: Martin-Scott Winery Raven Ridge Red, Columbia Valley 2007
Silver: Fort Walla Walla Cellars Treaty, Walla Walla Valley 2007
Bronze: Doyenne AIX, Red Mountain 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon
Gold: Five Star Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2007
Silver: Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2008
TIE Bronze: Airfield Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley 2008
Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills 2008

Dessert Gold: Smasne Cellars Muscat Ice Wine, Upland Vineyard 2008
Silver: WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2008
Bronze: Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling Ice Wine, Horse Heaven Hills 2006

The Gold Winners will be artfully paired with a delicious menu created by Ray’s Executive Chef Peter Birk and presented in Ray’s waterfront private dining room with the winning winemakers in attendance. The 24th Annual Retrospective Dinner will be held on Friday, January 28, 2011, beginning at 6:30 PM. The dinner is open to the public. Cost is $75.00 per person, includes tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call (206) 789-6309.