Cairdeas Winery, a Lake Chelan area winery noted for making wines in the tradition of France’s Rhone Valley, received “Best of Show” honors Saturday at the 36th annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival in Kennewick.
Cairdeas (pronounced Cardis) winemaker Charlie Lybecker also took home four gold medals and seven silver medals from the competition, the longest running, and one of the largest wine festivals in the Northwest. Wineries from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana representing 90 labels participated in this year’s event.
A panel of wine professionals rated 426 wines over several days of blind tastings in the days leading up to Saturday’s public tasting and medal presentations. The festival, sponsored by the Tri-Cities Wine Society, attracted several hundred attendees to the Three Rivers Convention Center.
Judges named the 2014 vintage of Cairdeas Winery’s “Tri” red blend best of the competition. Tri is a blend of three Rhone varietals — Syrah, Grenache Noir and Mourvedre.
College Cellars of Walla Walla, Sinclair Estate Vineyards of Walla Walla and Truthteller Winery of Woodinville received “Double-Gold Best of Class” recognition. College Cellars was honored for its 2016 Muscat Ottonal; Sinclair for its 2013 Vixen Columbia Valley Red Wine, a blend of Mourvedre, Syrah and Petit Verdot; and Truthteller for its 2014 red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot, “Pun.”
Winemaker Robert Smasne, of Prosser’s Smasne Cellars, earned “Double Gold, Best of Varietal” honors for his 2012 Cabernet Franc and his 2012 Three Vineyard Reserve Petit Verdot. Double Gold Best of Varietal honors also went to 14 Hands Winery’s 2013 The Reserve Merlot, Basalt Cellars’ 2012 Malbec, J.T. Grey’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and Longship Cellars 2014 Ginger Man Syrah.
Of the 113 wines that earned gold or better, 12 went to Smasne Cellars.
A complete list of results can be found at tricitieswinesociety.com