Walla Walla winery wins top award at Tri-Cities Wine Fest

KENNEWICK -- A Walla Walla winery earned its second best-in-show honors at the 32nd annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival at the Three Rivers Convention Center.

Russell Creek Winery won top honors for its 2008 sangiovese, a red wine best known in Italy's Chianti Classico region of Tuscany.

The winery, which opened in 1998 as Walla Walla's 14th winery, is at the Walla Walla airport. Its 2005 Syrah won best in show at the 2008 Tri-Cities Wine Festival. This year, Russell Creek also won a gold for its 2007 Syrah and a silver for its 2008 Tributary, a red blend.

Six judges from up and down the West Coast judged more than 400 wines Saturday, awarding 285 medals, including two unanimous double golds, 24 golds, 88 silvers and 162 bronzes.

The judges were: Rebecca Chapa, a certified wine educator from San Francisco; Ann Littlefield, a longtime wine judge from Napa, Calif.; Narsai David, host of a wine radio show in San Francisco; Yashar Shayan, a sommelier in Seattle; Jim Harbertson of Washington State University in Prosser; and Angelo Taverno, a Master Sommelier who lives in Prosser.

Here are the top awards.

For complete results, go to www.winepress nw.com.

Best in show: Russell Creek Winery 2008 Sangiovese.

Best of variety: Chateau Ste. Michelle 2007 Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; Mellisoni Vineyards 2009 Pinot Grigio; Mercer Estates 2008 Chardonnay; Mount Baker Vineyards 2008 Malbec; Pend d'Oreille Winery 2006 Merlot; Willow Crest Winery 2007 Syrah.

Best in class: Airfield Estates 2008 Aviator; Smasne Cellars 2008 County Line Red.

Double gold: Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Blanc de Blancs; Pacific Rim Winemakers NV Framboise.

Gold: Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2007 Syrah; Anelare Winery 2007 Saint Helena Syrah; Anelare Winery 2007 Ciel du Cheval Syrah; Cathedral Ridge Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; Cooper Wine Company 2007 L'inizio; Coyote Canyon Winery 2008 H/H Estate Reserve Robert Andrews Red; Daven Lore Winery 2008 Mourvedre; Domaine Ste. Michelle NV Extra Dry; Foxy Roxy Wines 2006 Syrah; Hedges Family Estate 2009 CMS Sauvignon Blanc by Hedges; Hedges Family Estate 2007 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain; Kiona Vineyards Winery 2004 Sangiovese; Le Chateau Winery 2006 Chateau Walla Walla Masterpiece Rd; Mercer Estates 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; Mount Baker Vineyards 2007 Late Harvest Viognier; Pacific Rim Winemakers 2007 Vin de Glacier; Rock Meadow Cellars 2008 Rockin' Red; Russell Creek Winery 2007 Syrah; Silver Lake Winery 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; Skylite Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; Skylite Cellars 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; Skylite Cellars 2007 Red Hiney; Ste. Chapelle Winery 2007 Winemaker's Series Ice Wine; Tsillan Cellars 2008 Bellissima Rossa.