2015 Arizona Republic Wine Competition

The Arizona Republic Wine Competition is held each year just prior to The Grand Wine Festival (formerly Festival at the Farm). In 2015, the festival was held in November at the San Marcos Resort in Chandler. The Arizona Republic organized the 2015 competition. Twenty judges were invited to Tarbell’s restaurant in Phoenix to sample the more than 220 Arizona wines competing for honors. Awards were announced at the Grand Wine Awards Gala dinner the Friday night prior to the festival.

GROWERS CUP AWARD WINNERS

These wines are produced with 100% Arizona Fruit.

Best in Show

Callaghan Vineyards, Ann’s, 2014

Grower’s Cup – Red

First Place – Page Springs Cellars, Grenache AZ White Oak, 2013
Second Place – Gallifant Cellars, Rone Ranger, 2014
Third Place – Chateau Tumbleweed, Dr. Ron Bot, 2013

Grower’s Cup – White

First Place – Callaghan Vineyards, Ann’s, 2014
Second Place – Sand-Reckoner, Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Third Place – Page Springs Cellars, 2014. Vino del Barrio Blanca, 2014

Grower’s Cup – Rosé/blush

First Place – Sand-Reckoner, Rosé, 2014
Second Place – Page Springs Cellars, Counoise Rosé House Mountain Vineyard, 2014
Third Place (tie) – Chateau Tumbleweed, Rosé, 2013;
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Sparkling Pink, 2014

Grower’s Cup – Dessert

First Place – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Muscat, 2014
Second Place – Carlson Creek Vineyard, Sweet Adeline Riesling, 2013
Third Place – Coronado Vineyards, Riesling, 2013

Top Ten

Judges selected these wines for the final round of tasting:Callaghan Vineyards, Ann’s, 2014
Chateau Tumbleweed, Dr. Ron Bot, 2013
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, El Campo Blanco, 2013
Gallifant Cellars, Rone Ranger, 2014
Pillsbury Wine Co, Diva, 2013
Page Springs Cellars, Grenache AZ White Oak, 2013
Page Springs Cellars, Vino del Barrio Blanca, 2014
Rune, Grenache, 2013
Sand-Reckoner, Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Sand-Reckoner, Rosé, 2014

AWARDS FOR BEST VARIETALS & BLENDS 

Best Cabernet Sauvignon

First Place – Golden Rule Vineyards, Black Diamond, 2013
Second Place – Saeculum Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013
Third Place – Gallifant Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012

Best Grenache

First Place (tie) – Page Springs Cellars, Grenache AZ White Oak, 2013;
Flying Leap Vineyards, Grenache FLV Block1, 2013;
Rune, Grenache, 2013
Second Place – Callaghan Vineyards, Grenache, 2014

Best Merlot

First Place – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Merlot Pick 1 Free Run, 2014

Best Petite Sirah

First Place – Pillsbury Wine Co., Petite Sirah, 2013
Second Place – Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, Little Block Petite Sirah, 2013
Third Place – Bodega Pierce, Petite Sirah, 2014

Best Sangiovese

First Place – Freitas Vineyard, Bellocchio, 2012
Second Place – Golden Rule Vineyards, Sangiovese, 2013
Third Place – Caduceus Cellars, Kitsuné, 2013

Best Syrah

First Place – Rune, Wild Syrah, 2013
Second Place – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Buhl Memorial Vineyard Syrah Clone 383, 2014
Third Place (tie) – Rune, Classic Syrah,2013;
Zarpara Vineyard, Syrah, 2013

Best Rhone Blend

First Place – Gallifant Cellars, Rone Ranger, 2014
Second Place – Zarpara Vineyard, Origen, 2013
Third Place – Chateau Tumbleweed, Dr. Ron Bot, 2013

Best Bordeaux Blend

First Place – Callaghan Vineyards, Ruth’s, 2014
Second Place – Callaghan Vineyards, Caitlin’s, 2013
Third Place – Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Rock Slide, 2013

Best Super Tuscan Blend

First Place – Bodega Pierce, Emotiva, 2014
Second Place – Caduceus Cellars, Nagual del Marzo, 2013
Third Place – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Mangus, 2013

Best Non-traditional Red Blend

First Place – Pillsbury Wine Co, Diva, 2013
Second Place – Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Red, 2013
Third Place – Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Prospectors Blend, 2014

Best Chardonnay

First Place – Bodega Pierce, Chardonnay, 2014
Second Place – Gallifant Cellars, Chardonnay, 2013
Third Place – Pillsbury Wine Co., Chardonnay Reserve, 2014

Best Malvasia Bianca

First Place (tie) – Callaghan Vineyards, Ann’s, 2014;
Sand-Reckoner, Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Second Place (tie) – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Malvasia Bianca, 2014;
Bodega Pierce, Malvasia Bianca, 2014

Best Viognier

First Place – Rune, Viognier, 2013
Second Place – Pillsbury Wine Co., Viognier, 2014
Third Place – Zarpara Viognier 2014

Best White Blend

First Place – Dos Cabezas WineWorks, El Campo Blanco, 2013
Second Place – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, DIYA, 2014
Third Place – Merkin Vineyards, Chupacabra Blanca, 2014

Best Rosé Varietal

First Place – Page Springs Cellars, Counoise Rosé House Mountain Vineyard, 2014
Second Place – Caduceus Cellars, Marzo Rosé, 2014
Third Place (tie) – Callaghan Vineyards, Dry Grenache Rosé, 2014;
Deep Sky Vineyard, Nebula, 2014

Best Rosé Blend

First Place – Sand-Reckoner, Rosé, 2014
Second Place – Chateau Tumbleweed, Rosé, 2013
Third Place – Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Sparkling Pink, 2014

GROWERS CUP GOLD MEDAL AWARDS

These wines were ranked gold. Gold wines earned above 90 points on a 100-point scale.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Buhl Memorial Vineyard Syrah Clone 383, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, DIYA, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Tazi, 2013
Bodega Pierce, Pandora, 2014
Callaghan Vineyards, Ann’s, 2014
Callaghan Vineyards, Tannat, 2013
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, El Campo Blanco, 2013
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Red, 2013
Flying Leap Vineyards, Grenache FLV Block 1, 2013
Freitas Vineyard, Bellocchio, 2012
Gallifant Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012
Golden Rule Vineyards, Black Diamond, 2013
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Cabernet Franc, 2014
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Prospectors Blend, 2014
Merkin Vineyards, Chupacabra Blanca, 2014
Page Springs Cellars, Counoise Rosé House Mountain Vineyard, 2014
Page Springs Cellars, Grenache AZ White Oak, 2013
Page Springs Cellars, Vino del Barrio Blanca, 2014
Pillsbury Wine Co., Diva, 2013
Pillsbury Wine Co., Viognier, 2014
Rune, Classic Syrah, 2013
Rune, Grenache, 2013
Rune, Viognier, 2013
Rune, Wild Syrah, 2013
Saeculum Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013
Sand-Reckoner, Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Sand-Reckoner, Rosé 2014
Zarpara Vineyard, Syrah, 2013
Zarpara Vineyard, Viognier, 2014

GROWERS CUP SILVER MEDAL AWARDS

These wines were ranked silver. Silver wines scored 85-90 on a 100-point scale.

Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014
Alcantara Vineyards and Winery, Syrah, 2012
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Dayden, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Muscat, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Pick 4 Free Run, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Merlot Pick 1 Free Run, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Bodega Pierce, Emotiva, 2014
Bodega Pierce, Chardonnay, 2014
Bodega Pierce, Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Burning Tree Cellars, Jespersen Ranch Syrah, 2013
Caduceus Cellars, Dos Ladrones, 2014
Caduceus Cellars, Kitsuné, 2013
Caduceus Cellars, Le Cortigiane ONESTE, 2013
Caduceus Cellars, Velvet Slippers Club: Viognier, 2014
Caduceus Cellars, Marzo Rosé, 2014
Callaghan Vineyards, Grenache, 2014
Callaghan Vineyards, Grenache, 2013
Carlson Creek Vineyard, Grenache, 2013
Carlson Creek Vineyard, Syrah, 2012
Carlson Creek Vineyard, Riesling, 2013
Chateau Tumbleweed, Rose, 2013
Chateau Tumbleweed, Arneis, 2014
Chateau Tumbleweed, Dr. Ron Bot, 2013
Chateau Tumbleweed, Syrah, 2013
Coronado Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013
Coronado Vineyards, Syrah, 2013
Deep Sky Vineyard, Constellation, 2013
Deep Sky Vineyard, Aurora, 2014
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Sparkling Pink, 2014
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, La Montaña, 2012
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Pink, 2014
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Aguileon, 2012
Flying Leap Vineyards, Petit Verdot, 2013
Four Eight Wineworks, Four Eight Red, 2013
Four Tails Vineyard, Big Paw Syrah, 2013
Freitas Vineyard, Mesa, 2010
Gallifant Cellars, Rone Ranger, 2014
Golden Rule Vineyards, Eureka, 2013
Golden Rule Vineyards, Manzora Red, 2013
Golden Rule Vineyards, Sangiovese, 2013
Golden Rule Vineyards, Commonwealth, 2013
Golden Rule Vineyards, Cobra Loma, 2013
Golden Rule Vineyards, Lucky Prospector, 2013
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Syrah, 2014
Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, “Three Sisters” Syrah, 2012
Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, “Best Friends” Viognier, 2013
Kief-Joshua Vineyards, Magdelena, 2013
Lawrence Dunham Vineyards, Syrah, 2012
Page Springs Cellars¸ Grenache Neutral Oak Page Springs Vineyard, 2013
Page Springs Cellars, Syrah Clone 470 Dos Padres Vineyard, 2014
Passion Cellars, Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Passion Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014
Pillsbury Wine Co., WildChild White, 2013
Pillsbury Wine Co., Petite Sirah, 2013
Provisioner Wines, Provisioner Red, 2014
Provisioner Wines, Provisioner White, 2014
Saeculum Cellars, Viognier, 2014
Salvatore Vineyards, Viognier, 2014
Sand-Reckoner, Picpoul Blanc, 2014
Sand-Reckoner, 7, 2012
Sierra Bonita Vineyards, Hacienda, 2012
Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College, Viognier, 2014
Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College, Grenache, 2014
Zarpara Vineyard, Origen, 2013

GROWERS CUP BRONZE MEDAL AWARDS

These wines were ranked bronze. Bronze wines scored 80-84 on a 100-point scale.

Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Gewurztraminer, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Mangus, 2013
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Nachise, 2014
Bodega Pierce, Petite Sirah, 2014
Burning Tree Cellars, Spanish Springs Chardonnay, 2012
Caduceus Cellars, Velvet Slippers Club: Aglianico, 2013
Caduceus Cellars, Nagual del Marzo, 2013
Caduceus Cellars, Velvet Slippers Club: Malvasia Bianca, 2014
Callaghan Vineyards, Ruth’s, 2014
Callaghan Vineyards, Caitlin’s, 2013
Callaghan Vineyards, Dry Grenache Rosé, 2014
Carlson Creek Vineyard, Rule Of Three, 2012
Coronado Vineyards, Riesling, 2013
Coronado Vineyards, Conquistador Red, NV
Coronado Vineyards, Two Heads Red, NV
Deep Sky Vineyard, Orbit, 2013
Deep Sky Vineyard, Nebula, 2014
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, El Norte, 2012
Flying Leap Vineyards, Solo, 2014
Gallifant Cellars, Chardonnay, 2013
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Legacy Zinfandel, 2014
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Rock Slide, 2013
Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, Little Block Petite Sirah, 2013
Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, Two Reds Grenache, 2012
Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, Keeling Brothers Shiraz, 2012
Lawrence Dunham Vineyards, Petite Sirah, 2012
Lawrence Dunham Vineyards, The Signature Petite Sirah, 2012
Merkin Vineyards, Chupacabra, 2014
Page Springs Cellars, Mertis Ap, 2013
Passion Cellars, Heaven’s Half Acre, 2013
Pillsbury Wine Co., Symphony, 2014
Pillsbury Wine Co., Chardonnay Reserve, 2014
Pillsbury Wine Co., Symphony Sweet Lies Reserve, 2014
Pillsbury Wine Co., Shiraz Guns and Kisses, 2013
Pillsbury Wine Co., Chardonnay, 2014
Rune, Chardonnay, 2013
Salvatore Vineyards, Lacrime di Risate, 2013
Sierra Bonita Vineyards, Hacienda Blanca, 2012
Sierra Bonita Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012
Sonoita Vineyards, Sonora Blanca, NV
Sonoita Vineyards, Petite Sirah, 2012
Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College, Syrah, 2014
Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College, Petite Sirah, 2014
Su Vino Winery, Chardonnay, NV

JUDGES’ FAVORITES

Here are the judges in the 2015 Arizona Republic Wine Competition and their favorite wines.

Cornelius Cover, sommelier,
Core Kitchen & Wine Bar, Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
Rune, Viognier, 2013

Alex Davis, beverage manager,
J&G Steakhouse, The Phoenician
Sand-Reckoner, Malvasia Bianca, 2014

Bill Dunphy, owner, Trocadero Wine School
Pillsbury Wine Co., Diva, 2013

Blaise Faber, Pizzeria Bianco, Town and Country
Rune, Viognier, 2013

Regan Jasper, sommelier, Fox Restaurant Concepts
Golden Rule Vineyards, Black Diamond, 2013

Sarah Joubert, supervisor, Province, Westin Phoenix Downtown
Callaghan Vineyards, Grenache, 2014
Page Springs Cellars, Grenache AZ White Oak, 2013

Kevin Lewis, sommelier, wine director, Kai
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Buhl Memorial Vineyard Syrah Clone 383, 2014

Patrick Norton, general manager, J&G Steakhouse
Sand-Reckoner, Rosé, 2014

Jenna Rousseau, owner, Central Wine
Chateau Tumbleweed, Arneis, 2014
Bodega Pierce, Chardonnay, 2014
Callaghan Vineyards, Tannat, 2013

Jay Soloff, cofounder, DeLille Cellars, Wash.
Sand-Reckoner, Malvasia Bianca, 2014

Jared Sowinski, director of beverage, The Phoenician
Chateau Tumbleweed, Dr. Ron Bot, 2013
Deep Sky Vineyard, Orbit, 2013
Gallifant Cellars, Rone Ranger, 2014

Katie Stephens, co-owner, Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail
Page Springs Cellars, Vino del Barrio Blanca. 2014
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Cabernet Franc, 2014

T. Scott Stephens, coowner, Southern Rail and Beckett’s Table.
Flying Leap Vineyards, Petit Verdot, 2013
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Muscat, 2014

Ryan Swanson, chef de cuisine, Kai
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Cabernet Franc, 2014

Mark Tarbell, owner and chef, Tarbell’s Restaurant
Sand-Reckoner, Malvasia Bianca, 2014

Greg Tresner, sommelier, The Phoenician, Court of Master Sommeliers
Rune, Viognier, 2013

Alec van Dobben, beverage manager, El Chorro Lodge
Passion Cellars, Malvasia Bianca, New Mexico, 2014
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bonita Springs Vineyard Muscat, 2014

Noelle Waite, division manager, Southern Wine & Spirits of Arizona
Dos Cabezas WineWorks, El Campo Blanco, 2013
Gallifant Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012
Pillsbury Wine Co, Diva, 2013

Michael West, restaurant manager, wine director,
Core Kitchen & Wine Bar, Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
Javelina Leap Vineyards & Winery, Cabernet Franc, 2014

Cortney Wilson, assistant F&B manager, resident mixologist,
District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, Sheraton
Callaghan Vineyards, Ann’s, 2014

WINEMAKER’S MEDAL AWARD WINNERS

These wines are produced from grapes grown outside Arizona.

Winemaker’s Medal – Red

First Place – Burning Tree Cellars, Jespersen Ranch Syrah, Edna Valley, Calif., 2013
Second Place – Caduceus Cellars, Le Cortigiane Oneste, Luna County, N.M., 2013
Third Place – Caduceus Cellars, Velvet Slippers Club: Aglianico, Luna County, N.M., 2013

Winemaker’s Medal – White

First Place – Passion Cellars, Malvasia Bianca, N.M., 2014
Second Place – Burning Tree Cellars, Spanish Springs Chardonnay, Edna Valley, Calif., 2012
Third Place – Rune, Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, Calif., 2013

Images from 2015