What judges said about the top wines at the 2023 North Coast Wine Challenge

How judges described the winning wines as they rose to the top.|

"Exotic and layered ... elegant and balanced with bittersweet cocoa and earthiness ... a beautiful expression of varietal character.” — Vaughn Duffy Wines, 2021 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Bacigalupi Vineyards, Best of the Best, Best Red wine and Best of Sonoma County

“Toasty, buttery and with an aged character, it’s sunshine in a glass. Elegant, with gorgeous texture.” — Scharffenberger Cellars, (NV) Brut Excellence Méthode Traditionelle, Mendocino County, Best of Show Sparkling wine

“Spicy, with bright apricot, Asian pear and lychee flavors, a hint of candied ginger and a refreshing finish.” — Husch Vineyards, 2022 Dry Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley, Best of Show White wine

“The stuff dreams are made of … luscious and satisfying.” — Fifth Hill, 2020 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley, Best of Show Dessert wine

“Hints of peach, pear and strawberry highlight this crisp, easy-drinking wine. Perfect for spring/summer.” — Rodney Strong Vineyards, 2022 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Best of Show Rosé

“Very aromatic, with hits of licorice and eucalyptus … succulent and seamless.” — Robledo, 2021 Selección Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Hills, Lake County, Best of Lake County

“Great dynamic, floral aromatics, plush mouthfeel. Dark anise notes.” — Sawyer Cellars, 2018 Merlot, Napa Valley, Best of Napa County

“Elegant and lovely, like an old Jaguar sedan. Luscious with gorgeous texture and a long, sexy finish.” — Soda Rock, 2020 Meritage, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, named one of 35 finalist wines

“Really delicious, with bold blackberry aromas, savory edges and chewy texture.” — Mazzocco Sonoma, 2020 Maria Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, named one of 35 finalist wines

“Full-flavored and layered … zesty passion fruit, lime and pink grapefruit … complex, complete and food-friendly.” — Dry Creek Vineyard, 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, named one of 35 finalist wines

“Yummy! Indian spice, fruitcake and black currant. Nice balance, the total package.” — Thirty-Seven, 2019 Syrah, Petaluma Gap, named one of 35 finalist wines

“Rich and opulent, it fills the mouth with sweet blackberry flavor.” — Trentadue, 2020 La Storia Cuvée 32 Red Wine, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, named one of 35 finalist wines

“Sophisticated, with vibrant black fruit and great mouthfeel. Shameless.” — Larson Family Winery, 2019 Tempranillo, Sonoma Valley, named one of 35 finalist wines

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