Houston Rodeo names wine competition champions
Published 11:26 am, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
A cabernet from Paso Robles won top honors in the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition. The 2014 J. Lohr Vineyards Signature Cabernet Sauvignon is only the second entry from that AVA (American Viticultural Area) to prevail in the event since judging began in 2004.
There was nothing unusual about a cabernet reigning as king of the Rodeo wines, however. Just two non-cab-centric bottles have been Grand Champions and 11 winners have come from California AVAs. The grape clearly has a flavor profile dear to the hearts and taste buds of Houstonians, and most of the folks who spent their weekend at NRG Center blind-tasting their way through the record number of submissions — 3,188 from 18 countries — were locals, of course.
Llano Estacado's 2015 Viviano Cabernet Sauvignon-Sangiovese was voted the top Texas wine from among 420 entries with Bending Branch claiming top-Texas-winery honors for its overall showing.
All the champion wines will be paired with dishes from leading Houston-area chefs at the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, and sold at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction and Dinner Feb. 25.
Visitors to the 2018 Rodeo can enjoy a selection of award-winning wines by the glass or bottle in the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Garden, located in Carruth Plaza at NRG Park. For more information on the events and to see a full list of the medal winners, visit rodeohouston.com/wine.
2018 Rodeo champions
Grand Champion Best of Show – 2014 J. Lohr Vineyards Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles.
Reserve Grand Champion – 2013 Ram's Gate Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard, Carneros.
Texas Wine – 2015 Llano Estacado Viviano Cabernet Sauvignon-Sangiovese.
Sparkling Wine – Beau Joie Brut Rosé, Champagne NV.
White Wine – 2015 Dr. Loosen Riesling Spätlese, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Mosel, Germany.
Red Wine – 2013 Ram's Gate Pinot Noir, Gap's Crown Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.
Sweet Wine – 2015 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine, Niagara Penninsula.
Value Wine – 2016 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah, California.
All-Around Winery – J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
Texas Wine Company – Bending Branch Winery
Region Wine Company – Europvin USA
Wine Company – Constellation Brands, Inc.
Previous Rodeo Grand Champion Best of Show wines
2017 – Arinzano Gran Vino Blanco, Pago de Arinzano 2010
2016 – Orin Swift Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Mercury Head, Napa Valley 2013
2015 – Rombauer Vineyards Diamond Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
2014 – Antinori Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri Superiore 2009
2013 – Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, Alexander Valley 2008
2012 – Antinori Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri Superiore 2007
2011 – Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, Alexander Valley 2006
2010 - Davis Family Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2005
2009 - Vina Robles Suendero, Paso Robles, 2006
2008 - Stags' Leap Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2003
2007 - Clos du Bois Marlstone, Alexander Valley, 2003
2006 - Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2001
2005 – Hang Time Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, 2003
2004 – Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus, Alexander Valley, 1999