Best of the Best: Results of the 2012 Platinum Judging

Wine Press Northwest began the Platinum Judging in 2000 as a way to determine some of the best wines of the Pacific Northwest.

To accomplish this, we track more than 30 professionally judged wine competitions worldwide and track those wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho that win gold medals.

In 2012, Northwest wineries won nearly 1,100 gold medals at professional judgings, and we collected more than half of them for the Platinum.

The wines are categorized and judged blind over three days by two panels of wine experts, who award wines with Platinum, Double Gold, Gold or no medal. A wine is awarded a medal based on how a majority of the judges voted. In the case of all four judges deem the wine a Platinum, that wine is awarded a unanimous Double Platinum.

Based on each judge's score, we are able to determine which wine or wines end up at the top -- the best of the best.

The 13th annual Platinum Judging took place Nov. 7-9 at the Clover Island Inn in Kennewick, Wash.


Results for Koenig Vineyards:


Koenig Vineyards 2010 Botrytis Single Berry Select Late Harvest Riesling, Snake River Valley, $30: This is winemaker Greg Koenig's second consecutive year winning a Platinum, and both were for succulent dessert wines from Idaho's Snake River Valley. This late-harvest Riesling is made in the style of a Trockenbeerenauslese, or TBA, a German dessert wine in which botrytis-affected grapes are chosen individually. It is a painstaking process, but the the effort is worth it. This is a beautiful version with luscious texture, spicy aromas and flavors from the botrytis and gorgeous fruit that allows the varietal notes to shine through. This is one of the rarest wines in the Northwest, and it is worth savoring. (42 cases, 12% alc.) Award: Idaho Wine Competition (gold/best dessert wine)

Double Gold

Koenig Vineyards 2010 Three Vineyard Cuvee Syrah, Snake River Valley, $20: Award(s): Idaho Wine Competition (gold) (14.9%, 369 cases)

Koenig Vineyards 2009 Riesling Ice Wine, Snake River Valley, $20: Award(s): Northwest Wine Summit (gold) (11%, 383 cases)

 Koenig Vineyards 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah, Snake River Valley, $25: Award(s): Idaho Wine Competition (gold) (14.7%, 242 cases)