Wine Awards

We’re excited to share the following accolades received by the wineries along the Wine Road.

If you don’t see your favorite winery, don’t despair. Not all wineries send their wines for review or to competitions, but that doesn’t make their wines any less delicious.

Many of our winery members produce small lots of wine, so their case production is too small to meet the criteria for wine competitions. Plus, most reviewing sources require a wine be either distributed out of state or produced in large enough quantity to be available for purchase for several weeks after the review is published.

We hope this list of scores and awards will encourage you to explore new wines and new wineries on your next visit along the Wine Road.

J. Rickards Winery, Sunset International Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2020 Grenache, One Lone Row - Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/red-wines-c3.aspx
Phone: (707) 758-3441
Date Awarded: June 2022
Notes of black licorice and lavender on the nose transition into flavors of black cherry and rich raspberry jam. An extended finish of jasmine tea and earthy spice provides the perfect conclusion for this complex wine.
J. Rickards Winery, Sunset International Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Pauli & Croft - North Coast
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/white--ros-wines-c5.aspx
Phone: (707) 758-3441
Date Awarded: June 2022
Our Sauvignon Blanc is produced from the Croft Vineyard, a unique parcel located at the southern end of the Alexander Valley. The vineyard was planted at an elevation 700 feet above the valley floor in a saddle that connects the Russian River AVA and the Alexander Valley AVA. This location allows the cooling fog from the coast to penetrate early in the morning, cooling off the vines and extending hang-time for the grapes. These factors help develop intense aromatics of melon and exotic fruit flavors, while still preserving the crisp acidity that Sauvignon Blanc is known for.
J. Rickards Winery, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Double Gold
Wine: 2019 Zinfandel, Ancestor Selections - Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/red-wines-c3.aspx
Phone: (707) 758-3441
Date Awarded: April 2022
98 Points - Fruit from our own 1908 vineyard has been combined with clones grafted from other historical vineyards in the area to create a traditional Zinfandel blend. Aromas of boysenberry and white pepper spice lead to round flavors of ripe raspberry and candied black cherry.
J. Rickards Winery, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Best in Class
Wine: 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon A.V. Select - Alexander Valley
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: April 2022
97 Points - Our A.V. Select Cabernet Sauvignon is an approachable take on the classic Bordeaux varietal. Intense aromas of summer blackberry and vanilla spice lead to lush flavors of ripe plum and berry pie filling. Layers of dense tannin and subtle sweet oak culminate in a velvety finish. This wine is a delicious and versatile choice for any occasion!
J. Rickards Winery, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Gold
Wine: 2021 Ava Rae Rosé of Grenache - Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: April 2022
93 Points - Named after our winemaker's young daughter, this delightfully dry Rosé of Grenache salutes future generations of vintners with notes of strawberry, watermelon, and hibiscus. An elegantly round mouthfeel leads to a lingering finish of light floral notes and tart rhubarb. This crisp wine is a welcome addition to picnics, leisurely afternoon meals, and general warm-weather relaxation.
J. Rickards Winery, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Gold
Wine: 2019 Zinfandel, La Cosecha - North Coast
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: April 2022
92 Points - Zinfandel grapes from Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Valley and our own Alexander Valley are combined to create this fruit-driven and deliciously round-textured wine. We find this traditional blend to be reminiscent of the classic Zinfandel blends that graced tha tables of the Italian immigrant families that settled in the Northern Alexander Valley. In that spirit, it is perfectly suited to pair with red sauces and rustic Italian fare.
J. Rickards Winery, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Best in Class
Wine: 2018 Zinfandel, Voigt Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: January 2022
Best of Class / Double Gold - This is a classic Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel full of spice and brilliant fruit. Red, ripe plums dominate the aromas and flavors, followed by black cherries and toasted oak. This nearby property is owned by the Voigt Family, who have been instrumental in bringing art to public areas in Sonoma County. www.voigtfoundation.com
J. Rickards Winery, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Double Gold
Wine: 2019 Pinot Noir, Placida Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: January 2022
SOLD OUT! Aged for sixteen months in French oak barrels, our first Pinot Noir blooms with aromas of dark cherry, raspberry, cola, tobacco, and caramel. Upon first sip, the silky texture carries notes of dried cranberry, subtle cherry, black tea, and toffee. The gentle flavor profile and soft, round finish make this wine an excellent pairing with duck breast, wild mushroom pasta and aged gruyere cheese. The grapes were sourced from the renowned Placida Vineyards in Russian River Valley.
J. Rickards Winery, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2019 Old Vine Zinfandel, Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: January 2022
A unique field-blend from our 1908 vines, this Old World Zin is bright and fruity with floral notes layered amongst boysenberry, blackberry, cherry, and warm baking spice.
J. Rickards Winery, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2019 Old Vine 1908 Brignole Reserve Zinfandel, Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: January 2022
An old-style fi eld blend of 80% Zinfandel,10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 4% Mataro, and a 1% smattering of several other varietals. Gorgeous complex fruit with deep blackberry cobbler and gingerbread spice flavors.
J. Rickards Winery, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Best in Class
Wine: 2019 Grenache, One Lone Row - Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: September 2021
Notes of black licorice and lavender on the nose transition into flavors of black cherry and rich raspberry jam. An extended finish of jasmine tea and earthy spice provides the perfect conclusion for this complex wine.
J. Rickards Winery, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Gold
Wine: 2018 Five Sisters Cabernet Sauvignon - Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: September 2021
Our Five Sisters Cabernet is a cellar-worthy, yet approachable take on the classic Bordeaux blend. Lush aromatics of plum and cassis are immediately evident and lead into rich, balanced flavors of black cherry and herbal spice. The expansive mouthfeel is supported by layers of dense tannin and subtle notes of sweet oak that culminate in an extended, velvety finish.
J. Rickards Winery, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Double Gold
Wine: 2018 G-S-M - Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: September 2021
Our latest vintage of this classic Old World blend brings Syrah to the fore, letting the aromas and flavors of deep, dark fruits shine! Three traditional grapes -- Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre -- were blended to create this medium-bodied red that balances round fruit flavors with earthy structure. An eminently versatile food wine, our GSM is wonderful with most any food off the grill, and mushroom dishes stand out as perfect partners.
J. Rickards Winery, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Gold
Wine: 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Croft Vineyard - Alexander Valley
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: September 2021
A long time staff favorite year-to-year, the grapes for this wine are sourced from a unique hillside vineyard at the southern base of Alexander Valley. Intensely aromatic with bold, crisp flavors of green apple, stonefruit, and flint.
J. Rickards Winery, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Gold
Wine: 2020 Viognier, Salem Ranch - Dry Creek Valley
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/all-wines-c2.aspx
Phone: 707-758-3441
Date Awarded: September 2021
Sourced from a small production ranch in the lower Dry Creek Valley and fermented in 50/50 neutral oak and stainless steel. Soft florals on the nose, bright summer fruit on the palate.
J. Rickards Winery, Sunset International Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Five Sisters Blend - Alexander Valley Estate
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/red-wines-c3.aspx
Phone: (707) 758-3441
Date Awarded: June 2022
Grapes for our Five Sisters Blend Cabernet Sauvignon were cool fermented in temperature-controlled, open-topped fermentation tanks and gently punched down by hand. Th­is time-consuming, low-impact processing optimizes fruit extraction and limits harsh tannins. ­The wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec, 6% Merlot, 2% Petite Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. All of the components of this wine were fermented and barrel-aged separately for 20 months in French oak barrels, then combined to create our Five Sisters Blend.
J. Rickards Winery, Sunset International Wine Competition, Best in Class
Wine: 2019 Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel - Alexander Valley Estate - 1908 Brignole Reserve, Anno 111
Purchase: https://shop.jrwinery.com/red-wines-c3.aspx
Phone: (707) 758-3441
Date Awarded: June 2022
An old-style field blend of 80% Zinfandel,10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 4% Mataro, and a 1% smattering of several other varietals. Gorgeous complex fruit with deep blackberry cobbler and gingerbread spice flavors.
Baldassari Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, Double Gold
Wine: 2019 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Purchase: http://www.bfwwine.com
Phone: 415-235-8225
Date Awarded: June 2022
Inviting notes of Maraschino cherries, fleshy red raspberries, hibiscus flowers and cherry fruit galette with touches of all spice and cinnamon. This Pinot Noir has the hallmark Russian River Valley fruit profile that is seldom reproduced elsewhere. This Pinot Noir has a light ruby red hue and a medium tannin profile that is supple with fine grained tannins that will reward the wine enthusiast. Saluté
Baldassari Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, Double Gold
Wine: 2018 Nolan Vineyard, Bennett Valley Syrah
Purchase: http://www.bfwwine.com
Phone: 415-235-8225
Date Awarded: June 2022
This wine explodes with notes of roasted game, cracked pepper, prune, black olive, spice, tobacco leaf, bacon fat, notes of tea leaf, boysenberry and blueberry as the wine opens with air. The palate mimics the aroma with roasted game, cracked pepper, tobacco leaf and dried purple fruits, and it will reward the Syrah enthusiast. Saluté!
Baldassari Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2021 Russian River Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir
Purchase: https://www.bfwwine.com
Phone: 415-235-8225
Date Awarded: June 2022
This Rosé of Pinot Noir has tempting and alluring aromas of freshly cut watermelon, white peaches and ripe summer strawberries topped with fresh cream. While digging deeper you'll find pretty notes of wilted rose petals, cherry blossoms and a touch of mineral character. The aroma is fruit forward but complex in its intensity and nuance of secondary aromas. This Rosé is crisp, delicate, and completely dry but with a pleasant, sweet texture because of the delicate style in which it is produced. A Rosé classic. Saluté!
Baldassari Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, Silver
Wine: 2021 Knights Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Purchase: https://www.bfwwine.com
Phone: 415-235-8225
Date Awarded: June 2022
This Sauvignon Blanc was made in a reductive style to preserve the natural flavors and aromas of this grape that are easily lost when the fresh juice is exposed to oxygen. Bursting with an eye-opening pallet of aromas including passion fruit, elderflower, and fresh cut red grapefruit and lemon-lime zest with touches of meadow flowers and boxwood. The aroma is fruit forward but complex in its intensity and nuances of secondary aromas. Wow. Saluté!
Baldassari Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, Silver
Wine: 2019 Carneros, Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Purchase: https://www.bfwwine.com
Phone: 415-235-8225
Date Awarded: June 2022
Bursting out of the glass with intense honeyed-floral notes, sweet mandarin orange slices, tangerine, pear and yellow delicious apples followed with notes of vanilla, warm baking spices and citrus blossoms, this Chardonnay is an aromatic delight! The flavors are in line with the aroma providing layered tears of fresh tangerine, star jasmine, fresh apple sauce and cut tropical fruits. The palate is supple with a nice viscosity and juicy acidity that keeps the wine focused and fresh. Perfect for your summer dining. Saluté!
Baldassari Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, Silver
Wine: 2019 Asti Ranch, Alexander Valley Malbec
Purchase: http://www.bfwwine.com
Phone: 415-235-8225
Date Awarded: June 2022
Aromas of gobs of Black Cherries, Blackberries and Plum Sauce are complimented by notes of Violet, All Spice and Tobacco leaf coalesce to give a warm, sweet aromatic profile that you can smell for minutes before even sipping. The flavors are very similar to the aromatics in plums, plum sauce, blackberry and cherries and notes of sweet pipe tobacco and of sweet, just tanned leather.   This wine is meant for all things grilled, barbecued or for the richest of cheeses and charcuterie, it begs for braised cuts of meat and a hearty winter dish. Stunning. Saluté!
Amphora Winery, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Double Gold
Wine: 2018 GSM, Sonoma County
Purchase: https://www.amphorawines.com/product/GSM-2018
Phone: 7074317767
Date Awarded: 2022
Our “GSM” is inspired by the incomparable blends of France’s Rhône Valley. In our 2018, the Grenache (41%) provides a seductive strawberry fruit that wraps around a brooding, dark-noted core of Syrah (45%). The Mourvèdre (14%) seasons the blend with a woodsy spice. The result is a lovely synergy, a wine that is appealing right now, but that promises to amply reward a little bottle-age. Enjoy it with a lightly smoked pork tenderloin and cauliflower roasted with lemon and garlic.
Due Ruscelli Vineyards, Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Best in Class
Wine: 2018 Tramonto Primitivo
Purchase: https://www.dueruscelli.com/2018-Tramonto
Phone: 707-473-8089
Date Awarded: 2022
96 Points