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.

Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sunset International Wine Competition, Best in Class
Wine: 2018 Alexander Valley Vineyards Zinfandel
Purchase: https://shop.avvwine.com/shop/p-534-2018-avv-zinfandel.aspx
Phone: 707-433-7209
Date Awarded: Oct 2021
This 100% Zinfandel was awarded 97 points & Double Gold Medal as well as Best in Class. The 2018 has elegant, jammy and spicy fruit flavors with the classic Alexander Valley Vineyards label. Rich earthy dark fruit flavors of black cherry, plum & black pepper fill the glass along with hints of warm spice & brown sugar.
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sunset International Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2018 Alexander Valley Vineyards Syrah
Purchase: https://shop.avvwine.com/shop/p-412-2018-syrah.aspx
Phone: 707-433-7209
Date Awarded: Oct 2021
This aromatic wine has spicy & juicy flavors of blackberry jam, black cherry, plum, white pepper and a hint of toasty oak. 98% Syrah co-fermented with 2% Viognier, aged for 16 months in French oak barrels.
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.
Amphora Winery, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Double Gold
Wine: 2017 Syrah, Sonoma County
Purchase: https://www.amphorawines.com/product/Syrah-2017?pageID=0E14FDD4-AE41-6175-AAD9-F99A10A26B74&sortBy=ProductTitle&maxRows=10&
Phone: 707-431-7767
Date Awarded: 1/15/2022
Our 2017 is true to the spirit of this Rhône varietal: it is blue-black in color, with deep-noted aromas of blackberry, menthol and sweet spices embraced in a substantial core of black fruit flavors and firm tannins. This wine definitely has the heft and depth to age beautifully for years. For more immediate enjoyment, decant or aerate a bottle, and have it with smoked sausages, Duck Confit, Cassoulet or braised Shortribs. We invite you to dive deeply into our latest rendition of this noble Rhône varietal, and renew your enchantment with this most enigmatic of wines.
Baldassari Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, 90 Points or higher (see details below)
Wine: 2018 Carneros, Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Purchase: https://www.bfwwine.com/shopping-cart
Phone: 415-235-8225
Date Awarded: April 2021
Intriguing floral notes with sweet tangerine, guava and yellow delicious apples followed with notes of brioche, vanilla beans and apricot. The flavors are pure and fresh with notes of tangerine, tropical fruits, country butter and yellow apples. The palate is rich with a brisk acidity that keeps the wine focused and fresh.
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!
Balletto Vineyards, OTHER - details in description, 90 Points or higher (see details below)
Wine: 2018 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=RRV_Chardonnay_2018
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: October 2021
93 Points & Best Buy - Wine & Spirits Magazine. Both complex and elegant, showing its cool-climate heritage with concentrated flavors and a dark and lasting texture that has perfectly bright citrus tones for balance. It opens up with warm spices, ripe pear and lemon aromas.
Balletto Vineyards, OTHER - details in description, 90 Points or higher (see details below)
Wine: 2018 Cider Ridge Chardonnay
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=2018CiderRidgeChardonnay
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: October 2021
92 Points - Wine & Spirits Magazine. This is an elegant Chardonnay wrapped in floral prettiness, bright fruit and a gorgeous structure that's layered with natural acidity and a lush, perfect texture. It's balanced and elegant, yet intense and delicious.
Balletto Vineyards, OTHER - details in description, Other - details in description
Wine: 2018 Sexton Hill Chardonnay
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=2018SextonHillChardonnay
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: October 2021
92 Points - Wine & Spirits Magazine. Booms out of the glass with apricot, red apple and baking spice aromas that pull this serious wine into its own class. And then there's the mouthfeel. It's weighty throughout yet maintains its focus with a laser-beam streak of natural acidity that pulls the wine together and hints at its long-term aging potential.
Balletto Vineyards, OTHER - details in description, 90 Points or higher (see details below)
Wine: 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=pinot_noir_russian_river_valley
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: July 2021
92 Points - Jeb Dunnuck. Balletto's Russian River Valley Pinot Noir exhibits everything you would expect from a serious point. It combines full and captivating aromatics with a delicate texture that defines the Balletto style of Pinot Noir.
Balletto Vineyards, OTHER - details in description, Other - details in description
Wine: 2018 Sexton Hill Pinot Noir
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=2018_Pinot_Noir_Sexton_Hill
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: October 2020
93 Points - The Tasting Panel Magazine, 92 Points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The Sexton Hill Pinot is that rare Pinot that's elegant and beautifully layered, yet chock-full of intensity. The wine opens subtly with dry earth, whole cluster fermentation spice and black tea, followed by dark fruit in the background. Juicy acidity lights up the palate and gives focus to its medium-weight body, which still manages to come across as powerful.
Balletto Vineyards, Wine Enthusiasts Magazine (points), 90 Points or higher (see details below)
Wine: 2018 BCD Pinot Noir
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=2018_PinotNoir_BCD_Vineyard
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: December 2020
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Bright and dark simultaneously, with mocha and earth aromas playing off fresh cherries. It has a wide and silky palate, booming aromas and just enough acidity and tannins to pull the wine through to a long and lasting finish. It's quite a ride.
Balletto Vineyards, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Gold
Wine: 2018 Winery Block Pinot Noir
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=2018_Winery_Block_Pinot_Noir
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: 2020
Gold - Sonoma County Harvest Fair. There's something alluring and fascinating in this wine. Each year, the Winery Bock produces a boisterous, booming-out-of-the-glass pinot that achieves an elevated seriousness through a wonderful structure, balance and intensity.
Balletto Vineyards, OTHER - details in description, 90 Points or higher (see details below)
Wine: 2017 BCD Syrah
Purchase: https://www.ballettovineyards.com/shop/?view=product&slug=2017_Syrah_BCD
Phone: 7075682455
Date Awarded: March 2022
94 Points - Wine & Spirits Magazine. This Syrah opens with classic-cool climate aromatics. The first impression is lightly smoked bacon, earth and savory spices. A core of dark fruit follows and holds the wine together without overstepping. it's complex and elegant. Then there's a tart blackberry foundation that runs from start to finish and is a reminder that this wine is grown in a cool site.
Carol Shelton Wines, Sunset International Wine Competition, Double Gold
Wine: 2021 Wild Thing Chardonnay
Purchase: https://www.carolshelton.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=WTC21&cat=whitewine
Phone: 7075753441
Date Awarded: 2022
And 96 points. Tropical fruits like pineapple and a bit of guava, green apple, oak spice. Soft creamy mouthfeel, punctuated by bright acidity and a crisp finish. Walks the line between pure stainless steel fermented, leaner Chardonnay and the fat, buttery barrel-fermented style. Very food compatible with chicken, pork or fish!
Carol Shelton Wines, Orange County Fair Wine Competition, Double Gold
Wine: 2021 Wild Thing Chardonnay
Purchase: https://www.carolshelton.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=WTC21&cat=whitewine
Phone: 707-575-3441
Date Awarded: 2022
And 93 points. Tropical fruits like pineapple and a bit of guava, green apple, oak spice. Soft creamy mouthfeel, punctuated by bright acidity and a crisp finish. Walks the line between pure stainless steel fermented, leaner Chardonnay and the fat, buttery barrel-fermented style. Very food compatible with chicken, pork or fish!
Carol Shelton Wines, OTHER - details in description, Best in Class
Wine: 2021 Viognier, Placer County
Purchase: https://www.carolshelton.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=VIO21&cat=whitewine
Phone: 7075753441
Date Awarded: 2022
2022 El Dorado Co Fair Wine Competition Beautiful nose of white flowers (jasmine, gardenia and honeysuckle) mingled with pretty green tea, grapefruit and orange zest aromas, only a light kiss of creamy vanilla oak toast. Super crisp acidity without being puckery tart, just pinpoint balanced with trace of sweetness and creaminess from oak. Juicy, mouth-watering Honey-crisp apple and citrus, green peach fruit. Great structure to pair with lemon-butter shrimp or Thai food or even to drink solo.
Carol Shelton Wines, Orange County Fair Wine Competition, Gold
Wine: 2021 Viognier, Placer County
Purchase: https://www.carolshelton.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=VIO21&cat=whitewine
Phone: 7075753441
Date Awarded: 2022
And 90 Points. Beautiful nose of white flowers (jasmine, gardenia and honeysuckle) mingled with pretty green tea, grapefruit and orange zest aromas, only a light kiss of creamy vanilla oak toast. Super crisp acidity without being puckery tart, just pinpoint balanced with trace of sweetness and creaminess from oak. Juicy, mouth-watering Honey-crisp apple and citrus, green peach fruit. Great structure to pair with lemon-butter shrimp or Thai food or even to drink solo.
Carol Shelton Wines, OTHER - details in description, Gold
Wine: 2021 Viognier, Placer County
Purchase: https://www.carolshelton.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=VIO21&cat=whitewine
Phone: 17075753441
Date Awarded: 2022
2022 Monterey Wine Festival Competition Beautiful nose of white flowers (jasmine, gardenia and honeysuckle) mingled with pretty green tea, grapefruit and orange zest aromas, only a light kiss of creamy vanilla oak toast. Super crisp acidity without being puckery tart, just pinpoint balanced with trace of sweetness and creaminess from oak. Juicy, mouth-watering Honey-crisp apple and citrus, green peach fruit. Great structure to pair with lemon-butter shrimp or Thai food or even to drink solo.
Carol Shelton Wines, OTHER - details in description, Gold
Wine: 2021 Coquille Blanc
Purchase: https://www.carolshelton.com/xe/xe.asp?page=viewitem&p=CB21&cat=whitewine
Phone: 17075753441
Date Awarded: 2022
2022 Central Coast Wine Competition Enticing nose of spicy pears and white peaches, almond paste/marzipan, a touch of honeysuckle perfume. Multi-dimensional (many layers), a hard-to-describe range of aromatics, intriguing, almost mysterious! In the mouth it is crisply dry yet creamy and round and full-bodied, with nice almond paste on crisp-yet-juicy pear fruit.