Winter Wine Olympic Games - Can You Taste The Gold?


The XXIII Winter Olympic Games has begun! (cue John Williams’, Bulger’s Dream) Now that you’ve got the inspirational Olympic theme song stuck in your head, it’s time to gear up, put your game face on and cheer for the amazing athletes representing the US of A in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Now, what does the Olympics have to do with wine, you ask?

Well, we’ve gone through years and years of strenuous and extensive wine tasting training. We’ve struggled to pull corks from bottle after bottle of wine, all the while gaining valuable wine bottle-opening skills and refining our technique. We’ve collected corks along the way as tiny victory trophies, we’ve taste-tested and gone through all of this just to bring home the Gold Medals!

Ok, ok, wine-tasting might not be that intense, but we do strive to feature the best wine we can find. So, while you watch your favorite Olympic team bring home the Gold, make sure you’re sipping on the finest, Gold Medal, award-winning wines! I mean, we’re only showing our support...right?

See our top 6 picks of recently featured Gold Medal-winning wines for the XXIII Winter Wine Olympic Games!

Carol Shelton 2014 Pinot Noir

From the Larson Vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA, this 2014 Carol Shelton Pinot Noir braved the tough critics at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair and laid it all on the line. Its beautiful balance of rich and complex flavors of black cherry fruit, black pepper spice and a touch of earth earned some solid points with the judges. But the firm tannins wrapped in velvety plush silkiness and spicy finish only sealed the deal and this Pinot Noir came out on top with a Gold Medal!

Featured in our Pinot Noir Wine Club

Tangent 2013 Grenache Blanc

Next in line is a 2013 Grenache Blanc, hand-crafted by none other than Tangent Winery, a key player on the Niven Family Wine Estates team. This up-and-coming varietal is a show-stopper from the Edna Valley and with aromas of apricot, orange peel, apple and stone fruit - this wine came to win! The palate speeds over the finish line with lush peach favors and notes of white pepper and finishes with crisp grapefruit. Ultimately it brought home not only the Gold, but also a top score of 95 Points and a Best of Class of Region award from the California Sate Fair Wine Competition.

Featured in our Gold Wine Club

Smith Devereux 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

The world-class winery has done it again! Hold onto your hats because this limited-production, 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Smith Devereux is in it to win it. Aromas and flavors of black cherry, currant, caramel, cocoa, plum, mocha, toasty vanilla, and hints of oak are all here and are supported by a full-body, firm tannins, and a bright, dry-yet-fruity finish. As the judges award this solid competitor with a score of 94 points and a Gold Medal, they say, “a spot-on Napa Cabernet with everything in its proper place” - Beverage Testing Institute. Way to go vintage of 2014!

Featured in our Platinum Wine Club.

No Limit 2011 “The Nuts” Syrah

The name says it all - No Limits Syrah began its Wine Olympic dream in 2011 and has not stopped since! Knocking down the competition on its way to the top has earned this wine an appropriate nick name: “The Nuts”. Watch out, the nose is quite complex with prevalent blueberry and blackberry aromas with a dense berry fruit profile, complimented by forest brambles. Its zestiness of freshly picked raspberries and fine minerality gives it a long, smooth finish, awarding this crowd-pleaser a Double Gold Medal from the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Featured in our Garagiste Wine Club.

Stromberg-Zabergäu 2016 Riesling

This international player is leading the way for Germany’s team this year by being the one and only, exclusively picked, participant in the Riesling category. A huge honor for Germany’s most widely planted grape varietal! The young 2016 vintage is dry and very extravagant in style with its fruity nose of citrus and apple, leading into the fresh, crisp and elegant palate. A beautiful performance of balance between fruit and mineral flavors has garnered this wine with 92 Points and a Gold Medal, awarded by the Beverage Testing Institute.

Featured in our International Wine Club.

Italics 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Here it comes, the crème de la crème and expected to do great things for team USA - the Italics 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. With only 550 cases produced, this inaugural vintage of estate-grown Cab is not backing down to the big producers. Its 24 months of training in oak barrels has given it the confidence to boast aromas of plum, black currant and pomegranate, yet give way to black licorice and cocoa powder - a signature move from the Coombsville AVA. With a rich mouthfeel and polished tannins, the judges at give a prized 94 Points, and the judges at the Beverage Testing Institute further decorate the contestant with a Gold Medal and Cellar Selection award.

Featured in our Diamond Wine Club.

But WAIT, we can’t believe it! Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Last Call entry that has shocked us all. This is sure to throw some summer heat in the mix and rattle its rivals:

Kitá 2016 Rosé

From the Camp 4 Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, this typical Summer Wine Olympic star is making its Winter debut! The 2016 Kitá Rosé flaunts aromatics of fresh strawberries, watermelon, hibiscus and orange zest, charming you at first encounter. But don’t be fooled, this firecracker of a Rosé is up to the challenge. Moderately high acidity leads to an intense palate of ruby red grapefruit, peach, and floral perfume. Its salty minerality and vibrancy pierces through the mid palate with hints of allspice and luscious creaminess. The judges from the Central Coast Wine Competition go wild with this entry, giving the vintage a Gold Medal, Best of Grenache Rosé and Best Pink award to top it off.

Featured in our Rosé Special Feature.

Check out more award-winning wines in our Wine Store and be the judge for yourself! And let the odds be ever in your favor...