Home > BLOG POSTS > Ruby Hill/Rubino Winemaker, Jesse Plautz, Wins Best Red and Best In Show at 2020 Livermore Uncorked Competition with 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah

Annual Livermore Only Competition Awards Best White to 2018 Darcie Kent Pistachio Lane Chardonnay, Best Rosé to 2019 Occasio Rosé of Grenache

by Laura Ness of Spirited and Wine Industry Advisor

Livermore, California—July 10, 2020 —The Tri Valley Conservancy,  is pleased to announce the results of its annual wine competition, “Livermore Uncorked!”, which celebrates its 11th year in 2020.  Initial screening of the wines submitted occurred in March, prior to the pandemic, and was judged over three days by many of the region’s winemakers. Wineries were asked to submit a total of up to 6 wines in the following 12 categories:

  • Dry White, excluding Chardonnay (includes SB)
  • Chardonnay ($30.00 or under)
  • Chardonnay (over $30.00)
  • Rosé
  • Italian/Spanish Varietals (e.g., Primitivo/Zinfandel, Barbera, Tempranillo, etc.)
  • Other Red Varietals (at least 75%)
  • Merlot
  • Red Blends
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon ($40.00 or under)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (over $40.00)
  • Petite Sirah

From the original 123 submissions, 69 went on to the final round, where they were judged blind by three wine writers, Jim Gordon of Wine Enthusiast, Laura Ness of Spirited and Wine Industry Advisor, and Fred Swan of NorCal Wines.

Best Red and Best in Show went to the statuesque 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah, Reserve Collection. Fittingly, Petite Sirah is a varietal long associated with the Livermore winegrowing region, and was first varietally bottled by 3rd generation vintner, Jim Concannon, in 1963.

Best Dry White: 2018 Concannon Vineyards Assemblage Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon) (Double Gold)

Best Chardonnay ($30 and under): 2018 Wood Family Para Mas Amigas (Double Gold)

Best Chardonnay (over $30): 2018 Darcie Kent Vineyards Pistachio Lane Chardonnay (Gold) – Also Awarded Best White of Show

Best Rosé: 2019 Occasio Winery Rosé of Grenache (Double Gold)

Best Italian/Spanish Varietal: 2017 Rodrigue Molyneaux Sangiovese

Best Other Red: 2017 Crooked Vine Petit Verdot

Best Merlot: 2015 McGrail Vineyard & Winery Merlot

Best Red Blend: 2017 Wood Family “The Captain” (Merlot and Cabernet Franc)

Best Cabernet Franc: 2016 Occasio Winery Cabernet Franc (Double Gold)

Best Cabernet Sauvignon ($40 and under): 2016 Entropy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Best Cabernet Sauvignon (over $40): 2016 Murrieta’s Well Small Lot Cabernet (Double Gold)

Best Petite Sirah: 2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah, Reserve Collection (Double Gold)

Best White of Show: 2018 Darcie Kent Vineyards Pistachio Lane Chardonnay

This was a tasteoff between the Best Dry White, Best Chardonnay under $30 and Best Chardonnay over $30.

Best Of Show pitted all three Best of winners against one another, with the 2016 Ruby Hill Reserve Collection Petite Sirah besting the lot for its embodiment of both the varietal and the region.

Here are the medal winners in each category:

Dry White Wines

2018 Concannon Vineyards Assemblage Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon) (Double Gold, Best in Class)

2019 Fenestra Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Gold

2019 Las Positas Vineyard Verdelho, Gold

2019 Garré Winery Pinot Grigio, Silver

2019 Occasio Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Silver

Chardonnay ($30.00 and under)

2018 Wood Family Chardonnay, Para Mas Amigas (Double Gold, Best in Class)

2018 Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay, Gold

2018 Cellar 13 Winery Chardonnay, Silver

2016 Rubino Estates Chardonnay Riserva, Bronze

Chardonnay (over $30.00)

2018 Darcie Kent Vineyards Pistachio Lane Chardonnay (Gold, Best in Class, Best White of Show)

2018 McGrail Vineyards & Winery Chardonnay, Silver

2018 Nottingham Cellars Micro Lot Reserve Chardonnay, Silver

2018 Occasio Winery Chardonnay, Silver

Rosé

2019 Occasio Winery Rosé of Grenache (Double Gold, Best in Class)

2019 Fenestra Winery Grenache Rosé, Gold

2019 Garré Winery Rosato di Sangiovese, Silver

2019 McGrail Vineyard & Winery “Kylie Ryan” Rosé (Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet), Silver

2019 Wood Family “Pink Pearl,” Grenache Rosé, Silver

2018 Las Positas Vineyard Rosé (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre), Bronze

Italian/Spanish Varietals

2017 Rodrigue Molyneaux Sangiovese, Gold, Best in Class

2016 Garré Winery Sangiovese, Silver

2017 Las Positas Vineyard Tempranillo, Silver

NV Rosa Fierro Cellars “Primo” Primitivo, Silver

2016 Rosa Fierro Cellars “Bittersweet Symphony” Zinfandel, Bronze

Other Red Varietals (at least 75%)

2017 Crooked Vine Petit Verdot, Gold, Best in Class

2017 Concannon Reserve Petit Verdot, Gold

2014 Fenestra Winery Malbec, Silver

2016 Las Positas Vineyard Petit Verdot, Silver

2015 Fenestra Winery Estate Syrah, Bronze

Merlot

2015 McGrail Vineyard & Winery Merlot, Silver, Best in Class

2017 Cellar 13 Winery Merlot, Silver

2017 Cuda Ridge Merlot, Silver

2017 Entropy Cellars Merlot, Silver

2016 Stony Ridge Estate Merlot, Silver

2017 Wood Family Merlot, Lone Oak Vineyard, Silver

Red Blends

2017 Wood Family “The Captain” (Merlot & Cabernet Franc), Gold, Best in Class

2017 Murrieta’s Well “The Spur” (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Petit Verdot), Gold

2017 Stony Ridge “Trifecta” (Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Syrah), Gold

2017 Concannon Vineyards Reserve Stampmaker’s GSM, (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre), Silver

2017 Cellar 13 “Tsogadu” (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc), Silver

2016 Darcie Kent Vineyards “Fire Pit Red,” Silver

2017 Las Positas Vineyard “Coccineous” (Graciano, Tempranillo, Monastreli, Garnacha), Silver

2017 Occasio Winery “Telos” (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot), Silver

2017 John Evan Cellars “The Winter Star” (Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon), Bronze

Cabernet Franc

2016 Occasio Winery Cabernet Franc, Double Gold, Best of Class

2017 Rodrigue Molyneaux Cabernet Franc, Gold

2017 Wood Family Cabernet Franc, Gold

2017 Crooked Vine Estate Cabernet Franc, Silver

2016 Darcie Kent Vineyards “Stone Patch” Cabernet Franc, Silver

2016 Steven Kent Winery Cabernet Franc, Silver

Cabernet Sauvignon ($40.00 or under)

2015 Entropy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold, Best of Class

2017 Wood Family “Viva” Cabernet Sauvignon, Gold

2017 Cuda Ridge Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver

2016 Darcie Kent Vineyards “Dog Day” Cabernet, Silver

2017 Garré Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver

2017 Occasio Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver

Cabernet Sauvignon (over $40.00)

2016 Murrieta’s Well Small Lot Cabernet, Double Gold & Best of Class

2016 McGrail Vineyard  & Winery “A Jo’ E’let “The Good Life” Cabernet, Gold

2017 Concannon Vineyards Reserve Mother Vine Cabernet, Silver

2016 McGrail Vineyard & Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver

2016 Steven Kent Winery Smith Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver

2015 Darcie Kent Vineyards Clone 337 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bronze

Petite Sirah

2016 Ruby Hill Petite Sirah, Reserve Collection, Double Gold, Best of Class, Best Red and Best of Show

2016 Darcie Kent Vineyards “Madden Big Petite” Petite Sirah, Silver

2016 Garré Winery Petite Sirah, Silver

2017 Stony Ridge Estate Petite Sirah, Silver

Congratulations to all the wineries who participated, to all the winning winemakers and to all those who gave of their time and talents to put on this competition during a challenging era. Special thanks go to Georgie Saucedo of the TVC, whose tireless behind the scenes efforts made this possible.

Laura Mercier, Executive Director of the TVC, noted, “We are exploring alternative ways to promote Livermore winegrowers and their award-winning wines this year. Here are a few ways you can still enjoy your local wine region:

  • Ship your favorite wines to yourself and your friends
  • Join a wine club
  • Follow a winery on social media
  • Participate in SIP at-home events
  • Subscribe to a winery mailing list
  • Grab a bottle and do a virtual wine tasting
  • Check out the UNCORKED shopping lists of our competition’s favorite wines

Thank you for your support and generosity through this challenging time. We hope to see you all next year!”

ABOUT Livermore UNCORKED

Livermore UNCORKED is a local wine competition run by the Tri Valley Conservancy and is open to wines made from grapes grown in Livermore Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA).  Tri-Valley Conservancy’s mission is to “promote economically sustainable vineyards and orchards, and increase permanently protected, biologically diverse open spaces.” To learn more, visit trivalleyconservancy.org