In­terVin cel­e­brates a record num­ber of gold medal wines

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - LIFE - CHRIS WA­TERS Email: chris.wa­ters@sun­ Twit­ter: @wa­ter­s_wine

Shar­ing the re­sults of the an­nual In­terVin In­ter­na­tional Wine awards is al­ways a thrill. Months of preparation and four in­ten­sive days of tast­ing cul­mi­nates with the un­veil­ing of an es­sen­tial buyer’s guide to the best wines avail­able to Cana­di­ans right now.

As Head Judge, my job is to set the judg­ing cri­te­ria and as­sem­ble top Cana­dian ex­perts to ef­fec­tively mine for gold medal wines amongst the hun­dreds of sub­mit­ted sam­ples.

The wines are grouped by grape va­ri­ety or style to en­sure each is fairly eval­u­ated along­side its in­ter­na­tional peers.

The idea be­hind In­terVin is to con­duct a dif­fer­ent kind of wine com­pe­ti­tion that brings to­gether pan­els of com­mu­ni­ca­tors, som­me­liers and wine­mak­ers to grade sub­mis­sions. Each judge brings the per­spec­tive of his or her oc­cu­pa­tion and ex­per­tise to the process, which helps main­tain ob­jec­tiv­ity in the search for ex­cel­lence. They eval­u­ate the sam­ples in­di­vid­u­ally be­fore com­ing to­gether to de­liver a con­sen­sus score.

The pan­els were able to award gold, sil­ver and hon­ours medals in each cat­e­gory.

In­terVin’s col­lab­o­ra­tive and col­lec­tive ap­proach means only the most out­stand­ing wines are sin­gled out. Faced with more than 1,200 wines at this year’s com­pe­ti­tion, judges saved their high­est praise for 65 en­tries that re­ceived gold medals and 235 that re­ceived sil­vers.

That’s a record num­ber of golds and sil­vers, which spoke to the in­creased qual­ity wit­nessed across the board. Our stan­dards weren’t low­ered. This year’s sub­mis­sions were that much bet­ter.

On­tario pro­duc­ers took three of the four best in class awards. The top-scor­ing wines of the com­pe­ti­tion were a rich and hon­eyed Ries­ling and a com­plex and savoury Caber­net Franc from rel­a­tively new Ni­a­gara winer­ies. Red­stone 2013 Lime­stone Ridge South Block Ries­ling and Two Sis­ters Vine­yards 2013 Caber­net Franc ranked first in the white and red wine cat­e­gories.

Tan­talus Vine­yards 2014 Blanc de Noir, from the Okan­gan Val­ley, was top-scor­ing in the sparkling cat­e­gory, while the Lake­view Cel­lars 2013 Caber­net Franc Icewine, from Ni­a­gara-on-the-Lake, gar­nered the high­est marks in the dessert wine class.

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