After 12 years in San Francisco, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa enticed Affairs of the Vine to bring the 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit to the high country of the Sierra and the spectacular Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno on July 24th and 25th.

The Pinot Noir Summit, the culmination of the Annual Pinot Noir Shootout competition, has become the largest competition of Pinot Noirs in the wine industry over the last 12 years. For the past three months, over 450 Pinot Noirs have been evaluated by the Affairs of the Vine judging panel.

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We taste totally blind! Even the winemakers may not be able to identify their own wines.

In our unique tasting process, each wine is tasted blind at least twice in a series of tastings. No more than 32 wines are evaluated during a single session. This approach assures that each wine is assessed fairly with clarity, concentration and without palate fatigue. The best of the best are judged at the Pinot Noir Shootout finals on May 30th in San Francisco.

Korman_030914_PinotSummit_125The 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit will celebrate and recognize this year’s top wines and producers as part of the two day event.

On Friday, July 24th, the wine trade is invited to an afternoon tasting at the Atlantis where they can taste the winning entries, meet the winemakers and discuss one on one their approach and philosophy to winemaking.Trade Agenda here

On Saturday, July 25th, a full schedule of events and tastings is planned. 13th Annual Pinot Noir Summit schedule here

The Pinot Noir Summit, recognized by Vinography as being “distinctly different” than other tasting events, begins with a series of seminars that will delve into the heart and soul of this unique varietal, PNS12.SCSeminar.moderatedbyAlderYarrow PNS12.SonomaCoastSeminarfollowed by a Pinot Pairing Lunch hosted by winemakers who will circulate as they pour their wines for guests.

PNS12.BlindTastingStudyThe afternoon will be highlighted by the incredibly popular and unique Wine Lovers Pinot Noir Challenge. Attendees blind taste 40 of the top wines selected by the professional judging panel. Male and female votes are tallied separately.

PNS12.Gala7The results are announced and winners recognized at the gala Grand Tasting & Awards Ceremony in the evening. Wineries will showcase their award winning Pinot Noirs and other wines they produce. A selection of Pinot-friendly hors d’oeuvre will be served.

The Pinot Noir Summit is an extraordinary wine experience and for the first time can be combined with a luxurious stay at the fabulous Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. This world class Four Diamond resort casino was named by USA Travel as the TOP casino resort property outside of Las Vegas.

Christian-DOM-2Under the direction of Sommelier Christian O’Kuinghttons the Atlantis is recognized within wine and food circles for offering an incredible selection of wines and has been the recipient of a coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Purchase tickets for Saturday’s festivities here

Pinot Noir Summit All Day Tickets, include one Seminar, Lunch, Pinot Noir Challenge Tasting, and Grand Tasting & Awards Ceremony.
$150 per person
$125 on tickets purchased prior to July 1st

Pinot Noir Summit Grand Tasting & Awards Ceremony Tickets
$85 per person
Groups of 6 or more $70 per person

Special Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Rates
Pinot Noir Summit attendees may register for a one or two-night stay at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa with a special room rate of $149 per night plus tax and fees. Reservations can be made by calling 800.723.6500. Reference the 13th Pinot Noir Summit to access the special room rate or make your reservations online using the group code SPINOT

“The art, passion, energy and thought that goes into creating the Pinot Noir Summit experiences is the cornerstone of what I do. I am inspired by great wines and winemakers. I learn more each year and bring that knowledge to the next Pinot Noir Summit making it better than the last,” stated Barbara Drady. “The opportunity to take this year’s Pinot Noir Summit to the world class Atlantis Casino and work with Christian and the fabulous management team and staff is incredibly exciting and guarantees that this will be our best Summit yet for both wine lovers and the wineries involved.”

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9th Cabernet Shootout Challenge
Results here

The 9th Cabernet Shootout was fabulous. We continue to attract incredibly exciting wines from great producers. Especially fun for us is that we often discover producers new to us and to many of our fans.

We taste and assess Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Blends.Each of the wines is more intensely judged than in standard, broadband competitions. Great producers of Cabernet, submit their wines year after year.

A wide array of palates emphasizing both traditional and new media gathered to assess the best Cabernets from all over the world at the Cabernet Shootout Finals on February 21, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

397 wines were entered in the 9th Cabernet Shootout.

Cabernet ShootoutBlind-Tasting.11-300x225 The Cabernet Shootout had numerous winners and attendees to the Cabernet Challenge picked their favorites. The Cabernet Shootout Challenge, attended by 274 Cabernet enthusiasts ~ consumer, press and trade ~ was a remarkable event hosted by the Bay Area Wine Society/PAIRINGS in partnership with Affairs of the Vine and Eat Drink GoDo in support of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Bay Area in the 1925 Ballroom~Elks Lodge #3 at the Kensington Park Hotel in San Francisco’s Union Square on Saturday, March 21, 2015. A sincere thank you and shout out to all of our amazing volunteers in making the entire event run smoothly. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Winemakers, proprietors and winery personnel shared their outstanding Cabernet Sauvignons, Cabernet Francs and Cabernet Blends. Other wines produced by the wineries were also available to taste at their stations.

Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of red wines, is grown in nearly every wine producing region in the world. The Cabernet Shootout judging panel consisting of 22 men and 18 women had the pleasure of tasting 397 Cabernets from 36 different appellations. Read their comments and scores.

Make sure to check out the judging panels “Bang for Your Buck Wines” too, wines selling for under $20 that received 85 points or more. There’s a bunch of them! Women’s Favs
Men’s Recommendations

* The attendees to the 9th Cabernet Shootout Challenge were involved in the process of judging the wines from their perspective: a most memorable and influential experience.

View our list of panelists.

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The Cabernet Shootout Challenge consisted of just 32 of the winning wines from The 9th Cabernet Shootout. These wines were randomly divided into two flights of 16 wines each (Black Team and Silver Team). The Cabernet Shootout Challenge attendees were asked to focus on just one of the flights. The wines were divided randomly, dressed in vino sleeves identified by color.

162 of the wine lovers participated in the Cabernet Shootout and cast their votes.

Instructions to the Cabernet Shootout Challenge Wine Lovers Judging Panel
Professional wine tasters consider the following: Clarity/Appearance, Color, Aroma/Bouquet, Acidity, Sweetness, Body/Texture, Taste/Flavor, Bitterness, Astringency, Finish, Overall Quality.

All that really matters is what you like.

The wine lovers made notes and then cast their votes by putting chips in the ballot boxes of their favorite wines. The chips were gender specific.

Black Team

AQUA J. Rickards 2012 Estate, Reserve Serpentine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley $52

BLUE GREENConcrete Wine Co 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $75

BRONZE Rocca Family Vineyards 2012 Tesorina Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $160

BURGUNDY Clautiere Vineyard 2011 Estate BDX Cabernet Blend, Paso Robles $39

CORAL Okapi 2012 Estate Jungle Love Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District $100

DENIM Sol Rouge Vineyards and Winery 2011 Cabernet Franc, Lake County $32

DUSTY ROSE Baus Family Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County $18

GOLD Caneron Hughes 2012 Monte Rosso Vineyard Lot 515 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County $32

GREEN Nottingham Cellars 2012 Supremacy Cabernet Blend, Livermore Valley $75

GUNMETAL Arbios 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley $35

LIGHT YELLOW Patriot 2011 Estate McGrail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Livermore $42

LILAC Westerly Wines 2011 Cabernet Blend, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara $75

PERIWINKLE
Calcareous Vineyard 2011 Lloyd Cabernet Blend, Paso Robles $50

RED ORANGE Deerfield 2009 Zukowski Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley $75

TEAL Pend d’Oreille Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington $21

WHITE Peterson 2010 Agraria/Big Barn Red Bradford Mountain Estate Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Dry Creek Valley $60

Silver Team

BLACK @Wine 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County $40

BLUE Field Stone Winery 2012 Staten Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, $45

COBALT Lucas & Lewellen 2011 COTE DEL SOL Valley View Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Barbara County $36

GRAY Cameron Hughes 2012 Lot 535 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $29

HOT PINK R&B Cellars 2009 Lyric of the Vine Bingham Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $50

LIGHT BLUE Singer Cellars 2012 the Song Mt. George Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville, Napa $42

LIME GREEN Cloak & Dagger 2010 The Assassin Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $75

MAGENTA Ecluse Wines 2012 Ensemble Cabernet Blend, Paso Robles, $42

ORANGE AuburnJames 2010 SPEEDSTER Cabernet Blend, North Coast $56

ORCHID Ackerman Family Vineyards 2008 Estate Stonehaven Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville $95

PEACH Penman Springs Vineyard 2011 Artisan Cuvee Penman Springs Vineyard Meritage, Paso Robles $28

PINK Cass 2012 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles $90

RED The Winery SF 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast $25

TURQUOISE Campana Ranch 2012 Cabernet Blend, Sonoma County $29

WEDGEWOOD Xanadu 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River $30

YELLOW Hovey 2012 Isabel Rasmussen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Calaveras County $36

Our panel is very fortunate indeed to have the opportunity to taste these wonderful wines and we are very cognizant of the fact that our conclusions matter and have impact, so we take our responsibility very seriously.

Affairs of the Vine’s Shootouts are the only competition in which the judges’ conclusions are put to the test by an unbiased panel of wine lovers.

The comments on the wines at The 9th Cabernet Shootout Challenge were amazing and the discussions engaging but in the end, each person voted their own palate. All of the wines were winners, all receiving many, many votes.

The Cabernet Shootout Challenge attendees agreed with the panel…the wines tasted were fantastic!

And now…the findings!

Male Cabernet Shootout Judging Panel
1st Place Cameron Hughes 2012 Lot 535 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $29
2nd Place Okapi 2012 Estate Jungle Love Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District $100
3rd Place J. Rickards 2012 Estate, Reserve Serpentine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley $52

Female Cabernet Shootout Judging Panel
1st Place Campana Ranch 2012 Cabernet Blend, Sonoma County $29
2nd PlaceSinger Cellars 2012 the Song Mt. George Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville, Napa $42
3rd PlaceCalcareous Vineyard 2011 Lloyd Cabernet Blend, Paso Robles $50

Male Wine Lovers
1st PlaceAckerman Family Vineyards 2008 Estate Stonehaven Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville $95
2nd PlaceNottingham Cellars 2012
Supremacy Cabernet Blend, Livermore Valley $75
3rd Place@Wine 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County $40

Female Wine Lovers
1st PlaceXanadu 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Margaret River $30
2nd PlaceConcrete Wine Co 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $75
3rd Place Westerly Wines 2011 Cabernet Blend, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara $75

Look for these wines at your local fine wine retailer or online. Share them with friends and those you love. They are all well worth seeking out and tasting.

Taste and enjoy them all if you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity. Keep buying your old favorites but try new ones too. When you find a style you like, try other wines that are similar. Do you like this wine as much? See if you can determine the similarities in the wines you like best. Is it appellation? Winemaking style? Winemaker?

If you have difficulty finding them at your local retailer, feel free to email Affairs of the Vine. We will be happy to put you in touch with someone at the winery who can help you acquire the wines that entice you.

So what do these wines have in common? Everyone one of these wines is outstanding!

Our Mantra: Trust Your Own Palate

Read reviews but remember it’s your palate that counts. Try to find a wine critic who commends wines that you like. Don’t feel that you have to like the wines that wine critics praise. Don’t be intimidated! If a movie reviewer gives 5 stars to a film, do you feel that you’re unsophisticated if you don’t like it too? Wine is no different. Personal preference is what counts. So drink and enjoy what you like. At Affairs of the Vine we say, “If you like the way it looks and you like the way it smells and you like the way it tastes…its good wine. So use our recommendations as a guide but you are the authority of what provides a great wine experience for you.

Complete Results

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1st the bump in the night and then…

December 5, 2014

Tweet the roller coaster ride. This has been a roller coaster year for me – mostly ups but a few stomach turning downs. We all remember some, if not all, of our childhood fears. There’s a monster in the closet, under the bed, the boogie man might come and get me. When we are older […]

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Romancing the Rhones 2014

September 21, 2014

Tweet We are in the process of posting the Results of the 2014 Rhone Shootout here The list will be updated over the next 48 hours so don’t despair if you don’t see you favorite wine as yet. You may have to refresh your browser if you go away and come back. We Romanced the […]

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12th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit Results

April 22, 2014

Tweet Results of the 12th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit here Pinot Noir, the most exciting, confounding, and challenging wine there is has been the focus of the Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit for 12 years. We never tire of tasting these wines, enjoying old friends and discovering new ones. In this, the 12th […]

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Cabernet Shootout Results with Scores

February 18, 2014

Tweet Check them out here

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8th Cabernet Shootout Challenge Wrap Up

January 25, 2014

Tweet 8th Cabernet Shootout Challenge Results here… Back by popular demand for the 8th time, The Cabernet Shootout continues to attract fabulous wines from great producers. We taste and assess Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Blends.Each of the wines is more intensely judged than in standard, broadband competitions. Great producers of Cabernet, submit their […]

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332 Cabernets Face Off in the 8th Cabernet Shootout and Challenge

December 18, 2013

Tweet In the last 8 years, we’ve tasted over 2600 Cabernets in our blind tastings – never tasting more than 32 wines in a day. Great wines reveal themselves when given this kind of care and attention. The 8th Cabernet Shootout again attracted fabulous wines from great producers.   Beginning in October, we tasted and […]

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12th Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit Begin

October 10, 2013

Tweet Pinot Noir, the most exciting, confounding, and challenging wine there is has been the focus of the Pinot Noir Shootout and Summit since 2002. We never tire of tasting these wines, enjoying old friends and discovering new ones. In this, the 12th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout, the Affairs of the Vine professional judging panel […]

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Romancing the Rhones: Complete Results of the 2013 Rhone Shootout

July 14, 2013

Tweet Results of the 2013 Rhone Shootout here Some Personal Notes and Observations: Those of you who have been following me for a long time, know that I have always been ALL ABOUT PINOT. So why a Rhone Shootout? I was persuaded by several members of our judging panel and I am very happy that […]

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