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September 18, 2015

The Platinum Parade

 As director of the three international wine challenges — Critics, Sommelier and Winemaker — it is not only my duty but also my distinct pleasure to taste many of the wines chosen for platinum awards.

A platinum recipient is simply a gold-medal wine that the judges believe has another gear. Platinum wines at the challenges are wines that score 94 points or better, and they are typically stunning.

Over the past weekend, at the seventh annual Sommelier Challenge Wine & Spirits Competition in San Diego, I sampled a dozen of the 26 platinum wines. They ranged in price from $17 to $80, but all had one thing in common: they were delicious.

My colleague, Rich Cook, who is Assistant Director of the Sommelier Challenge, tasted the other 13. Our tasting notes can be found in the Reviews archives and also at SommelierChallenge.com.

This year's biggest winner's at Sommelier Challenge were both from the Napa Valley. V. Sattui won 19 medals, including three platinums, and was named Winery of the Year, and the stunning 2013 Kalaris Merlot was named Wine of the Year.

Posted by Robert Whitley at 12:35 PM