Ottawa Wine Competition Truly Global

OTTAWA -- Canadian winemakers took a surprising 41 medals at the annual Ottawa Wine and Food Show this week.

Twenty-nine judges sampled more than 400 wines and awarded a total of 111 medals -- roughly evenly divided among gold, silver and bronze -- to winemakers from 11 different countries.

The wine producers of California won 13 medals, including golds for Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir 2003 ($19.95), Best California Red Wine; E&J Gallo Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 ($16.95), Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 ($22.95) and Fetzer Zinfandel 2002 ($14.95), Best Value Red Wine.

Silver medals went to RH Phillips Toasted Head Chardonnay 2003 ($19.95), Best California White, and a pair of California reds -- Niebaum-Coppola Claret 2002 ($29.95) and E&J Gallo Frei Ranch Zinfandel 2000 ($25.95).

Host Canada's top medalists were Konzelmann Vidal Icewine 2004 ($44.45 for the 375ml bottle), Best of Show Sweet White Wine, and Colio Estate CEV Merlot Reserve 2002 ($24.95), Best of Show Red Wine.

Australia won 21 medals, with the popular Yellow Tail label taking two golds, each for under-$12 reds -- Merlot 2004 and Shiraz 2004. In the mid-priced Syrah/Rhone blends category, Australia collected a gold for De Bertolli Deen Vat 8 Shiraz 2003 ($14.95).

New Zealand garnered Best of Show Dry White Wine with Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 ($15.40) and France on the Best Value White Wine and a gold for Yvon Mau Combard/Chardonnay 2004 ($8.50).

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