Star Somm Jesse Rodriguez of Montage Returns
as Chief Judge for Sommelier Challenge VIII

September 17-18, 2016
Early Bird Deadline: July 15
Final Deadline: August 19

Jesse Rodriguez, one of the most accomplished and respected sommeliers in the nation, will return as Chief Judge of Sommelier Challenge VIII in September in San Diego.

Rodriguez, currently at Montage in Laguna Beach, CA, formerly built the impressive wine list at Addision at the Grand Del Mar in San Diego, and prior to that was head sommelier at the French Laundry in Yountville, CA.

He assembled an impressive array of somms from across the nation for Sommelier Challenge VII and is currently putting together and equally star-studded lineup for the 2016 Sommelier Challenge Wine & Spirits competition. The 2016 event is scheduled for September 17-18 at the elegant Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego.


Napa Valley Wines Excel
at Sommelier Challenge VII

SAN DIEGO -- The Napa Valley Winery V. Sattui defied the odds at the seventh annual Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition, earning the Director's Award as Winery of the Year after claiming 19 medals from 30 wines entered in front of a gathering of advanced and master sommeliers.

The somms were collectively a demanding group, medaling less than 50 percent of the wines they evaluated, making V. Sattui's performance all the more impressive. V. Sattui scored big with its flagship lineup of Cabernet Sauvignons. Three of them -- Preston Vineyard, Morisoli Vineyard and Mount Veeder -- from the excellent 2012 vintage scored 94 points or better and were awarded Platinum. The Preston also claimed Best of Class Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2013 Kalaris Merlot (Napa Valley, $52) was named Wine of the Year after soaring above the rest with a score of 97 points from one of the seven three-somm panels of judges. The Kalaris wines are part of the Axios portfolio owned by longtime importer/distributor Constantine Kalaris.

The 2015 Sommelier Challenge attracted 1,184 wine & spirits entries from 20 countries.

Spirit of the Year in this first year for spirits ast the Sommelier Challenge went to Domaines Hine 2005 Bonneuil Cognac, $140, a rare vintage Cognac.

Medal-winning wines from Sommelier Challenge VII will be showcased at the SomCon tasting at the 12th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival Friday, November 20, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt on the San Diego waterfront from 6-9 p.m.

 

                                     


 

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