There’s a lot of good wine out there, but laying claim to a perfect wine is no easy feat. One Central Valley winemaker can do just that with a resounding performance at the Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition.

Madera-based Ficklin Vineyards and winemaker Peter Ficklin took Best of Class and Double Gold awards for the Old Vine Tinta Port. It’s Aged 10 Years Tawny Port received Gold and Aged 15 Years Tawny Port won Silver. “A 100-point wine is a benchmark wine,” says Alexander Peartree, of the Robb Report—a luxury lifestyle magazine. “It represents the pinnacle of the category…the reviewer looks for the intensity of flavor, balance, structure, and longevity.”

A total of 2,900 entries from all over the world were judged in the annual competition. “We are honored to have our Old Vine Tinta Port recognized as a perfect wine by the judges in Sunset’s International Competition, and so proud to be the only wine this year to receive that designation among so many esteemed wines”, said President and Winemaker Peter Ficklin. “Ficklin Vineyards was founded with a commitment to quality and a desire to produce the highest quality Port in the United States.”

Madera’s CRU Winery also took three Gold awards for its 2020 Unoaked Chardonnay, Sarmento Vineyard Pinot Noir and Vineyard Montage, and Silver for its SLH Pinot Noir and Arroyo Seco Chardonnay. Sanger-based Gibson Wine Co. also made a strong showing in the competition, bringing in nearly a dozen medals including Double Gold for its Cream Sherry and Gold for its Port.

Madera’s Idle Hour Winery & Kitchen won Silver for its Late Harvest Viognier. O’Neill Vintners & Distillers in Parlier took a whopping 27 Gold and Silver awards for its entries. Some of the Gold winners include its Charles Woodson’s Intercept Red Blend, Game Box Pinot Grigio and Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc. Ricchiuti Family Farms in Clovis took Silver with its My Italian Cousin – Eugenio. Madera’s San Joaquin Wine Co. earned Silver for its Moody Press Cellars Rose. Toca Madera Winery’s Tempranillo Reserve earned Gold.


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