The Wines of British Columbia Shine at The Judgment of BC Wine Tasting

Judgement of BC sign
Judgement of BC sign

The Wines of British Columbia shone at The Judgment of BC Wine Tasting with Steven Spurrier and DJ Kearney today.  Steven Spurrier, the Consultant Editor at Decanter magazine, headed the famous Judgement of Paris in 1976 (which was made into the movie “Bottle Shock”).  The Judgement of Paris carried out two blind tasting comparisons: one of Chardonnays and another of red wines (Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California).  The surprise to the French judges was that a California wine rated best in each category, and brought world-wide attention to California wines.

The Wines of British Columbia were put to the test at the Judgment of BC today by pitting 12 BC wines (6 Chardonnay and 6 Syrah) against 12 acknowledged global benchmarks from around the world.  Which wines were compared and how did they rate?  I highlighted the BC wines in red to help you see how we did.


  1. Soumah Chardonnay Single Vineyard 2013
    Soumah Chardonnay Single Vineyard 2013

    Soumah Chardonnay Single Vineyard 2013 | Yarra Valley, Victoria | $27  

  2. Kumeu River Chardonnay Hunting Hill 2012    | Auckland, New Zealand | $35
  3. Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2014 | Hemel-en-Aarde, South Africa | $40
  4. Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Premier Cru Montmains 2012 | France | $45
  5. Bouchard Père & Fils Meursault Premier Cru Genevrières 2011 | France | $86
  6. Blue Mountain Chardonnay Reserve 2013 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $30
  7. Tantalus Chardonnay 2012 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $24
  8. Robert Mondavi Chardonnay Reserve 2013 | Carneros, California | $44
  9. Mission Hill Chardonnay Perpetua 2013 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $50 (tie)
  10. Quails’ Gate Chardonnay Rosemary’s Block 2013 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $30 (tie)
  11. Meyer Family Chardonnay Micro Cuvée 2012 | Okanagan Valley, BC |$65
  12. Haywire Chardonnay Canyonview 2013 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $25


  1. C C Jentsch Syrah 2013
    C C Jentsch Syrah 2013

    C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2013 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $30

  2. Langmeil Shiraz Orphan Bank 2012 |   Barossa, South Australia | $68
  3. Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60 2013 | France | $66
  4. Nichol Syrah 2012 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $40
  5. Le Vieux Pin Syrah Cuvée Classique 2013 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $50
  6. Ojai Syrah 2011 | Santa Barbara, California | $30
  7. Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Sunrock Shiraz 2011 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $30
  8. Orofino Syrah Scout Vineyard 2012 | Similkameen Valley, BC | $29
  9. J.L. Chave Selections Crozes-Hermitage Silène 2012 | France | $40
  10. Tyrell’s Shiraz Vat 9 2011 | Hunter Valley, New South Wales | $49
  11. Laughing Stock Syrah 2013 | Okanagan Valley, BC | $38
  12. K Vintners Syrah The Beautiful 2012 | Walla Walla, Washington | $70
Steven Spurrier talking about the results and BC wine
Steven Spurrier talking about the results and BC wine

16 wine judges tasted and marked their scores for these wines individually then their results were combined to come up with the results as shown above.  I have always felt that we do really intersesting Syrah.  Le Vieux Pin is one of my favourite wineries in BC, and I think their Syrahs are always top quality.  BC Syrahs captured 3 of the top 5 places.  It shows we have strength.  I am also impressed in that the C.C. Jentsch and the Le Vieux Pin Syrahs were from the 2013 vintage which was overall cool and difficult for our wine makers.  Steven Spurrier noted that our Syrah really seemed to show off our terroir.

On the Chardonnay side, we did not do as well against the benchmark wines, but Chardonnay can be a hard grape to make stand out.  It could be that we do not yet quite understand how to best represent our Chardonnays in the wine making process.  When should the grapes be picked?  Fermentation in oak or stainless steel?  Malolactic fermentation? Maybe what the judges learned today could be passed along to our wine makers and give them some ideas of how to tweak these wines in the future.

But overall I must congratulate our BC wines.  Step back 10 years or more and our wines probably would not have stood a chance against the benchmarks. Now they can stand on their own, and they have the opportunity to get better.  Cheers!

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

11 thoughts on “The Wines of British Columbia Shine at The Judgment of BC Wine Tasting

  1. As one of the non-scoring tasters at the event, I was conflicted with rating the wines, either by a typicity standard, or what I personally found attractive. For example, I rated the Haywire Chard#1 on my sheet, because the fruit and finesse dominated with evolving flavors on the long finish. Others may have been looking for more wood;
    the panel’s #1, was my #3, with tasting note comment,”just enough wood”.
    I thought the Okanagen wines shone, just my opinion.

    1. Thanks for your comments Bernard. I unfortunately was not one of the judges. I would have loved to be on the panel and see how my ranking compares to the other judges.

      1. I’m planning on writing about the experience, and have the outline in my head..hopefully in the next week or so.
        Will include my tasting notes if I can

        1. I look forward to reading your article. I would appreciate it if you could email or tweet to me when it is avaialable to read. @mywinepal is my twitter account.

  2. I think it is fabulous that BC Wines are being recognized for how amazing they truly are!! The Syrahs coming out of BC are my favourites hands down!! And there are some divine up and coming Chardonnays… I am looking forward to tasting the BC wines on the lists that I have not had the opportunity to try yet… well done BC!

  3. It’s great to see so many BC syrahs ranked above the ‘competition’! It would be great to see how some of our other reds would rank!

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