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Pinot Showdown in July


The 13th annual Pinot Noir Summit will take place in July, there’ll be plenty Pinot Noir for everyone.

The event is by hosted by Affairs of the Vine (AOV), and it take place on July 24-25 at the Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa in Reno. The Summit will be the capstone to the AOV’s tasting competition, called the Annual Pinot Noir Shootout”.

“The 13th annual Pinot Noir Summit will celebrate and recognize this year’s top wines and producers as part of the two-day event,” a press release from Affairs of the Vine said.

According to the release, the Shootout is a blind tasting in which wines are tasted twice.

“No more than 32 wines are evaluated during a single session,” the release said. “This approach assures that each wine is assessed fairly with clarity, concentration and without palate fatigue.”

The Shootout final tasting will take place on May 30.

As for the summit, the press release said it will feature a tasting fashioned specifically for those involved in the industry.

“On Friday, July 24, the wine trade is invited to an afternoon tasting at the Atlantis where they can taste the winning entries, meet the winemakers and discuss, one-on-one, their approach and philosophy to winemaking,” the release said.

The following day, the Summit’s Wine Lovers Pinot Noir Challenge will take place, arguably the event’s most popular attraction.

“Attendees blind taste 40 of the top wines selected by the professional judging panel,” the release said. “Male and female votes are tallied separately.”

Once the votes are in, AOV will record the wines which got the most votes and the top pinots will be announced at that evening’s Grand Tasting & Gala dinner.

Tickets for the entire summit are $150 per person, the release said. Tickets to the Grand Tasting and Gala Dinner are $85.

The 2014 Summit featured a long list of gold-medal winners (118) and 25 silver medals. A majority of the gold-medal winners were produced in California, with the Russian River Valley scoring big. Wines from California’s Carneros also placed well.

A pair of New Zealand wines won gold at the 2014 summit – Mud House’s 2012 Estate Claim 431 Pinot Noir and its 2012 Pinot Noir.

One wine from Canada –a Pinot from Summerhill Pyramid Winery– took home gold, as well as one wine from Oregon (WildAire Cellars’ 22010 Reserve Pinot).

Spain snagged one gold medal for Seguras Viudas’ Aria Brut Cava.

The price range of the winners spanned from a $12 bottle of Korbel’s NV Brut Rosé to a $75 bottle of Merriam Vineyards’ 2012 Three Sons Pinot Noir.