Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo International Wine Competition Top Winners

I’ve just left Houston’s Reliant Center after judging wines for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo International Wine Competition for the past two days. Here’s a shot of me from Super Panel late this afternoon, when we judged all of the wines which won their classes to determine to overall winners:

Amy HLSR Wine

(Please pardon the wine-stained teeth.)


This was my second year judging for the Rodeo and, thanks to judging next to Deborah Parker Wong of the Tasting Panel and across from Mike Dunn of the Sacramento Bee last year, I was better prepared this year and ready to take on that massive flight of wines! (I was thrilled to be judging with Mike again this year.)


Here’s a shot of me with some of my fellow Super Panel judges:

HLSR Wine Judges


And this one is of the panel I judged with yesterday and this morning:

HLSR wine judges 2

So, after sorting through about 2,700 wines along with 99 fellow judges  over the past two days,  the top winners were announced tonight.


The top winners of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo International Wine Competition are…

(Drumroll please.)

Click on each winner’s name to visit the winery’s website.


Grand Champion Best of Show:

photo (10)

Antinori, Guado Al Tasso, Bolgheri DOC Superiore, 2009


 Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show

Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards Estates, Pinot Noir, Estate bottled, 2010


 Top Red Wine

Gran Clos Priorat, 2005


 Top White Wine

Sheldrake Point Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York, 2011


 Top Sparkling Wine

Sophora Sparkling Rose, New Zealand

(This retails for about $15!!)


 Top Texas Wine:

Bending Branch Tannat, Estate Grown, 2011


Top Chilean Wine:

La Playa Vineyards Axel Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011


Top Value Wine

Shannon Ridge Family of Brands Vigilance, Red Blend “Cimarron” Red Hills, Lake County, CA, 2011


Top Dessert Wine

Sheldrake Point Riesling Ice Wine, Finger Lakes, New York, 2010


Congratulations to all of these winners, as well as the other winners to be announced soon. And thank you to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo International Wine Competition for inviting me to serve as a judge again this year. It was a treat to evaluate and experience so many wines with such professional and fascinating judges. I look forward to trying many of these wines again at Best Bites and in the Wine Garden at the Rodeo in 2014.

In the meantime, I’ll probably snap a few up to enjoy and share with friends at home.


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  • http://www.thetexaswineschool.com James King

    It was a great competition.
    These are all worthy winners.
    The Sonoma Cutrer was a stand out Pinot Noir.
    The Sparkling Rose was a gem as well.
    It was great catching up with you this weekend, maybe next time we will be on the same panels.