ROSEBURG, Ore., Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, it's not Shiraz. It's Syrah!
In a stunning defeat to home-court advantage, Australia, and the five other top New World winemaking nations - United States, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa - a small family-run winery from a former big logging community in Southern Oregon has taken the title of the New World's Best Syrah.
Reustle - Prayer Rock Vineyards, an 8,000 case/year Estate Winery in Roseburg, OR, earned the Trophy for its 2012 Syrah Masada Bloc, making it the highest-ranked Syrah in this year's 6 Nations Wine Challenge.
Facing off against what judges selected as the best wines in the New World, Reustle not only claimed the top award for its 2012 Syrah, but also tied for third place with its 2012 Syrah Reserve.
"This is the only competition in the world where the wines are individually invited by the judges and then all judged together as the best of the best in the New World of wine," said Judith Kennedy, 6 Nations Wine Challenge President.
Each of the six international judges could select 100 wines across 17 categories, to represent their country in the blind tasting competition. This year 52 wines competed in the Syrah category.
"Because the wines are all selected by each of the judges, the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world," said New Zealand Master of Wine Bob Campbell.
Even though Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards has amassed over 460 medals, awards, and titles over the past seven years, Reustle says, "This award is by far our highest achievement - SDG."
US Judge Dan Berger lists Oregon's Umpqua Valley among other great cool climate regions for Syrah: New Zealand, Northern Victoria, and Northern Rhone. "Reustle has shown exemplary consistency in a cool climate style, and it has been obvious from the start that Stephen has a very special place for Syrah (and other cool climate varieties)."
It happened 40 years ago!
Reminiscent of the historical "Paris Wine Tasting of 1976," when then-unknown Napa Valley entered a blind tasting against the French and won, Reustle - Prayer Rock Vineyards Owner/Winemaker, Stephen Reustle, believes this win foreshadows Oregon's Umpqua Valley playing on the international stage:
"Time Magazine called it (the Paris Tasting of 1976) 'The Tasting that Changed the Wine World.' I think many may be surprised that Umpqua Valley landed such an international honor. But to tell you the truth, I'm not. We have an extraordinary terroir here, and can I add... people?"
Can a community of people be part of a wine's terroir?
"I watch as our community comes out to pick our grapes and share in the annual harvest blessing, and I have to say, I believe so. Our wine will remain true to its place, and I think this award goes to show that even our Umpqua Valley can change the wine world... again."
About the winning Syrahs:
2012 Syrah Masada Bloc also won Gold Medals from the San Diego International Wine Competition, Oregon Wine Awards, Savor Northwest, and the Wine Press NW "Best of the Best" Competition.
2012 Syrah Reserve received Double Gold medals from Oregon Wine Awards and the Wine Press NW "Best of the Best" competition.
For more information about the Six Nations Challenge, visit http://boutiquewines.com.au/about-us/.
SOURCE Reustle - Prayer Rock Vineyards