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  • And the award goes to ...

    Southern Oregon wineries take high honors at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • Southern Oregon wines scored well in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
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  • Southern Oregon wines scored well in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
    Schmidt Family Vineyards received 10 awards, including being named best tempranillo compared with wines from across the United States.
    Del Rio Vineyards & Winery garnered six awards. Ledger David Cellars, Pebblestone Cellars, South Stage Cellars and Abacela each earned five medals while competing against 5,500 entries.
    "Southern Oregon wineries did very well overall," said Lena Varner, owner of Ledger David, which grows 11 kinds of grapes on its Talent vineyard and maintains a tasting room in Central Point near Rogue Creamery. "Ledger David is excited to be recognized among so many producers of quality wines, especially since 2010 was our first red-wine vintage."
    The wine producer's 2010 Orion's Nebula ($30) — a blend of cabernet franc, malbec, petit verdot and syrah — won a gold medal and will be poured at a public tasting Saturday, Feb. 16, at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. See www.winejudging.com for more information.
    The wine also received a double gold at the 2012 Southern Oregon World of Wine Festival competition.
    Winemaker John Quinones blended the four varietals to produce aromas of licorice root and dark cherry with black currant and pepper notes. The wine was aged in 20-percent-new, American-Hungarian oak barrels for 18 months and can be enjoyed now or cellared for four to six years.
    Varner suggested pairing it with rib-eye steaks and blue-cheese butter.
    Ledger David also received a silver award in the San Francisco competition for its 2010 Cab Franc ($26), making it the highest medalist for a Rogue Valley Cab Franc in the largest competition of American wines in the world.
    Winemaker Linda Donovan aged the 100-percent varietal wine in 30-percent-new French oak for 21 months to achieve aromas of cherry and tobacco with a spicy finish.
    The wine producer received another silver for its Vouvray-style 2011 Chenin Blanc ($20), which Varner wanted slightly off-dry with high acidity. Ledger David is the only grower and producer of chenin blanc in the Rogue Valley.
    Quinones created this food-friendly wine with notes of light clover honey and warm vanilla, followed by sweet peach, a hint of ripe pineapple, greengage plum and lemon.
    Another silver was granted to the 2011 Viognier ($22), which will be released to wine-club members in March. It was aged sur lie for six months in stainless-steel tanks by winemaker Brian Denner and has notes of apricot, raw honey, vanilla and pineapple.
    Ledger David received a bronze award for its 2011 Sauvignon Blanc ($19), which was aged in 20-percent-new French oak for six months by Quinones to create aromas of grapefruit with notes of white peach and a crisp, lemony finish.
    Varner suggested serving it with shellfish and cream sauce on pasta.
    Ledger David Cellars' Le Petit Tasting Room, 245A N. Front Street in Central Point, is open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. Call 541-664-2218.
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