Tsillan Cellars 2020 Estate Malbec and the 2020 Estate Dolcetto both won Best of Class honors at the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Tsillan Cellars again established the ability of Lake Chelan Southshore vineyards to produce world-class wines that compete with the best in the world. With 1,000 wineries and 5,500 wines entered in the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, Tsillan Cellars 2020 Estate Malbec and the 2020 Estate Dolcetto both won Best of Class honors.
Owner, Bob Jankelson, credits his former winemaker Ray Sandidge for convincing him that Dolcetto, an Italian grape varietal from the Northwestern area of Italy, had great promise if planted on his south shore vineyards. The first Dolcetto vineyard planted in the Lake Chelan AVA only six years later produced the 2020 Tsillan Cellars’ Estate Dolcetto honored as the Best Dolcetto in the prestigious 2023 San Francisco Competition.
Dolcetto means “little sweet one” in Italian. It is known as a soft, fruity wine that can be enjoyed shortly after bottling.
Mike Dunne, noted wine critic commenting upon the Tsillan Cellars Best of Class Dolcetto: “…this is an exceptionally charming interpretation of the variety–sweet, light hearted fruit suggestive of plums and cherries, a thread of caramel, electricity enough to light up a small town, and surprisingly perky acidity for a grape not exactly known to possess a lot.”
Bob acknowledges that Ray must have been convinced of the success of Dolcetto on this site since he talked Bob into planting an additional Dolcetto vineyard after seeing the promise of the initial planting. Lots of “little sweet ones” in the future for Tsillan Cellars and those enjoying Tsillan Cellars wines.
While the Best of Class honor for the Dolcetto was a first for Tsillan Cellars and the Lake Chelan AVA, the Best of Class honor for Tsillan Cellars 2020 Estate Malbec was no surprise. In the past 15 years, Tsillan Cellars Estate grown Malbec is almost expected to win Best of Class honors in the most prestigious national and international wine competitions. Winning the Best Malbec Award in the 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition was followed by eight more Best of Class awards in international competitions.
The Lake Chelan AVA and Tsillan Cellars continue to shower honors on Lake Chelan wine.