From Doug Frost, MW and host of the Jefferson Cup Invitational
The Fifteenth Annual Jefferson Cup Invitational took place on November 20 and 21, 2014 in
Kansas City, Missouri. The Jefferson Cup is a different sort of wine competition, in that it is an
invitational in which over seven hundred wines are pre-selected which exemplify top viticulture and
winemaking throughout America.
This year, out of over seven hundred forty chosen wines, the judges selected just over three hundred
twenty wines to receive the “Medals of American Merit”, which celebrates wines exemplary of their
regions and varieties, and is comparable to a Silver Medal at most competitions. Next the judges
chose one hundred ninety wines (there was no pre-ordained number or percentage) that they
believed were truly great wines, roughly equivalent to Gold Medals in other competitions. Those
will receive medallions announcing them as “Medals of American Excellence”.
Precept Wine’s family of wineries took three Medals of American Excellence, including:
- Browne Family Vineyards 2012 Tribute Red, Columbia Valley
- Gruet Blanc de Blancs NV (Sparkling Vinifera), American
- Waterbrook 2011 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley
This year, ninety-five wines were selected as Jefferson Cup nominees; these wines were nominated
by the six judging committees to be considered for Jefferson Cups. Out of those ninety-six honored
wines, the judges collectively picked thirty-eight wines to be awarded the Jefferson Cup. By
selecting both vinifera and non-vinifera wines for the Jefferson Cup each year, the hope is to respect
the diversity of American viticulture and Jefferson’s own acceptance of native varieties and hybrids.
Jefferson fathered our constitution, helped champion the international concept of human rights and
was a seminal figure in America’s cultural, culinary (including wine) and agricultural history.
“In most other competitions there is ‘open’ seating,” says Frost, ”and California represents 90% of
the entries. As a result it usually captures 90% of the honors,” he said. “What we are doing is
following Mr. Jefferson’s example and allowing every quality wine-producing region in America a
place at our table. Each year we select great wines from across America; the 2014 competition
included wines from twenty-five states.”
Following the Jefferson Cup competition, the remaining wines are donated for an annual event that
benefits children and adults in need. This year the Jefferson Cup raised more than $90,000 for
Angel Flight Central. We hope that these events reflect well upon the great heritage of Thomas
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