Accolades
Accolades

Accolades

Year-to-year, Écluse continues to receive outstanding awards and accolades from Wine Enthusiast, Vinous, The Wine Advocate, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and the San Francisco International Wine Competition, and for that we are very grateful. 

Our 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon received the Sweepstakes Award for the Best Red Wine from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world! Our wines continue to receive Best of Class, Double Gold, Gold and Silver medals each year. We are honored our wines continue to receive such exciting accolades but the continuous support and positive feedback from our fans and members means the most to us. Cheers!

Wine Enthusiast 2022

All 7 wines submitted received 90+ points

93 pts – 2019 El Tempo
93 pts – 2019 Ensemble
92 pts – 2019 Insider
92 pts – 2019 Rendition
91 pts – 2019 Improv
91 pts – 2019 Intonation
90 pts – 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

San Francisco Chronicle – 2022 Wine Competition

We’re thrilled to share that once again all wines entered received medals!

Best of Class – 2019 Insider
Double Gold – 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon
Double Gold – 2019 Intonation
Double Gold – 2019 Malbec
Double Gold – Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvée
Gold Medal – 2019 Improv
Gold Medal – 2019 Syrah
Silver Medal – 2019 Ensemble
Silver Medal – 2019 Merlot
Silver Medal – 2019 El Tempo
Silver Medal – 2019 Zinfandel

Wine Enthusiast 2021

All 8 wines submitted received 90+ points

94 Points - 2018 Syrah
93 Points - 2018 Improv
93 Points - 2018 Rendition
91 Points - 2017 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
91 Points - 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon
91 Points - 2018 Ensemble
90 Points - 2018 Insider
90 Points - 2018 Intonation
90 Points - 2018 Tannat

Vinous 2020

92 Points - 2018 Grenache
92 Points - 2018 Rendition
91 Points - 2018 Improv
91 Points - 2018 Insider

San Francisco Chronicle - 2021 Wine Competition

All Wines Entered Received Medals!

The SF Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines in the world!

Best of Class - 2018 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon
Best of Class - 2018 Écluse Ensemble
Double Gold - 2018 Écluse Intonation
Gold - 2018 Écluse Syrah
Gold - 2018 Écluse Rendition
Gold - 2018 Écluse Zinfandel
Gold - 2018 Écluse Insider
Gold - 2018 Écluse Prelude
Silver - 2018 Écluse Improv

2020 San Francisco International Wine Competition

Gold - 2018 Cabernet Saugvinon
Gold - 2018 Ensemble
Silver - 2018 Insider
Silver - 2018 Intonation

2020 Central Coast Wine Competition

We originally wanted to enter our 2017 Zinfandel and 2017 Improv, but due to COVID, the competition was delayed so we entered our 2018's instead. We're thrilled that for our 2nd year to ever enter into The Central Coast Wine Compeition, all wines entered received medals!

Double Gold, Best of Class - 2018 Zinfandel
Silver - 18 Improv
Silver - 2017 Insider
Silver - 2018 Prelude

2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition

Double Gold, 96 Points - 2017 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver - 2017 Écluse Ensemble

Silver - 2017 Écluse Insider

San Francisco Chronicle - 2020 Wine Competition

Best of Class - 2017 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon
Best of Class - 2017 Écluse Petite Sirah
Gold - 2017 Écluse Rendition
Gold - Blind Dog
Silver - 2017 Écluse Ensemble
Silver - 2017 Écluse Insider
Silver - 2017 Écluse Improv
Silver - 2017 Écluse Prelude
​Silver - 2017 Écluse Zinfandel

Wine Enthusiast 2020

93 Points - 2017 Écluse Syrah
93 Points - 2017 Écluse Rendition
92 Points - 2017 Écluse Improv
91 Points - 2017 Écluse Zinfandel
91 Points - 2017 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon
91 Points - 2017 Écluse Insider
91 Points - 2017 Écluse Ensemble
90 Points, Editor's Choice - 2017 Écluse Merlot
90 Points - 2017 Écluse Petite Sirah
90 Points - 2017 Écluse Prelude

Vinous 2019

91 Points - 2017 Écluse Insider
91 Points - 2016 Écluse Rendition
91 Points - 2016 Écluse Improv
90 Points - 2016 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Sunset International Wine Competition

 The 2014 Sunset International Wine Competition scores are in!

Over 2,700 wines were entered and we are ecstatic that our only entry, the 2010 Syrah, received such a wonderful award

Gold Medal - Best of Class - 2010 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard

Wine Enthusiast 2018

93 Points - 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Lock Vineyard
92 Points - 2015 Insider
92 Points - 2015 Ensemble 

All wines reviewed by Matt Kettman, the California Editor for Wine Enthusiast. 2013 Reserve will appear on-line in Wine Enthusiast's searchable database in the August 2018 and the 2015 Insider and Ensemble will appear in the September 2018 Issue.

2019 Central Coast Wine Competition

Double Gold, Best of Class - 2016 Écluse Improv
Silver - 2016 Écluse Ensemble

Jeb Dunnuck's Central Coast Wine Review

90 Points - 2015 Rendition

Wine Enthusiast 2019

93 Pts - 2016 Insider
92 Pts - 2016 Prelude
92 Pts - 2016 Ensemble
92 Pts - 2016 Syrah
91 Pts - 2016 Rendition
91 Pts - 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon
​90 Pts - 2016 Zinfandel

All wines reviewed by Matt Kettman, the California Editor for Wine Enthusiast.

San Francisco Chronicle - 2019 Wine Competition

The SF Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines in the world and this year's competition had nearly 7,000 entries from 35 states accross the country! In January, over 60 skilled judges from a variety of fields including trade, education, media, retail and hospitality tasted these wines to determine the best wines in the US.

Double Gold
Double Gold - 2016 Écluse Ensemble
Double Gold - 2016 Écluse Syrah
Double Gold  - 2016 Écluse Insider

Gold Medal
Gold Medal - 2016 Écluse Improv

Silver Medal
Silver Medal - 2016 Écluse Rendition
Silver Medal - 2016 Écluse Zinfandel
Silver Medal - 2016 Écluse Petite Sirah
Silver Medal - 2015 Écluse Chardonnay

2018 San Francisco International Wine Competition

All wines entered received medals! We are thrilled to announce that we received a Gold Medal for the fourth year in a row for our Bordeaux style blend, Ensemble!

Gold Medal - 2016 Écluse Ensemble
Silver Medal - 2016 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon
Silver Medal - 2014 Écluse Zinfandel

Vinous Review of Paso Robles

2018 Vinous scores are in and all wines entered received scores in the 90's!

2015 Écluse Ensemble – 91 points   
2015 Écluse Insider – 91 points
2015 Écluse Improv – 90 points 
2015 Écluse Rendition – 90 points  
2015 Écluse Zinfandel – 90 points

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Reviewer William Kelley - all wines submitted received scores in the 90's!

2015 Ensemble – 93 Points
A Bordeaux blend dominated by Petit Verdot, the 2015 Ensemble offers up a deep bouquet of ripe black fruits, violets and asphalt. On the palate, it's full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with ripe tannins and a generous core of fruit that avoids excess. Lavish and generous in profile, this is a dramatic wine from Ecluse Wines. Drink Date 2018-2024
-William Kelley

2015 Insider – 93 Points
An unusual blend of 25% Tannat, 25% Petit Verdot, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Insider is another success for Ecluse Wines, wafting from the glass with aromas of cassis, truffle, tobacco leaf and subtle new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and mouthfilling, with good balance and considerable presence, but I preferred the Ensemble for its greater energy and length. Drink Date 2018-2024
-William Kelley

2015 Rendition – 93 Points
The 2015 Rendition Proprietary Red Wine is very pretty, wafting from the glass with notes of violets, sweet black fruits, rose petal and spice. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, supple and open-knit, with an ample core of crunchy, bright fruit, good balancing acidity and a long, gently tannic finish. It's a blend of 46% Syrah, 38% Grenache, 8% Mourvèdre and 8% Petite Sirah. Drink Date 2018-2024
-William Kelley

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – 93 Points
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon offers up notes of crushed currants, pencil shavings, sweet spices and creamy new oak, followed by a full-bodied, layered palate with good concentration, rich tannins and freshness. It wouldn't be out of place in contemporary Napa Valley. Drink Date 2018-2024
-William Kelley
*Sold out - stand by for the library re-release in our Insider Club*

2015 Improv – 92 Points
A blend of 47% Merlot, 29% Petite Sirah and 24% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Improv offers up a brooding bouquet of grilled meat, espresso roast and ripe blackberries. On the palate, it's rich, full-bodied and chewy, with some firm structuring tannins but a generous core of ripe, crunchy fruit. Drink Date 2018-2024
-William Kelley

San Francisco Chronicle - 2017 Wine Competition

All Wines Entered Received Medals!

The SF Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines in the world and this year's competition had over 7,000 entries from 28 states!

Double Gold2014 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
2014 Écluse Petite SIrah (to be released Spring, 2017)
2014 Écluse ZInfandel 

Gold 2014 Écluse Improv
2014 Écluse Ensemble
2014 Écluse Rendition
2014 Écluse Insider

Silver2014 Écluse Syrah

San Francisco Chronicle - 2018 Wine Competition

 The SF Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines in the world and this year's competition had nearly 7,000 entries from 35 states accross the country! In January, 67 skilled judges from a variety of fields including trade, education, media, retail and hospitality tasted these wines to determine the best wines in the USA.

Double Gold
2015 Écluse Ensemble

Gold Medal
2015 Écluse Improv
2015 Écluse Rendition
2015 Écluse Insider (to be released Spring, 2018)

Silver Medal
2015 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon
2015 Écluse Petite Sirah
Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvee

2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition

The 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition scores are in! This is the third time we've entered this competition and we are excited to announce that our popular, Bordeaux style blend received a Gold for the third year in a row!

Gold Medal - 2014 Écluse Ensemble

The 37th Annual San Francisco International Wine Competition took place from June 30-July 2, 2017 at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. The judges tasted more than 4,200 wines from 31 countries around the world!

Wine Enthusiast 2017

Seven of our Reds Received Scores in the 90's!

92 Points - 2014 Syrah, Lock Vineyard
92 Points - 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lock Vineyard
92 Points - 2014 Zinfandel
91 Points - 2014 Improv
90 Points - 2014 Ensemble
90 Points - 2014 Petite Sirah, New Release!
90 Points - 2014 Rendition

 All wines reviewed by Matt Kettman, the California Editor for Wine Enthusiast. All wines will appear on-line in Wine Enthusiast's searchable database in July, 2017 at www.winemag.com/ratings.

San Francisco Chronicle - 2014 Wine Competition

GOLD MEDAL
2011 Écluse "Ensemble"

2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition

Since it's introduction in 1980, the San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) has been setting the standard for professional wine judging. Celebrating its 36th year in 2016, the SFIWC is one of the longest running international wine competitions anywhere. Year after year, the SFIWC takes great pride in maintaining the highest levels of integrity and impartiality, ensuring that all wines are treated with equal care and consideration by our panels of highly esteemed wine experts.

The 2016 Competition will be held from June 9-12, 2016.

This is only the second year we've submitted to the San Francisco International Wine Competition and we are thrilled that the only wine we entered, our 2013 Ensemble, received a Double Gold!

This competition is the largest international wine competition in the US and this year the judges tasted over 4,600 entries! The Double Gold designation (94-100 points) is awarded to the very few entries that receive unanimous Gold medal ratings from the judges and these wines are the finest in the world!

Double Gold - 2013 Écluse Ensemble

Affairs of the Vine - 10th Annual Cab Shootout

Exciting News! Both wines entered into the 10th Annual Cabernet Shootout received Gold Medals!

Our 2013 Ensemble was also the Winner of the Blind Tasting! The top wines in the Cab Shootout are selected by the professional judging panel and then presented in a focusted consumer blind tasting. Participants cast thier votes and our Ensemble won!

Gold

Gold Medal - 2013 Écluse Ensemble
Winner of the Blind Tasting!

 

Gold

Gold Medal - 2013 Écluse Cabernet Savuignon

Wine Enthusiast 2016

Five Wines Received 90+ Points!

94 Points - 2013 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard

93 Points - 2013 Écluse Improv

92 Points - 2013 Écluse Ensemble

92 Points - 2013 Écluse Rendition

90 Points, Cellar Selection - 2013 Écluse Petite Sirah
This is a Petite Sirah to sit on while the tannins mellow out a bit. It starts with fresh-pressed blue- and blackberries, a touch of lilac, hints of roasted meat and a touch of black coffee on the nose. The dense structure holds espresso, dark chocolate and a ripe blackberry sensation. Drink 2018 through 2023.

All wines reviewed by Matt Kettman, the California Editor for Wine Enthusiast

2016 Toast of the Coast Wine Competition

This was the first year that we entered the Toast of the Coast Wine Competition and we're ecstatic that we were awarded two Gold Medals, along with the Best Red Rhone Blend Award!

Gold2013 Ensemble - Gold Medal

Gold2013 Rendition - Gold Medal, Best Rhone Blend

San Francisco Chronicle - 2016 Wine Competition

All Wines Entered Received Medals!

This year's competition broke all former records with over 7,100 entries. Of those entris, only 150+ wines were awarded Best of Class! 

Best of Class
2013 Écluse Ensemble

Double Gold
2013 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
2013 Écluse Zinfandel
2013 Écluse Rendition

Gold Medal
2013 Écluse Improv
2013 Écluse Grenache (to be released Spring, 2016)

Silver Medal
2013 Écluse Petite Sirah
2014 Écluse Prelude (to be released Spring, 2016) 

Affairs of the Vine - 3rd Annual Rhone Shootout

Double Gold - 2012 Écluse "Improv"
Female:
Cola and blackberry combine with black cherry and tobacco to form an interesting aromatic. Palate is nicely balanced between deftly placed layers of black fruit and subtle spice and cinnamon. Finishes with flair and plenty to enjoy. 92
Male: Subtle nose of red berry and dusty ripe plum combine with baked black cherry and spice. Strawberry and light chocolate with firm tannins create a lively palate. 92

Gold Medal - 2012 Écluse "Rendition" Lock Vineyard
Female: Kirsch like raspberry with balanced aromas of dark berries and vanilla scented toast on the nose. There is a unique smokiness to the layers of black fruit and spice on the palate. Long lingering finish with cola notes complete this nicely crafted wine. 91
Male: Candied cherry with elements of dill and fresh clover with a touch of earth on the nose. Palate is formed by wild blackberry and young cherry with huckleberry. There are modest tannins helping form a classic structure with nicely placed minerality and a lingering spice content to the attractive finish. Should develop very nicely in bottle. 90

Gold Medal - 2012 Écluse Petite Sirah Sereno Vista Vineyard
Female: Boysenberry jam and dark chocolate aromas open to sweet blackberry pie, black figs, and dried blueberry flavors. Elegant wine. Nice acidity and zippy rich chocolate on the finish. Yummy! 92
Male: Very aromatic and spicy. "Love the nose of black raspberries and sweet spice." The palate reflects the nose with added layers of smoke, roasted meats and a lovely minerality. 90

Paso Robles and Neighbors: New Releases - Vinous Scores, 2015

2015 Vinous scores are in and all wines entered received scores in the 90's!

2012 Écluse Ensemble – 91 points2012 Écluse Ensemble
Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched red- and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by suggestions of woodsmoke, pipe tobacco and black cardamom. Plush, sweet and seamless on the palate, offering intense dark fruit liqueur and cherry-vanilla flavors sharpened by a jolt of juicy acidity. This brawny yet vibrant blend finishes with excellent closing thrust and clarity, with smooth tannins coming on late.

2012 Écluse Zinfandel – 90 points2012 Écluse Zinfandel
Deep ruby. Ripe dark berries, candied plum and lavender on the highly perfumed, spice-accented nose. Supple and broad, offering juicy black raspberry, boysenberry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of white pepper. Finishes long and gently tannic, leaving a sweet blue fruit note behind.  

2012 Écluse Improv – 91 points2012 Écluse Improv
Inky ruby. An expansive bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, cola and incense, with a zesty overlay of peppery spices. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry and floral pastille flavors and a hint of mocha. Finishes sappy and very long, with smooth tannins providing shape.

2012 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard – 90 points2012 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Bright violet color. Dark berries, cherry pit and a hint of pipe tobacco on the fragrant nose. Lush and gently sweet, with broad blackberry and cassis flavors that tighten up slowly with air. A floral nuance emerges on the finish, which shows very good clarity and supple tannins.

From Paso Robles and Neighbors: New Releases (Sep 2015) by Josh Raynolds

2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition

The 35th Annual San Francisco International Wine Competition was held June 12–14, 2015, at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. The judges tasted more than 4,900 wines from around the world!

The 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition scores are in! This is the first time we've entered this competition and we are excited to announce that we received a Gold Medal!

Gold Medal - 92 Points - 2012 Écluse Ensemble

Affairs of the Vine - 9th Annual Cab Shootout

Double Gold - 2012 Écluse Ensemble
Double GoldFemale: Sultry and alluring aromatic profile. Lush dark fruit with exotic spice notes. Plum and raspberry fruit. Good mouthfeel. Well integrated. Soft tannins. Lovely finish. 91
Male: An expressive combination of bright cherry and lighter toned black fruit accented by dried flowers and herbs and a touch of vanilla. Palate offers up nicely developed and proportioned black fruit and pomegranate. Finish is a work in progress with tannins that remain a bit edgy at the moment but all heading in the right direction for the long haul. A nice ensemble of Cabernet elements. 91
 

Gold Medal - 2012 Écluse Cabernet Savuignon
GoldFemale: The nose is delicate with fruit at the forefront and notes of lavender and eucalyptus.Wonderful balance of oak and fruit. Ripe cherry, milk chocolate, cassis, and black tea flavors. Full and balanced mouthfeel. Nice finish! 89

Male: Elegant aromas lift from the glass showing rich plum, raspberry, toasted vanilla barrel notes, fresh baked bread, and a touch of mint. The plum fruit core is replicated nicely from first impression on the nose and is accented stylishly with cassis, brown spice, and light cinnamon. Comes together with nicely integrated medium tannins on the pleasing finish. 91

San Francisco Chronicle - 2015 Wine Competition

All Wines Entered Received Medals!

GOLD MEDAL
2012 Écluse Zinfandel
2012 Écluse Petite Sirah Sereno Vista Vineyard 

SILVER MEDAL
2012 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
2012 Écluse "Rendition" Lock Vineyard
2011 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Silver Medal - Finis Port Style Wine Lock Vineyard

Affairs of the Vine - 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout

Here’s how we scored:

2011 Écluse “Ensemble” Lock Vineyard
Double Gold Medal - 4 Hearts, “Love at first sip!”
Female: Inviting dark berry aroma with a rich and smooth entry full of blackberry, cassis, tobacco, spice, and vanilla drenching the palate. Nicely balanced too!
Male: Nice shiny garnet color. Ripe nose full of raspberry and chocolate. Very round on the palate with great texture and creaminess. "I really like that the oak isn't overbearing." Nice berries and mocha finish. Great balance.

2010 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon RESERVE Lock Vineyard
Gold Medal - 4 Hearts, “Love at first sip!"
(Not yet released, but stand by as we plan on releasing it later this year!)
Female: Deep red/brown in color. Sweet smoked red cherry aromas with earthy mushroom and mineral notes. Cherry and rhubarb flavors merge with pepper and cinnamon notes on the palate in this balanced taste experience distinguished by smokiness.
Male: Dark chocolate and cherry aromas with added plum and brown spice notes. Vibrant acid shows through. The palate dances with fruit and lovely spice.

2011 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Silver Medal
Female: Tart fruit compote aromas. Round and full cherry pie, currant and raspberry flavors with black tea spiced accents. Bright and lively. Elegant.
Male: Cassis, clove, and tobacco aromatics. The palate replicates the aromas. Nicely balanced wine.

Affairs of the Vine - 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout

Here’s how we scored:

2010 Écluse “Ensemble” Lock Vineyard
Gold Medal - 4 Hearts, “Love at first sip!”
Female: Pretty nose - chocolate, cherry and spice box - Great! Young but wonderful. Big and rich in the mouth. Chocolate covered cherries and cherry pipe tobacco. Yum!
Male: Roasted coffee beans with chocolate on the nose showing nice new French barrels. Nicely textured mid-palate of black fruit and spice. Length and definition on the finish is lovely.

2010 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Gold Medal - 4 Hearts, “Love at first sip!
Female: Copiously fruited nose yet surprisingly light on its feet. Candied berry, vanilla and a subtle milk chocolate accent. Deliciously quaffable.
Male: Soft black fruit and cookie dough aromas preface the palate of black fruit and spice. Opulent yet balanced. Very nice!

2009 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon RESERVE Lock Vineyard
Gold Medal - 4 Hearts, “Love at first sip!"
Female: Inky dark in the glass. Floral, warm chocolate and loganberry syrup aromas. Lovely, earthy classic Cabernet. Dark black cherry and plum flavors with black tea notes. The tannins are mellowing out.
Male: Rich and wonderful red and blackberry nose with hints of mocha. Dense and beautiful.

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - November 2013

11/13/13 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Issue 171, November/December 2013
Focus on California's Central Coast
Josh Raynolds

2011 Ensemble Paso Robles
Rating: 90
Bright purple. Smoky blackberry and plum compote aromas are complicated by notes of smoky herbs, licorice and a dusting of cracked pepper. Energetic dark berry flavors are brightened by tangy minerality and supported by fine-grained tannins. Finishes with very good lift, liveliness and lingering sweetness.
36% Petit Verdot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 5% Malbec

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles
Rating: 89

Vivid purple. Textbook cabernet aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cured tobacco and cedary oak. Smoky dark berry flavors show a refreshingly bitter quality and a hint of dried rose. A vanilla nuance appears on the finish, framed by fine-grained, dusty tannins.

2011 Improv Paso Robles
Rating: 88 Points

Deep ruby. Powerful aromas of dark berry preserves, licorice, dried flowers and woodsmoke. Pungent, smoky blackberry and blueberry flavors coat the palate, with chewy tannins adding grip. The smoky note lingers on the finish,which features dusty tannins and a hint of violet.
80% Zinfandel and 20% Petite Sirah

Affairs of the Vine - The 2nd Annual Rhone Shootout - June 2013

Affairs of the Vine’s Wine Shootout process for scoring wines is incredibly comprehensive. They focus on specific types of wines, in this case Rhone wines, while utilizing a diverse tasting panel comprised of wine industry professionals.

The judging panel, an incredibly diverse panel of 62 wine professionals, tasted 261 wines over a three month period.  Just 32 wines were tasted by the experts per day, allowing the judges to be completely immersed, focused and fair to each wine and palate fatigue is not a factor.  The wines were tasted completely blind without knowing the appellation, vintage or price of each wine.  Each wine submitted was tasted a minimum of two times and the top rated wines were then tasted blind by the panel of experts at the Rhone Shootout Finals on June 15, 2013 to determine the best of the best.

And the results....

Écluse medaled for all wines entered at the 2nd Annual Rhone Shootout!!!

DOUBLE GOLD - 2010 Écluse "Improv" Lock Vineyard
Female:
Plum, coffee and black pepper on the nose. A touch of funky earthiness on the plate but lots of ripe fruit - gorgeous! Luscious mouthfeel.
Male: Spiced red cherry with back notes of coffee, cedar, cassis, and orange zest in the glass. Same on the palate adding smoky bacon and white pepper to the complexity. Vibrant acids that propel the exceptional length.

DOUBLE GOLD - 2010 Écluse Grenache Lock Vineyard
Female:
The nose just keeps on giving… coffee, cedar, cherries, chocolate, and vanilla. The palate is rich with chocolate, black cherry, currant, and black pepper complements. Light bodied but with tons of flavor to satisfy. The perfect summer BBQ wine!
Male: Snappy, spicy, deep and smoky. The nose shows dark ripe cherry with cinnamon and chocolate accents. Ripe, rich and deeply textured. The sweet fruit flavors bond with the charred oak in this lovely wine. The finish is dry with medium plus tannins.

SILVER MEDAL - 2009 Écluse "Rendition"
Female: Big, dark and rich.  Red and black cherry with lots of black and white pepper undertones and tarragon on the finish.  Just a baby. 
Male: Well developed aromatics of black fruit, spice and barrel notes. Early stages of development on a great palate.

Wine Enthusiast - March 2013

All Wines Entered Received 90+ Points!

92 Points - 2009 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Lock Vineyard
The trick to getting a Cabernet Sauvignon this ripe and oaky is to provide balance, and in this, Écluse has succeeded. Made from 100% Cabernet, it’s enormously rich in blackberries and black currants, with dark chocolate, licorice and spice adding complexity. The tannins are, in a word, gorgeous. With high alcohol, the mouthfeel has a Cognac-like warmth, but doesn’t feel uncomfortably hot. Drink now for fresh fruitiness. - S.H.

91 Points - 2010 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon, Lock Vineyard
California Cabernet simply doesn’t get richer or riper than this. It explodes with blackberry and cherry jam and chocolate flavors whose sweetness persists into the long, spicy finish. And yet the wine is technically dry. Drink over the next few years. - S.H.

90 Points - 2010 Écluse Syrah, Lock Vineyard
A beautiful Syrah, softly tannic, dry and full bodied. High alcohol gives some jalapeño pepper heat to the blackberries, licorice, bacon, dark chocolate and sandalwood flavors, but nothing that richly sauced barbecue can’t handle. Drink up. - S.H.

90 Points - 2010 Écluse "Ensemble", Lock Vineyard
This is one of the best Bordeaux blends now available from Paso Robles. Based on Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s enormously ripe in blackberry jam, currant, chocolate and cedar flavors that finish lush and spicy. The tannins are strong, but negotiable with barbecue. - S.H.

All wines reviewed by Steve Heimoff, the California Editor for Wine Enthusiast
 

San Francisco Chronicle - 2013 Wine Competition

All Wines Entered Received Medals!

DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL
Double Gold - 2010 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard

GOLD MEDAL
2010 Écluse "Ensemble" Lock Vineyard
2009 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Lock Vineyard
Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvée

SILVER MEDAL
2010 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
2010 Écluse Zinfandel Lock Vineyard
2010 Écluse "Rendition"
2010 Écluse "Improv" Lock Vineyard
2010 Écluse "Prelude"

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - November 2012

2010 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 Points
Opaque purple. Intense aromas of blackberry, cassis, mocha, tarragon and incense. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors are surprisingly lively, picking up a spicy element with air. Bitter chocolate and floral pastille notes emerge with air and carry through a long, sappy finish.

2010 Écluse "Ensemble" Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 Points
(44% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot, 19% petit verdot and 12% malbec): Deep ruby. Cherry, redcurrant, rose and licorice on the nose, along with sweet oak notes. Supple and nicely concentrated, with juicy flavors of red fruits, spicecake and candied flowers. Tangy acids give the wine clarity and lift and add bite to the focused, very persistent finish.

2010 Écluse "Improv" Lock Vineyard
(54% syrah, 30% zinfandel, 8% merlot and 8% petite sirah): Inky ruby. Sexy aromas of raspberry, cherry compote, lavender and cola, with a smoky mineral topnote. Pliant, juicy and nicely focused, offering sweet red berry flavors and showing no rough edges. The supple finish leaves sweet cola and vanilla notes behind, along with an exotic floral pastille character.

Affairs of the Vine - The 1st Annual Rhone Shootout - June 2012

Affairs of the Vine’s Wine Shootout process for scoring wines is incredibly comprehensive. They focus on specific types of wines, in this case Rhone wines, while utilizing a diverse tasting panel comprised of wine industry professionals.

The first ever Rhone Shootout began with a series of blind tastings over a six week period as the wines were tasted in groups of 32 wines max per day – this way each wine can be tasted with clarity and concentration without palate fatigue.  The top wines were then tasted blind to determine the best of the best. The process and manner utilized by Affairs of the Vine for assessing and judging entries is unique within competitions in that it employs the following procedures:

 • All wines are tasted blind. (How could you ever do it differently?)
 • All wines are tasted without reference to producer, appellation or price.
 • Each wine is judged and reviewed on its own merit.
 • All wines are tasted by at least two tasting panels before the finals.
 • The wines were placed into flights and evaluated by a team of judges. Each team reviewed only 32 wines.

And the results....

Écluse medaled for all wines entered at the first ever Rhone Shootout!!!

Gold Medal - 2010 Écluse “Prelude”
Gold Medal - 2010 Écluse Viognier
Gold Medal - 2010 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Gold Medal - 2009 Écluse "Improv" Lock Vineyard
Silver Medal - 2009 Écluse Petite Sirah Sereno Vista Vineyard
Sliver Medal - 2007 Écluse "Rendition"

San Francisco Chronicle - 2012 Wine Competition

The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition has set a new American wine competition record with an astounding 5,500 entries, surpassing its previous record of 5,050 last year. For nine consecutive years, this prestigious competition holds strong as the “Largest Competition of American Wines in the World.”

“This new record serves as an affirmation that every year wine consumers look toward the SFCWC award medal winning wines as a barometer when purchasing their wines," said Bob Fraser, SFCWC Executive Director. "We are thrilled that wineries all over the United States understand and respect the outstanding caliber of our 65 judges from throughout the wine industry and the country."

All Wines Entered Received Medals!

GOLD MEDAL
2009 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
2009 Écluse “Rendition”

SILVER MEDAL
2009 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvée

Robert Parker Ratings - Wine Advocate #196 August 2011

2009 Écluse “Improv” Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 Points
The 2009 Improv (59% Syrah, 41% Zinfandel) saturates the palate with layers of dark fruit, smoke, espresso, licorice and spices. It is a big wine, with considerable inner sweetness and ripeness, yet it is also beautifully balanced. The Zinfandel comes through loud and clear, especially on the finish. The estate gave the Improv 18 months in oak barrels, 50% new, with a preference for American and Hungarian oak in the Zinfandel components and went into bottle with no fining or filtration.
-Antonio Galloni

2009 Écluse Grenache
Rating: 90 Points
The 2009 Grenache is an attractive, mid-weight wine redolent of sweet red cherries, flowers, spices and mint. It, too, shows lovely persistence all the way through to the long, polished finish. The Grenache saw 18 months in oak, 33% new and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
-Antonio Galloni

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - November 2011

2009 Écluse Zinfandel Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 Points
Inky purple. Very sexy, perfumed aromas of black raspberry, smoky minerals and incense; showing a lot of aromatic character. Quite lively and juicy in the mouth, with sappy dark berry, cherry and candied floral flavors. The energetic finish features supple tannins that add shape and gentle grip.

2007 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Rating: 91 Points
Full ruby. Complex aromas of dried red cherry, blackberry and violet. Juicy black and blue fruit flavors are complemented by smoky herbal and licorice qualities and a kiss of vanillin oak. Fleshy and full-bodied syrah with very good depth and finishing sweetness. This appealing, open-knit wine is delicious right now.

2007 Écluse “Ensemble”
Rating: 90 Points
(50% cabernet sauvignon and 25% each petit verdot and merlot): Deep ruby. Powerful cherry and blackcurrant scents are complicated by alluring smoked meat and spice notes and a light suggestion of tarragon. Full, fleshy dark berry flavors are lifted by gentle acidity and supported by fine-grained but firm tannins. Gains sweetness on the finish, picking up an exotic hint of sweet, cured tobacco.

2009 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 Points
Full ruby. Cherry-vanilla, clove and wood smoke on the fragrant nose. Lush and creamy in texture, offering deep dark fruit flavors and notes of candied flowers and herbs. Finishes with good clarity and echoing vanilla and floral notes. This sexy wine is surprisingly approachable now.

2009 Écluse Grenache
Rating: 90 Points
Vivid ruby. Sexy aromas of red berries, flowers and Asian spices, plus a hint of wood smoke. Supple, broad and sweet, with deep raspberry and cherry preserve flavors, silky tannins and very good clarity. Shows energetic finishing lift and length. Impressively elegant and precise for a New World Grenache.

2009 Écluse “Improv” Lock Vineyard
Rating: 89 Points
(59% syrah and 41% zinfandel): Deep ruby. Lively and focused on the nose, displaying fresh red fruit and floral scents and a slow-building licorice nuance. Sappy and expansive on the palate, offering bitter cherry, herb and floral pastille qualities. Shows good intensity on the spicy, dark fruit-dominated finish. This is drinking well right now but has the balance to age.

2009 Écluse Petite Sirah Sereno Vista Vineyard Paso Robles
Rating: 90 Points
Opaque violet color. Sexy, oak-spiced dark berries on the fragrant nose. Lush and seamless in texture, offering sappy blackberry and boysenberry flavors that pick up a smokiness with air. Shows a strong vanillin oak quality on the finish, which leaves sweet dark fruit preserve notes behind. Nothing shy here.

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Issue 147 - Nov/Dec 2009

Josh Raynolds

2007 Écluse “Improv” Lock Vineyard
Rating: 89 Points
(69% Zinfandel and 31% Syrah) Full ruby. Deep aromas of plum, blueberry, tar, earth and roasted herbs. The palate offers good definition and energy, with nicely perfumed dark berry and floral flavors and very good intensity. Finishes with a light dusting of tannins and good energy and sweet persistence. Delicious right now.

2006 Écluse “Rendition”
Rating: 90 Points
(59% Syrah, 22% Grenache and 19% Mourvedre) Dark red. sexy aromas of red berry and cherry preserves, musky herbs, flowers and Asian spices; smells like there's more grenache than syrah in here. Sweet, fleshy red fruit flavors provide very good palate coverage, with zesty acidity providing spine. Blends depth with energy and finishes with excellent clarity and spicy persistence.  

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - Nov/Dec 2010

2009 Écluse "Prelude"
Bright gold. A wild, highly fragrant bouquet displays poached pear, nectarine and orange peel, with pungent floral and herb accents. Lush and creamy in texture, with gently sweet pit and exotic fruit flavors and slow-building spiciness. Becomes tighter with air and finishes with very good clarity and lingering floral echo. This will be very flexible with food. 89

2008 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Glass-staining ruby. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of red and dark berries, cherry-cola and vanilla, with a suave floral quality in the background. Smooth and expansive, offering sweet raspberry and cassis flavors and harmonious vanillin oak and spices. Velvety tannins add shape to a long, sappy and attractively floral finish. This will age but I'd have no guilt drinking it now. 90

2008 Écluse "Improv" Lock Vineyard ($36; 60% syrah, 32% zinfandel and 8% merlot)
Ruby-red. Sexy red and dark berry preserves and potpourri on the nose, with a hint of cola that gains strength with air. Juicy, palate-staining black raspberry and blueberry flavors are given spine by juicy acidity and pick up a smoky quality with aeration. Smooth, broad and sweet, with lingering floral and spice notes. 89

2007 Écluse "Rendition" ($38; 52% syrah, 42% grenache and 6% zinfandel)
Inky ruby. Dark cherry and blackberry aromas are complicated by pipe tobacco and subtle herbal notes. Fleshy, subtly sweet dark berry flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and framed by silky tannins. The sweet dark fruit quality lingers on the alluringly sappy and persistent finish. This is drinking very well right now. 90

2006 Écluse "Ensemble" ($38; 47% cabernet sauvignon, 35% petit verdot and 18% merlot)
Opaque ruby. Very pretty aromas of red berries, rose petal, black pepper, and smoky oak. Supple, silky and restrained, with a subtle sweetness on the middle palate and precise redcurrant and cherry flavors. Really spreads out on the back half to stain the palate and finishes subtle and long. Quite grown-up, with no excess fat and very good clarity. 89

San Francisco Chronicle - 2011 Wine Competition

The 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition broke the records with 4,913 entries in 2010 and now in 2011; it continues to uphold the title of the “Largest Competition of American Wines in the World” with a staggering number of entries, 5,050 from 23 states.  For eight consecutive years, the SFCWC is able to proclaim that it is the “Largest Wine Competition of American Wines in the Worlds.”

All Red Wines Entered Medaled!

BEST RED WINE - SWEEPSTAKES AWARD
2008 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard

SILVER MEDAL
2008 Écluse “Improv” Lock Vineyard 
2007 Écluse “Rendition” 
2007 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard 
Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvée 

Robert Parker Ratings - August 2009

2007 Écluse “Improv” Lock Vineyard
Rating: 89 Points
The 2007 Improv Lock Vineyard, a combination of 69% Zinfandel and 31%Syrah.This is another layered, medium to full-bodied, opulent, seductive red exhibiting a dense ruby/purple color as well as a boatload of blue and black fruits interwoven with notions of mountain berries, earth, and spice.
-Robert Parker

2007 Écluse “Rendition”
Rating: 91 Points
The 2007 Rendition,a blend of 52%Syrah,42%Grenache, and the rest Zinfandel, is a knock-out. Sexy and opulent with loads of spice box, pepper, kirsch, and black currants, it is made in a seductive, broad, savory style with medium to full body, and not a hard edge to be found.
-Robert Parker

San Francisco Chronicle - 2010 Wine Competition

Largest Competition of American Wines in the World Reaches New Heights in 2010
(San Francisco, CA, January 2010) – On January 8th, 2010, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition concluded the annual week of judging at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in Sonoma County, California. Over five days, 63 professional wine experts within the media, restaurant and hospitality, education, winemaking and retail wine industries tasted and evaluated a world-record breaking 4,913 entries, a number that maintains the competition's status as the largest competition of American wines in the world.

Founded in 1983 as the modestly sized Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition, it has evolved into the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition while gaining notoriety and national acclaim for its ability to entice thousands of entries from the major wine-producing regions in the United States.

Once Again All Écluse Wines Entered Won Medals!!

GOLD MEDAL
2005 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Lock Vineyard
2006 Écluse “Ensemble”

SILVER MEDAL
2007 Écluse “Improv” Lock Vineyard
2007 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
2008 Écluse “Prelude”
Blind Dog Midnight Run Cuvée

Affairs of the Vine - The Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout - Sept. 2009

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout began with a series of blind tastings over a six week period as the wines were tasted in groups of 32 wines per session. The top wines were then tasted blind to determine the best of the best.

The final tasting was held at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Our professional panel brought their experienced palates and love of Cabernet to this task. One thing that all of these wines have in common is balance. It is the quality that we look for when tasting and evaluating wines both for immediate consumption and long term aging.

The tasting panels was comprised of a diverse range of wine industry professionals from varying disciplines including restaurant and retail trade, winemakers, wine writers, wine educators, and viticulturalists.

The process and manner utilized by Affairs of the Vine for assessing and judging the entries is unique within competitions in that it employed the following procedures:

  • All wines were tasted blind. (How could you ever do it differently?)
  • All wines were tasted without reference to producer, appellation, vintage or price.
  • Each wine was judged and reviewed on its own merit.
  • The wines were rated using a 100 point scale. The wines were placed into flights and evaluated by a team of judges. The top 64 wines selected by the team of judges were then submitted to our panel for review. Our panel was divided into two teams and each team reviewed only 32 wines.

All wines reviewed indicate a numerical score and are recommended "from the heart" with the additional reference of Heart Icons designating the following:
Heart Icon= Love at First Sip
Heart IconHeart IconHeart Icon= An Affair to Remember
Heart IconHeart Icon= Will Provide Fond Memories

The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout ÉCLUSE RESULTS!!

2006 Écluse “Ensemble”
Rating: 95 Points Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"
Female: Inky in color. This is a very masculine wine - dark, deep and dry. The mouth-feel is satiny through mid-palate. Tannins join in and carry through the finish. This could be "red velvet" with maturity.
Male: Mint, herbs and blackberry aromas with hints of spice, Broad black fruit flavors on opening through mid-palate where the tannins kick-in. The finish is tight. Should age well.

2005 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Lock Vineyard
Rating: 94 Points Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"
Female: Brooding aromas of dark cherry, campfire and cocoa lead to big dark berry flavors highlighted by chocolate, tobacco and olive notes. Licorice on the intriguing finish of this well made wine. Pair with a grilled rosemary steak.
Male: Cherry, berry and vanilla aromas and flavors. Inviting. This Cabernet Sauvignon has a generous concentration of mouthwatering fruit and soft tannins. A well made wine with great potential.

2006 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Rating: 92 Points Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"
Female: Big, rich meaty notes on the nose delivering tons of dry blackberry and bramble flavors. Good tannins that don't overpower. A BIG STEAK WINE! This one's a crowd pleaser.
Male: Pleasant nose of crushed berries. Lovely soft tannins balance the blackberry and plum fruit. Enjoy this with grilled lamb chops.

San Francisco Chronicle - 2009 Wine Competition

Largest Competition of American Wines in the World Reaches New Heights in 2009

(San Francisco, CA, January 2009) - Records broken again for the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Held over a period of four days at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in January, this exclusive event has once again broken world record with over 4,500 wines from over 1,600 wineries entered into the 2009 competition, all of which were evaluated by an elite panel of more than 60 professional wine judges from across the country.

Once Again, Écluse Scored Medals For All Wines Entered!!

GOLD MEDAL
2006 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard

SILVER MEDAL
2006 Écluse Red Rhone Blend ”Rendition" 
2006 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
2006 Écluse Bordeaux Blend ”Ensemble"

Robert Parker Ratings - #177 August 2008

2006 Écluse “Rendition”
Rating: 90 points
My two favorite offerings from Ecluse are their 2005 and 2006 Renditions, both complex blends of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. The 2006 Rendition (59% Syrah, 32% Grenache, and 9% Mourvedre) reveals gamy, meaty, earthy notes intermixed with root vegetables, sweet cherry, roasted herb, and spice characteristics. It is a fruity, spicy, earthy, and concentrated.
-Robert Parker

2005 Écluse “Rendition”
Rating: 90 points

My two favorite offerings from Ecluse are their 2005 and 2006 Renditions, both complex blends of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. The 2005 Rendition (46% Syrah, 39% Grenache, and 15% Mourvedre) possesses more sweet berry fruit, less spice and meatiness, deeper, more concentrated flavors, and a combination of power as well as elegance. Its purity and sweetness of fruit are striking compared to the spicy, earthy 2006.
-Robert Parker

Affairs of the Vine California - Aussie Shootout - December 2008

The 2008 California-Australia Shootout began with a series of blind tastings over a six week period November to December 2008 in San Francisco, California of over 200 California and Australian wines. The wines were tasted in groups of 32 wines per session.  All wines were tasted blind and were tasted without reference to producer, appellation or price. The wines were delineated by vintage in the first round of tasting but no vintage reference made in proceeding round.

The top wines were then tasted blind to determine the best of the best.  The 55 top wines selected by the team of judges were then submitted to the entire panel for review.

ALL OF THE FOUR ÉCLUSE WINES ENTERED WERE AMONG THE TOP 55 FINALISTS!!

The final tasting was held in San Francisco December 8, 2008 as the professional panel brought their experienced palates to judge the final round of the venerable California and Australian wines.  Each wine was judged and reviewed on its own merit.

The final 55 wines were rated using a 100 point scale and are recommended “from the heart” with the additional reference of 1 to 4 hearts.

4 hearts the highest = Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"

2006 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
Rating: 94 Points Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"
Male: Spot on black currant and mint aromas. Great color. The wine is youthful with a healthy dose of new French oak (very Napa in style) with intense black fruit flavors, vanilla, licorice, blackberry and cola notes. The finish is long and delicious. Impressive!
Female: In the glass the wine is an intense purple. The cassis aromas are accented by plenty of spice with hints of cocoa. The expressive palate is powerful upfront with black cherry, black currant, rhubarb and anise flavors. Cocoa embraces the fruit. This wine is well balanced with pretty tannins. Yummy!

2006 Écluse “Ensemble”
Rating: 93 Points Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"
Male: Deep dark ruby in color. Lovely aromas, of red blackberry fruit, chocolate and toasted oak. Deep cassis fruit, licorice and black cherry flavors with back notes of cola. Big and round in the mouth. Good balance and structure. Enjoy with grilled lamb chops. When the oak fully integrates, this wine will be amazing!
Female: Intense inky hue. Bright notes of pomegranate, blueberry, anise, and mushroom on the nose. Dense dark fruit intermingling with spices on the mid palate. Nice tannins that underscore the lingering finish.

2006 Écluse “Rendition”
Rating: 92 Points Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"
Male: The impressive nose delivers pomegranate and mulberry aromas. Very ripe baked plum, strawberry, red cherry, cocoa, cola, and spice flavors. A distinctive wine with mild tannins.
Female: Sweet toffee and baking spices on the nose. The fruit is dark and brambly. Herbs wrap around the black fruit flavors mid palate. The finish has smoky overtones.

2006 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 Points Heart Icon= "Love at First Sip"
Male: The aromatics are enticing, a nice combination of subtle black and red fruit with underlying spice. Everything is in proportion. The nose introduces a very elegant style of Syrah. Nice structure - nice fruit on the palate and nice acid. One of the better Syrahs I've tasted in a long time!
Female: I really like this wine! Blackberry, blueberry and vanilla notes on the nose. This in an elegant wine with lovely berry flavors on the palate and subtle spice. Cocoa accent on the long finish. The acid makes this a wine to pair with food. The structure and balance are impressive.

San Francisco Chronicle - 2008 Wine Competition

Largest Competition of American Wines in the World Reaches New Heights in 2008

(San Francisco, CA, January 2008) – Even with the holidays behind us, the celebration is just beginning for the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Held over a period of four days at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in January, this exclusive event has once again broken world records with 4,235 wines from over 1500 wineries entered into the 2008 competition, all of which were evaluated by an elite panel of more than 60 professional wine judges from across the country.

Founded in 1983 as the modestly sized Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition, it has evolved into the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition while gaining notoriety and national acclaim for its ability to entice thousands of entries from the major wine-producing regions in the United States.

Écluse Scored Medals For All Wines Entered!! 

BEST OF CLASS GOLD
2005 Écluse “Rendition”
2005 Écluse “Ensemble”

GOLD MEDAL
2005 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard

SILVER MEDAL
2005 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard

Affairs of the Vine - 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout

The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Shootout began with a series of blind tastings over a six week period November to December 2007 in San Francisco, California.   The wines were tasted in groups of 32 wines per session.  All wines were tasted blind and were tasted without reference to producer, appellation or price.  The wines were delineated by vintage in the first round of tasting but no vintage reference made in proceeding round.

The top wines were then tasted blind to determine the best of the best.  The 55 top wines selected by the team of judges were then submitted to the entire panel for review.

The final tasting was held in San Francisco as the professional panel brought their experienced palates and love of Cabernet to this task.  Each wine was judged and reviewed on its own merit.

The final 55 wines were rated using a 100 point scale and are recommended “from the heart” with the additional reference of 1 to 4 hearts - 4 hearts the highest =  Love at First Sip.

ÉCLUSE WAS AMONG THE TOP 55 FINALISTS!!

Here’s how we scored:

Écluse “Ensemble” 2005
93 and 4 Hearts – “Love at first sip”
“Black cherry, date, dense dark berries on the nose ; Lush fruit in the mouth. The flavors march through the lively entry through the clean, tapered finish.”

Écluse 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard
90 and 4 Hearts – “Love at first sip”
“Rich blackberry fruit with aromas with clove and chocolate accents are delivered onto the palate.  Nicely balanced.”

Robert Parker Ratings - #166 August 2006

2004 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 points
Revealing a dense ruby/purple hue as well as richness, texture, and nuance, the full-bodied 2004 Syrah Lock Vineyard is a big (15.5% alcohol) wine with an impressive, supple finish.
-Robert Parker

2003 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Rating: 87 Points
The 2003 Syrah Lock Vineyard exhibits a crisp, elegant, lighter style than its younger sibling. Its deep ruby color is accompanied by copious amounts of berry fruit, pepper, and dried herb characteristics.
-Robert Parker

2006 California Mid-State Central Coast Wine Challenge

SILVER MEDAL
2003 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 California Mid-State Fair Spur Syrah Challenge

GOLD MEDAL
2001 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard

Robert Parker Ratings - #154 August 2004

2002 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Rating: 90 points
The 2002 Syrah Lock Vineyard, a full-bodied, “packed and stacked,” big, deep Syrah, boasts a rich bouquet of blackberries, smoke, cassis, cherries, and earth. Pure, heady, and lush, it is a hedonistic Syrah to enjoy over the next 4-5 years.
A new winery for me, this looks to be a noteworthy entry into the increasingly packed crowd of Rhone Ranger producers in the Paso Robles area.
-Robert Parker

2001 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
Rating: 87 Points
The 2001 Syrah Lock Vineyard exhibits big, chewy black cherry, pepper, underbrush, and spice box characteristics. It is a husky, full-bodied offering with loads of fruit as well as depth, and no hard edges.
-Robert Parker

2004 California Mid-State Fair Golden Spur Syrah Challenge

GOLD MEDAL
2002 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard

2002 California Mid-State Fair Amateur Wine Competition

GOLD MEDAL
2001 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard (Only nine Gold Medals given in ALL classes of wines!)

SILVER MEDAL
2001 Écluse Syrah Lock Vineyard
2000 Écluse Cabernet Sauvignon Lock Vineyard

2001 California Mid-State Fair Amateur Wine Competition

SILVER MEDAL
2000 Écluse Zinfandel Lock Vineyard