It's a wine judging unlike any other in North America.
The Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition, staged Oct. 8-9 at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel, is the only judging in which wine professionals nominate and then evaluate the entries.
For this competition, we gathered 16 influential wine professionals, including restaurateurs, retailers, wholesalers and writers. Each of them nominated up to 100 wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho, and more than 420 wines were entered.
Most competitions are open to wineries of a certain region, which then enter any wines they choose.
As a result of the wines being preselected by the judges, the percentage of medals was higher, and the number of wines rejected were few. In fact, the judges awarded about 20 percent of the wines gold medals, compared with about 12 percent for many competitions.
All wines were tasted blind by the judges, meaning they knew neither the winery nor the price of each wine. They did know the style or variety.
Here are the five wines that finished at the top, led by a Riesling from British Columbia that not only earned best white wine but also best of show. See the full results at greatnorthwestwine.com.