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'Rust Bucket' earns gold in wine challenge

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Rust Bucket, a 2013 red wine by wine maker Dan Williams, has won a national value and quality award.

A local wine made by Dan Williams of Williams Cellars in Cedaredge has won the gold award in the 2015 World Value Wine Challenge.

The honor has come to Williams Cellars' 2013 vintage "Rust Bucket," a red wine made from a locally grown grape -- the tempranillo, a black variety that originates from Iberian Peninsula.

Rust Bucket got the gold honor and was named a "best buy" in the category of red wines priced at $20 and under.

According to the Tastings.com website, "The World Value Wine Challenge is our annual competition for wines $20 and under. This year we reviewed over 500 wines to find the best-tasting wines in four price tiers: $20 and under, $15 and under, $10 and under, and $8 and under." Tastings.com describes itself as "The website of the Beverage Testing Institute."

Rust Bucket achieved its "best buy" award along with nine other wines in the category including wines from premier wine making areas such as the Columbia River Valley, Paso Robles, Calif., and Monteray County, Calif.

At the AppleShed, the wine list describes the vintage as "full to medium bodied with low acidity and full fruit flavor, one of the most food-friendly red wines."

The Tastings.com website describes Rust Bucket somewhat more effusively:

"Dusty ruby black color. Fruity, jammy oaky spicy aromas of roast plum, toasty vanilla, cherry compote, and spiced orange zest with a bright, dry full body and a warming, complex, medium-long cherry preserves, grilled orange, dried raspberry, and vanilla spice cake finish with medium, soft tannins and moderate oak. Bold and complex, the aromas and flavors range from rich, dried fruit to spice to vanilla to grilled orange with lightly chewy and satisfying tannins, exceptionally well-structured acidity and a finish that balances the fruit and spice."

Wine maker Dan Williams' wife, Connie, said that she was told by the contest judges that it is very rare for a tempranillo wine to score as high as Rust Bucket did in the contest judging. Rust Bucket scored 92 on the contest rating 100-point system.

The red wine is Connie's favorite. So, without telling Dan, she entered a bottle in the contest before they took a recent trip to Texas. On the way home she told him that she had sent in the entry, and when they arrived home, the notice of the award was waiting for them, she explained.

The label illustration for the bottle is an artwork by Ron Henry of Grand Junction, an artist whose work is on permanent display at the AppleShed. Henry's work is titled "Ain't Goin' Nowhere."

Other artists, including ones from the valley, also have their works appearing on Williams Cellars wine bottles.

Connie noted that the couple's son, Ty, has won two awards for his hard cider with hops brew called Boondockers.

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