Ficklin’s famous Port earns perfect score

Is there truly such thing as a perfect wine? Sunset Magazine’s International Wine Competition judges think so.


Ficklin Vineyards, America’s oldest Port winery established in 1946, scored a remarkable 100 points, Double-Gold, Best of Class, in this year’s Sunset International Wine Competition for Ficklin Vineyard’s Old Vine Tinta Port, produced by Peter Ficklin.

The prestigious competition has the distinction of annually recognizing the best wines produced internationally. This year’s contest had over 2,900 entries.


Gold medals were awarded to wines rated 90-plus points and those wines were eligible to move on to the “Best Of” category. From that collection, Double Gold awards were given to wines that scored 95 points or higher. From among those wines, the sweepstakes winner of “Best Of” category is determined. For any scores over 95 points, there must be a unanimous consensus among the judges.


“This contest drew top-level wines and hand-picked, top-notch judges to determine which wines stood out and are worthy of recognition,” wrote Debra Del Fiorentino, president of Wine Competitions Production and Management in a letter to contestants. “To receive a medal in a competition of this caliber truly showcases the level of wines you produce.”


Very few entries will receive above 90 points. A 90-94 point score denotes Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style. So what would 100 points mean? According to Oliver Styles, Author and Editor for Decanter and Wine-Searcher, “100 points — the holy grail of wine scores. Although wine-making has never been better, getting the top score is no mean feat.”


“A 100-point wine is a benchmark wine,” says Alexander Peartree, of the Robb Report — a luxury lifestyle magazine. “It represents the pinnacle of the category…the reviewer looks for the intensity of flavor, balance, structure, and longevity.”


“We are honored to have our Old Vine Tinta Port recognized as a perfect wine by the judges in Sunset’s International Competition, and so proud to be the only wine this year to receive that designation among so many esteemed wines”, said president and winemaker, Peter Ficklin. “Ficklin Vineyards was founded with a commitment to quality and a desire to produce the highest quality Port in the United States.”


Established in 1946, Ficklin Vineyards is a dedicated and traditional Port winery instrumental in founding the Madera AVA. The Ficklins are proud to have accepted the Wine Lifetime Achievement Award from the California State Fair in 2012 and to have both the Aged 10 Years Tawny Port and the Old Vine Tinta Port served at the United States Embassy in London.