We recently asked Colorado winemakers to select the one best wine they have in stock and tell us exactly what makes it so. The wines described here were judged superior by the winemakers who produced them. Their judgments may not be entirely objective – but they are “expert.”
The best red wines improve with age. Read the notes. To buy wine ahead is a great way to enjoy Colorado's best wines at bargain prices.
Creekside Cellars 2004 Syrah is the favorite of Creekside’s winemaker Joe Gambrini. “This wine is deep-colored and has the aromas and flavors of blackberries, black currents and plums with just a hint of smoke, gaminess and pepper on the finish,” he claims. ”Despite its youth, it’s smooth, medium-bodied and fruity; and I expect this wine to mature and improve for several years. Put a case or two away and open a bottle every Christmas, so you can enjoy every aspect of its graceful aging.”
It is $22 a bottle and $240 a case at the winery (add $7 for shipping a case); and $69 for a three-bottle direct-ship package. Call Creekside Cellars, Evergreen, CO: 303-674-5460. Joe’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Verso Cellars 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon gets the nod from winemaker Chuck Gross. He describes this wine as “a plush, rich, concentrated young Cabernet with layers of dark cherry, blackberry and currant that are vibrant and harmonious, blending with hints of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon. From the initial dark berry nose, this wine builds in intensity, revealing extra nuances of black cherry and chocolate with subtle hints of smoke on the palate, ending with a remarkably complex aftertaste. It goes well with beef, lamb, hard cheese and chocolate. This wine will age well.” It won Best of Fest and a Gold Medal at the 2005 Colorado Winefest.
It is $30 a bottle and $230 a case, available at or from Verso Cellars, Cooper Creek Square in Winter Park, 970-726-9430. E-mail email@example.com
Mountain Spirit Winery’s 2002 Pinot Soleil is winemaker/owner Michael Barkett’s best wine. “This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon,” he claims, “is a really big wine -- the best we’ve ever produced! It has lots of fruit in the nose and a complex, lingering aftertaste. The tannins are substantial, which together with a good acid balance, should make longer lived than most Colorado reds. It has only been in the bottle since mid-2005, but as the tannins and acids mellow, it can only get better over the next few years. We recommend opening the bottle a couple of hours before serving at room temperature. It’s perfect with red meat and pasta with hearty sauces.”
It’s $22.95 a bottle and 248 a case. Contact Michael Barkett At 719-539-4920 to reserve your 2002 Pinot Soleil.
Cottonwood Cellars 2003 Lemberger, an Austrian varietal, is the best winemaker J.P. Sicotte has in stock. “This is a light-bodied, dry red with a floral nose, lots of plum and blueberry flavor up front, followed by an earthy note and light toasted oak. It finishes medium-broad and medium-long, and is well-structured, balanced and integrated. It’s versatile with food, but goes especially well with pork and barbecue.” Aged 12 months in American oak before bottling, this wine won a Bronze Medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition in 2005.
It’s $15 a bottle, $85.50 a half-case and $162 a case. The winery also ships 1-, 2- and 4-bottle packages. The 2-bottle package at $37.95 including shipping is very popular. The retail sales number is 970-323-6224.