Colorado wine

August 2009: Colorado Wine Country

wine recommendations from amy reiley

woman on wine with amy reiley

It seems unfathomable but every state in the union has at least one commercial winery. Perhaps some of them should not but one that deserves more attention is Colorado. It has many of the attributes needed for growing fine wine, ample land, a great history and knowledge of farming, dry summers, and weather conditions that make the vines grow deep roots and develop character. Unfortunately, most of the state has terrible soil and elevations that provide other unique challenges, which is why we haven’t heard much buzz on Colarado wine in the past. But now is the time. Colorado is coming into its own, with elegant, cool-climate wines the norm—and staggeringly good values for such well-structured wines. Here I’ve highlighted just a few that I think represent a state ripe for discovery.

Boulder Creek
2007 Syrah
I think this is the most impressive Colorado wine I’ve tasted. Pretty but rich with good weight and dark berry flavors, it is an incredibly well-crafted, well-balanced, cool-climate Syrah.

Colorado wineAlfred Eames Cellars
2007 Collage
Sexy! This wine really needs no other words but if you must know more, it is a voluptuous blend of Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Merlot with black cherry and vanilla flavors and a hint of leather on the finish.

Garfield Estates
2008 Vin Rose
A Provencal wine made in the Rockies, this is one of Colorado’s biggest wine surprises. Refreshingly bone dry with minerality that lingers on the finish, it’s the sort of wine that smacks of the south of France.

Carlson Vineyards
3008 Laughing Cat Riesling
Carlson makes some of the finest sweet wine in the Wild West and this Riesling is possibly the best example of their wonderful way with sugar. It offers fresh lime zest, white peach and citrus blossom aromas and flavors with just a hint of something sweet.

Canyon Wind
2008 Pinot Gris
One of my favorite Colorado wineries, Canyon Wind offers a broad selection of delicious wines, including this fresh and key lime-zesty Pinot Gris. Complex but refreshing, the wine’s most interesting attribute is a hint of hot cinnamon on the finish.

Guy Drew
2003 Cabernet Franc
A particularly pretty rendition of Cabernet Franc, the Guy Drew offers rose petal and plum on the nose with a hint of mint, pomegranate and other bright red fruits on the palate. A food-friendly wine, it is at once acidic, mellow and easy to enjoy.

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