You may not think of Colorado when it comes to wine production, but it's been made there since 1890. Colorado is now home to over 125 licensed wineries, along with more cider and mead producers, which are oddly included with wine in Colorado. There are two federally designated American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): the Grand Valley along the Colorado River and the West Elks along the North Fork of the Gunnison River. Several months ago, I got to participate in a virtual tasting, #UncorkColorado, and we tasted across a wide variety of 2015 winning entries from their state competition, the Governor's Cup. Very eye-opening, in that the range is very broad, with literally tastes across a wide spectrum. Overall I was quite surprised by the quality of these "wines."
Guy Drew Vineyards Colorado Sweet Riesling 2012: Montezuma Valley grapes from Russell and Yucca House Vineyards; clear light golden yellow color; lingonberry, white floral, and muskmelon aromas; dried apricot, muskmelon, and pear flavors into a honeyed lemon finish; sweet but not cloying; solid acid backbone; twist off closure; SRP $13.
Carlson Vineyards Peach Wine: Colorado peaches; sunshine yellow color; peach, white floral, and starfruit aromas; peach, almond and subtle clementine flavors; synthetic cork closure; $13.49.
Aspen Peak Cellars Mocha Zinsation NV: grape wine with coffee and chocolate; strong ground coffee aroma; wine into coffee into chocolate flavors; nicely balanced with good acidity; cork closure; SRP $19 (375 ml). Much better than expected, not too sweet but tastes like dessert.
Whitewater Hill Vineyards Grand Valley Sweetheart Red 2014: Colorado grapes; light ruby red color; sweet cherry, cassis, and pomegranate aromas; cherry cola, red hibiscus, and tart red berry on the finish; sweet flavors but not syrupy; surprisingly well balanced with nice acidity; cork closure; SRP $13.
Colorado Cider Co Grasshopper-Ah: cider with hops and lemongrass; pale amber; honey and floral aromas; subtle hop intro, then yeasty apples, with a slight citrusy finish; no or minimal carbonation after initial pour; SRP $8 (650 ml).
Redstone Meadery Nectar of the Hops: 100% Colorado honey (5 parts clover honey, 1 part wildflower honey); made with Centennial and Amarillo hops; Metheglin style mead, with herbs and spices added to honey wine; light Amber color with tiny bubbles; honey, floral, and spice aromas; spiced honey into a musky floral finish; swing top cap; SRP $17 (750 ml).Wines provided for tasting purposes by Colorado Wine - all opinions are my own.
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