Happy Halloween! I hope that you are enjoying vinous treats tonight! A friend of mine in Boston is starting a new Halloween tradition by offering beer for parents chaperoning their little monsters. I hope that this tradition is mainstream, and with wine, by the time my little one is making the Halloween rounds. If anyone is looking for wines to offer as Halloween treats next year, I have a few ideas for you!
Colorado wines do quite well for themselves at wine competitions throughout the country. Gold medals and best-in-shows are abundant. However, few other wineries can proclaim the hardware and recognition that Boulder Creek Winery has accumulated over the past few years. Founded in January of 2003 by Mike and Jackie Thompson of Boulder, CO, Boulder Creek Winery has really made a name for itself recently. Winners of 3 Best of Shows at the since 2004, including the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon in 2010, a First Lady’s Choice in the first annual Celebration of Premier Colorado Wines for the 2009 Gen Y Riesling and most impressive of all, Colorado’s first ever Jefferson Cup for their almost sold out 2006 VIP Reserve in 2009. While I am not a huge fan of wine competitions, this is some impressive commendation for Boulder Creek’s wine.
In addition to awards, Boulder Creek Winery was one of two Colorado wineries to travel to Paris, France to pour their VIP Reserve at the Tasting of American Wines at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to France. About 500 members of the French wine industry gathered to sample wines from throughout the United States. Mike and Jackie reported that their 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot blend was well received by the French. Boulder Creek Winery was also featured the January 2010 issue of Wines & Vines because of Jackie’s extraordinary attention to detail. Jackie laboriously removes seeds during délestage for her red wines. She credits seed removal with improving the quality. This level of craftsmanship is also reflected by the medals and plaques on display in the winery.
For a fitting follow-up to DrinkLocalWine.com’s Regional Wine Week, Colorado Wine Press has teamed up with the award-winning blog Swirl, Smell, Slurp and arranged to slurp a couple of Boulder Creek wines for their United Slurps of America. Every state produces wine, so why not taste at least one from each? Thus, the United Slurps of America was born. I am honored to be along on this journey as we cruise the Diagonal Highway north of Boulder, CO to slurp some local wine. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2009 Gen Y Riesling were graciously provided as samples by the winery.
2009 Gen Y Riesling, Boulder Creek Winery, Colorado
This wine was actually made by Will Thompson, Mike and Jackie’s 20-year old son. Will has been instrumental in winery operations since its inception in 2003. Last year, winemaker and mother, Jackie, decided to give Will a bit more authority in the winery’s operation and allowed him to choose one wine to make from start to finish by himself (with mom closely watching, of course). Will chose Riesling, the winemaking tradition was passed down to the next generation and the 2009 Gen Y was born. This pale yellow Riesling is very aromatic. Citrus, pineapple and ever-so-slight petrol aromas emanate from the glass. The Gen Y is medium sweet with honey and Asian pear on the forepalate. This sweetness is followed by good acidity of citrus and piña colada flavors briefly on the midpalate. Minerality and Riesling’s characteristic petrol rounds out the finish. This first wine by a first-time winemaker provides a good balance of sweetness and acidity. The nose is just fantastic. It is a touch too sweet for my preference, but overall it is a very good wine. 12% abv Sample ($16). Very good (tasted 10/16/10)
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Boulder Creek Winery, Colorado
This award winner is Colorado’s rebuttal to anyone who says good Cabernet Sauvignon cannot be made in the Centennial state. This wine is almost black throughout but with a dark red rim. It smells dark and brooding. The complex nose provides aromas of characteristic black currants, herbs, pencil shavings and black pepper. A hint of tobacco and smokiness is evidence of its time in oak barrels. After just smelling this wine for a few minutes, it fills my mouth with a good amount of smooth yet strong tannins that don’t dry out my mouth like so many over-extracted Cabernets and is balanced by a healthy amount of acidity. Currants and dark plums come to the front of the palate but are quickly replaced by a long finish of mesquite and pepper. Another aromatic wine by Boulder Creek, but I would like the fruit flavors to linger around for a while longer. This wine definitely deserves to be paired with a proper meal. 14.2% abv Sample ($24). Very Good (tasted 10/17/10)