Friday, May 6, 2016

Beatrice's Blushes: Canyon Wind Cellars "Anemoi Eos"

Anemoi 2015 Eos
Canyon Wind Cellars' 2015 "Anemoi Eos" Syrah Rosé (13% abv, Sample $28) is the first – and last – rosé of Syrah Jay and Jennifer Christianson will produce. Sadly, in March, the second-generation owners  unexpectedly announced they will be closing Canyon Wind Cellars by the end of 2016. I guess it wasn't necessarily unexpected for them, but for everyone in the Colorado wine industry it was a shock. Jay said a variety of reasons contributed to the decision, but he made sure to emphasize that they did not need to close because the winery was in financial trouble. About a decade ago, the younger Christiansons purchased the winery from Jay's parents who founded the winery in 1991. Jay said they decided it was time to begin a new chapter in their lives; which involves traveling around with an Airstream and consulting for wineries around the country.

Canyon Wind Cellars had to have been one of the most successful Colorado wineries. The portfolio had grown since Jay and Jennifer took over and the quality of the wines was always very high. In fact, Canyon Wind took home Best of Show in the state's Governor's Cup competition each of the last two years. The prime location of the vineyard at the mouth of DeBeque Canyon most likely has a lot to do with high level of success achieved by the Christianson family. Now it is time for a different producer to step up and claim the crown.

One of the creative changes Jay and Jen implemented in the past few years was the development of the Anemoi line of wines. The Anemoi wines tended to be bigger, bolder, and more expensive blends when compared to the traditional varietal Canyon Wind wines. At almost $30, this rosé is not a cheap pink wine. I've got to think part of the high price is due to the packaging. The silkscreen clear bottle finished with a wax capsule is sure to catch your eye. I can think of quite a few other rosés that offer better value, but what's inside the bottle is delicious nonetheless. This 100% Syrah rosé was fermented in neutral oak, and spent a mere three hours on its skins to achieve its neon rose colored tint. It kind of straddles the boundary between a light, lithe Provençal-style rosé and a more fruit-forward lush blush. There is nice fruit and spice aromas on the nose. Flavors of white peach, cherries, citrus and zesty black pepper come through on the palate. It is beautifully textured and has a lovely bright acidic backbone.  This is a very good wine and if the price doesn't scare you away, I would recommend trying to find some before it disappears – only 127 cases were produced.

While Canyon Wind's wines will cease to be in the next few months, an unnamed buyer is ready to take over the vineyards – perhaps the best location for grapes in Colorado – and production facility. The Canyon Wind Cellars brand will not be part of the sale so it is anyone's guess as to where these prized grapes will end up in the future. Finally, I'd like to wish Jay and Jennifer the best of luck with the next chapter in their journey together!

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