Sunday, September 18, 2011


Video Game Pre Orders

I have a new blog Video Game Pre Orders, this blog intends to list deals for pre order on video games available on the internet. All you have to do is look in one place to see what different vendors are offering to get the special bonuses you want.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Colorado Wine, YUM YUM

What to say about Colorado Wine, well it's delicious and getting better every year. Every year they have this little festival, the Colorado Mountain Winefest, in Palisade on the western slope of Colorado. It features everything good about Colorado wines, especially lots and lots of tasting. I unfortunately wrote notes on the tastings, but never posted them in formal review form. I hope that for some festival in the future I will be able to post my own reviews of the wines. It's information that is really missing in the world of wine. I don't have time or money to drink colorado wine on a frequent basis, but in the future when I do, I hope to get back to the reviews in full.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Colorado Mountain Winefest a Blast of a Success!!

This years Colorado Mountain Winefest was a great time and a wonderful place to try the wines the state has to offer. 43 wineries participated in the tasting this year with amazing newcomers Bonacquisti pouring some of the best wine of the festival, look for reviews of their Zinfandel and other classics coming soon.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007


Off to the Colorado Mountain Winefest!

We're leaving today for the 16th Annual Colorado Mountain Winefest. It's going to be three days of fun, starting with a winemaking seminar on friday, continue with the festival in the park on saturday (where many many wines will be tasted), and finally finishing up on sunday with tours of the various wineries around Palisade and Grand Junction, come out to Palisade if only for the festival in the park on saturday, it's going to be a wonderful time for everyone!

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Monday, September 03, 2007


Colorado Mountain Winefest

The Colorado Mountain Winefest comes to Palisade and Grand Junction next weekend, it's the biggest wine event for all you Colorado Wine fans, be there and have a great time!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Summer of Wine

Wine tasting season is upon us! Having already missed the Manitou Springs wine tasting event, this week's Colorado Winefest at Total Beverage in Thornton is especially exciting. Be there! It's a great introduction to Colorado's wonderful wines, and FREE WINE is even better!

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006


VIP Wine Tour of Three Front Range Wineries

This VIP Wine Tour is a must make event if you have friday, November 3rd off from work, and $99 to spend on a fantastic wine tour.

Colorado Wine Tours and Wine Country International magazine have paired together to create a delicious day of delicious wines and foods...we will visit three wineries for behind the scenes tours, tastings and a delicious three prestigious wineries; Boulder Creek Winery, Spero Winery and Balistreri Vineyards

Wonderful tour for those on the front range to discover your local wineries and have a great time doing it, and not have to worry about driving.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


A Journey In Pictures Through Colorado Wine Country Part 1

the cliffs surrounding Palisade, right as you drive into the valley from the east,

DeBeque Canyon Winery is a wonderful place to taste some of the most wonderful colorado wines, visit their website to learn more and for directions, their Claret Bordeaux style blend is especially wonderful! (not just because the website says so, I've had it and it is wonderful)

view of the bookcliffs from where 38 road meets F-1/4 road above Palisade

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Ever Wanted to Own a Winery or a Vineyard?

Have you ever wanted to own a winery or some vineyard land, Grande River Vineyards in Palisade is up for auction on Tuesday, October 24. The JP King Auction Company has the full listing for the auction.

78± acres of vineyard property could yield
up to 40,000± gallons - vineyard produces
enough grapes for approximately 200,000±
bottles annually.

Grande River Vineyard has 11 Vinifera
varieties that flourish in two separate
vineyards located in Colorado’s first and
largest Appellation, which is referred to
as the Grand Valley Viticulture Area, and
features exceptional growing conditions for
many European varieties.

Varieties flourishing in Grande River
Vineyards include: (white) Sauvignon Blanc,
Semillon, Chardonnay, Viognier, (red) Syrah,
Cinsault, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Merlot,
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Grande River Vineyards are the largest single grower in Colorado and provide grapes to many other wineries in Colorado as well as to wineries in 9 other states. I don't know the reasons behind the sale at this time, or why the vineyards are going to be seperated into different parcels, but we can only hope that another grower or group of growers and winemakers take over, we don't need our young wine country turned into expensive condos or other development. Let's hope this is a move forward for our young wine industry.

Update: Monday, October 9. The owners are going into retirement and selling the property in a traditional manner hasn't worked, so they are going to auction. More on this story from The Daily Sentinal of Grand Junction

Monday, October 02, 2006


New Content

I'm copying over the posts that are Colorado specific from the el Catavinos wineblog, trying to keep dates and times intact, so it's a little time consuming, I also have a number of reviews to do on colorado wine, so lots of new content coming soon!

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Welcome to Colorado Wine Country USA !!!

I'm starting this new wine blog dedicated to Colorado Wines and the excitement coming from our little state. I'll be reviewing Colorado Wine, events, tastings, goings-on, and anything to do with Colorado Wine, ENJOY!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Unreal Colorado Mountain Winefest!!

We just got home from Palisade and the Colorado Mountain Winefest, unbelievable, unreal, fantastic experience, if you missed it, you missed out on one amazing weekend of Colorado wine and excitement! Reviews, stories and comments coming soon!

Thursday, September 14, 2006



Colorado Mountain Winefest Sep 14-17, BE THERE!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Total Beverage Reviews...Coming Soon

Sorry for the delays on getting the reviews up of this weekends taste of Colorado wines, it should be up in the next few weeks or so, it was great and if you missed it you missed a great time!

Friday, June 09, 2006


Total Beverage Colorado Wines

Total Beverage in Thornton is hosting their annual Colorado Wine festival today and tomorrow, June 9th and 10th.

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Stoney Mesa Winery Riesling 2004 (Colorado)

Price - $9.49 Size - 750 mL - New World Wine Tasting held on Monday July 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Will Gillum.

This is probably the fifth time this summer that we have this one. Definitely a favorite of the Mrs. El Catavinos. It has an almost clear gold color with medium weight legs. Has a nice riesling nose with some hints of earth and the slightest hint of petrol. Fruity sweet and refreshing. Easy and fun to drink. Very refreshing for the summer. Has a nice finish with hints of peaches on the end. Would pair well with fruit, cobbler, alfredo pasta or vanilla cake. For more information visit Stoney Mesa Vineyards website. Grade: B+

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Holy Cross Abbey Reserve Merlot 2003 (Colorado)

Price - $21.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

Slightly darker red color with medium heavy legs. Has a bit of oak on the nose. Dark cherry and other smooth flavors combine to form a wine that can only be described as velvety. Has a long, smooth, and clean finish. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: B+


Holy Cross Abbey Port 2002 (Colorado)

Price - $21.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

This port style wine is made from merlot grapes. Has a deep red color with heavy legs and a sweet nose. Sweet flavors with deep berries and fruits and hints of chocolate. Has a medium long finish. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: C+


Holy Cross Abbey Port 2002 (Colorado)

Price - $21.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

This port style wine is made from merlot grapes. Has a deep red color with heavy legs and a sweet nose. Sweet flavors with deep berries and fruits and hints of chocolate. Has a medium long finish. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: C+


Holy Cross Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (Colorado)

Price - $19.49 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

Deep red with medium quick legs. Has nice fruit on the nose. Fruit forward flavors while not overpowering. Good medium length finish on this easy drinker. If you like this one they also have a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that is smoother and more structured. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: B+


Holy Cross Abbey Merlot 2003 (Colorado)

Price - $16.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

Medium deep red color with medium heavy legs. Has some oak on the nose. Has some tannins up front with nice fruit and a good amount of oak. Medium length clean finish. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: B

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Holy Cross Abbey Colorado Nouveau (NV) (Colorado)

Price - $13.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

This unique wine has concord grapes with a splash of zinfandel and merlot. Has a medium deep red color with quick legs. Has a fruity nose with a slight hint of grape juice. Has sweet grape flavors a little like grape juice. Leaves a little zing on the tongue and the finish is of medium length. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: B


Holy Cross Abbey Vineyard Sunset Blush 2004 (Colorado)

Price - $11.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

This blush is made from merlot grapes and has a nice rosy pink color. Has medium heavy legs. Light hints of strawberry and raspberry on the nose. Has flavors of strawberry and is clean and refreshing with a medium finish. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: B+


Holy Cross Abbey Riesling 2004 (Colorado)

Price - $13.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

Very light gold color with somewhat heavy legs. Has a sweet melon and apple nose. Is sweet with subtle flavors of pineapple and orange. Has a nice body and is easy to drink. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: B+


Holy Cross Abbey Apple Blossom 2004 (Colorado)

Price - $12.49 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

This wine is completely made with apples, mostly granny smith and golden delicious. Has medium quick legs with a light to medium gold color. Has crisp apple scents on the nose. All I can say about this one is apple, apple, apple. Has a medium to short finish. From the winemaker's notes: "this wine is light and fruity with refreshing hints of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples in the nose and flavor." For more information visit the Winery
at Holy Cross Abbey website
. Grade: C+


Holy Cross Abbey Sauvignon Blanc 2004 (Colorado)

Price - $13.99 Size - 750 mL- The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Wine Tasting held on Saturday June 25, 2005 at the Powers Liquor Mart in Colorado Springs with Wanda Rogers.

Very light gold color with quick legs. Has a grassy and somewhat sharp nose. Is lightly sweet with great body. Has good acidity and is light, crisp and easy drinking. Has a medium finish. For more information visit the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey website. Grade: B

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Total Beverage Wrapup

If you missed the Total Beverage Colorado Wine Festival you missed a good festival. We went up on friday night and it was a great time for all. A dozen or so wineries attended and everything was tasting well. I went with my wife Katie and our friend Adam of Forever Endeavor, who also has a blog Colorado Wedding Videographer. If you haven't heard we are planning a Colorado wine documentary. So we have been using our trips to festivals to get an education on Colorado wine.

I hope that this blog will soon be one of the better resources for tasting notes and information on Colorado wines. It seems as if there is something (or more than one something) going on every weekend here that has to do with wine. This coming weekend Lafayette is having a wine festival and there is a Gaelic Highlands festival in Canon City where you will be able to taste Holy Cross Abbeys wines. If the last two festivals we have gone to are any indication, both of these would be worth it. I hope that when I come back from my week in Atlanta, that I will start a calendar listing as many wine related events as possible in the state.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Total Beverage Sixth Annual Colorado Wine & Mead Festival

For wine lovers in Colorado this is a must event at Total Beverage in Thornton, a map is here, make your plans accordingly, this should be a great time.

Join us Friday June 10 and Saturday June 11 for a fun, friendly and informative celebration of Colorado wines. Over a dozen of Colorado's finest wineries will be on hand, sampling their latest and greatest wines and sharing with you about our state's own booming wine industry.

This event is FREE, but all tasters must be able to show valid photo identification. The fun kicks off Friday afternoon at 4pm (just in time to pick up something for dinner?) running to 8pm. Saturday, we start up again at 1pm and keep going until 7pm.

Bottles of your favorites from the festival will be available for purchase at Total Beverage. Don't forget to pick up your coupons good on all Colorado wines!

Make your plans accordingly, this should be quite a fun event. I will be going up on Friday afternoon, but there won't be a van this time, sorry. This should be quite an event. I hope to see you there!


The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey (Colorado) June 4, 2005

I'm not going to do a comprehensive tasting of The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey for a couple of weeks. They are scheduled to come to the Powers Liquor Mart in a couple of weeks, then I'll get to
taste more. I have actually tasted a good assortment of their wines, but I didn't take notes on what we tasted, I do remember that their Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was my favorite from their Harvest Festival last September. If you get a chance, it's a fun event to attend.

The Silver Medal winning 2004 Riesling was my first pick. Blue bottle? Oh well, that must be the American style. This wine is a very light gold almost clear color with medium weight legs. Has hints of sweet honey on the nose. Nice depth on this one and very smooth. Excellent finish stays clean. Good stuff. Grade: B

And the last wine tasted for the 2005 Manitou Springs Festival of Colorado Wines is the Gold Medal winning 2003 Reserve Merlot. This wine has a somewhat sweet nose with medium legs. Good fruit flavors and especially cherry mix together with the right amount of oak to form a smooth velvety wine. This wine has a nice finish that is smooth and long. There really is good merlot out there! I'm not normally a merlot lover, but I have found a few outstanding examples of it. What a great wine to close a great festival. Grade: B+


Spero Winery (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Spero Winery shares a vineyard in Denver with Balistreri. In October they have a harvest festival and dinner together, sounds like a fun event. Contact them to get on the list to be notified of the exact date and time. Too bad the crowd was so big here, I would have liked to try more than two, but courtesy to the other guests always makes things go smoother.

The first one I sampled was the 2000 Sangiovese. Has medium quick legs with a raisinlike nose. Has flavors of deep fruits, but none of the tartness of Italian sangiovese. Medium finish to this nice wine. Grade: B

Finally I tried the 2001 Syrah. Medium deep red color with medium legs. Has a sweet nose. Sweet (not overly, more subdued) with a nice body and overall smooth flavors. Medium length finish. Nice. Grade: B

Friday, June 10, 2005


Pikes Peak Vineyards (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Off to Pikes Peak Vineyards and Winery, the only winery in Colorado Springs, how cool. They have the winery, a golf course (I was a member the first year it opened), fine dining and more. What a great place!

They were just about ready to pack things up so we were a little bit hurried but I still tasted two of their wines. Katie really liked both of these, and probably the others we tried. First was the Coyote White. I believe this one was a
blend, not sure what grapes, however. This wine has a lightly golden color with hints of sweet melon on the nose. Nice blend of flavors, the most prominent being melon. This wine is smooth, is pleasant to drink and offers good depth. Grade: C+

Next was the 2002 Riesling. This wine has medium legs and is a light gold color. Nice sweetness with good depth of flavors. Nice refreshing wine. Grade: B


Balistreri Vineyards (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Balistreri, what more can I say? From the wax to seal the bottles, to the unfiltered, unsulfited classic styles, Balistreri was one of the top on my list to taste. They have one of the few vineyards on the front range, and the only one in Denver. After visiting their website I was totally excited to finally get to taste their wines. Due to the crowd being so large I only tasted two of their wines, and I also knew they were going to be at Total Beverage as well, so I didn't have to get them all in at one time.

They offer two different syrah wines, so why not compare them? The first was the 2002 Syrah. If I heard correctly, this wine was sourced from California grapes. This wine has medium legs with a deep red coloring. Has a good combination of fruit and earth on the nose. This wine is smooth and dry and slightly too earthy for me. Has a decent finish. Grade: B

Next was the 2003 Colorado Syrah. This one is sourced from 100% Colorado grapes. This one had a darker almost purple coloring with medium legs. Big hints of deep dark fruit on the nose. Blackberry and cherry mix together with spice and a full body to create a delectable syrah. It has a long dry finish. Grade: B+


Stoney Mesa Winery (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Next was Stoney Mesa Winery. I decided not to try more than one of theirs since they will be at the liquor store doing a tasting this Saturday. From the Colorado Wines website:

At Stoney Mesa Winery, wine is the product of passion and love for farming. Each bottle is hand crafted by a family who believes in the beauty of Colorado Wine as much as the beauty of the landscape, because the making of a fine wine is something to admire. One that requires good grapes, a bit of luck with the weather and all the patience and care a winemaker can devote. Colorado is a new frontier for wine growers. With passion and commitment, Stoney Mesa wines will turn a new style of fruit into extraordinary wines. Discover this passion for yourself, taste Colorado!

So what to taste if you are going to limit yourself to just one? The Stoney Mesa 2004 Riesling. Although in a blue bottle (riesling is bottled traditionally in brown or green bottles, blue is reserved for that ultra-sweet Liebfraumilch plonck that has made German wine such a hard sell) this was a good selection. This wine is effervescent with medium legs. It has a sweet nose with maybe a slight possible hint of petrol (although that sounds strange, it's a positive sign of a good quality riesling). This wine is clean, smooth, delicious and refreshing. Has a nice finish. Good example of a riesling. If we taste this tomorrow I will give a better and more detailed review. Grade: B+

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Garfield Estates Vineyard and Winery (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Garfield Estates Vineyard and Winery was the next one we tasted. It's named Garfield for the mountain that overshadows it's vineyards. From Colorado Wines here's more on Garfield:

Garfield Estates Vineyard & Winery was established in 2000. Our first wines were released in 2002 and since then we have quickly gained a reputation as one of Colorado’s top wineries. We have won major awards including gold medals at numerous international wine competitions and in 2004 were named Top Colorado Winery by the Rocky
Mountain News. Our commitment to producing world class wines is evident throughout our winery operation and estate vineyard.

On to the tasting. The first one was their award-winning 2003 Cabernet Franc. I've never had a cabernet franc in anything but a blend, but Colorado offers many wines that are completely cabernet franc. This wine has medium legs and a fruity nose with hints of berries. This wine has good fruit, and is smooth and velvety. Grade: B

Next up was the 2003 Syrah, also a gold medal winner. I'm usually a fan of syrah, so why not right? This wine has heavy legs and a deep almost purple color. Hints of raisin and dark berries on the nose. This wine is spicy and yummy with a very nice finish. Grade: B+

The final one we tasted at Garfield, but not their final offering, was the Vin Rose made from syrah. This refreshing and unique blend had flavors of strawberry and was very fresh. It also had more of a dry edge yet remained very fresh. Good stuff. Grade: B


Cottonwood Cellars and Olathe Winery (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Next booth was Cottonwood Cellars and Olathe Winery. This was another booth where they were serving up what seemed like nearly a dozen wines. There wasn't even much of a line.

The first wine I tried was the Olathe Winery Lemberger. Having never tasted lemberger and just having read a little bit about it a couple weeks ago, I really wanted to try this varietal. This wine has a fruity nose. This wine is peppery, oaky, and smooth. It has an earthy medium length finish. Grade: B

Next was the 2004 Olathe Winery White Riesling. Very light gold coloring. Has medium legs and is slightly effervescent. Has a sweet nose. Good fruit with a nice depth of flavors. This wine is smooth and pleasant. Finish is medium to long in length. Grade: B

The third wine I tried was the Olathe Winery Rose of Cabernet. I don't think I've ever had a rose made with cabernet sauvignon. This has a light red color. Has a smooth strawberry flavor and is refreshing and fun to drink. Grade: B

The last wine I tasted at this booth was the Cottonwood Cellars 2003 Pinot Noir. This wine is a nice dark red with a fruity strawberry nose. Has a light earthiness with nice strawberry and cherry flavors. Has a nice long finish. If you like a pinot with less earthiness and more fruit, then I would choose this one over the Barton Creek, but they are both very good. Grade: B+

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Barton Creek Cellars and Breckenridge Winery (Colorado) June 4, 2005

James Davis of Barton Creek Cellars and Breckenridge Winery brought two high quality offerings. I had a good talk with James about wine and wine documentaries. There was a zoning problem when he went to put his winery in Breckenridge, so he had to move it to Dillon where he gets free rent.

The first wine I tasted was the 2001 Barton Creek Pinot Noir. This wine is made from California grapes but is still vinted in Colorado. This wine has a deep red color with medium quick legs. This wine has an earthy nose. It has flavors of strawberries and cherries. Has good earthiness and very nice depth. It has a long smooth finish. This turned out to be my favorite of the day. Grade: B+

Next I tasted the 2002 Breckenridge Cabernet Sauvignon. This was a nice deep red color. It has a sweet and dry nose. Has good fruit flavors with lots of oak. Has a good finish. Good but a little too oaky for me. Grade: B


Turquoise Mesa Winery (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Turquoise Mesa is a new winery, and we got to taste their first vintages. It was a mixed bag, but I'm glad we tried them anyways. They only have
white wine available right now, the reds will be finished in the next couple of months. To my knowledge they don't grow their own grapes, but they do make their own wines. I'm not sure if they are going to continue sourcing their grapes or if they
have started a vineyard. A new vineyard would take several years before it would produce usable grapes. Whatever the answers, it's exciting to see more people starting wineries in Colorado.

So what did we get to taste? The first one was a blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc. This was their 2004 Sunset White table wine. This is a golden color with medium legs. Had a sweet nose reminiscent of muscat. I didn't particularly like
this one, it was light flavored but the biggest thing that came to my mind was soap. It's the first try, so hopefully subsequent vintages will get better. Grade: D

Next up was the 2004 Viognier, I was excited to try this as I have little to no experience tasting viognier. Has a light gold coloring with medium legs with a semi-sweet fruit nose. Has decent fruit flavors. Is smooth and has a good amount of dryness. Refreshing. Grade: C+

The last one was their 2004 Chardonnay. This had a light gold coloring with medium legs and melon on the nose. This was light, refreshing and had just the slightest touch of oak, enough to add depth but not overwhelm anything. Has a clean,
pleasant and long finish. Reminded me of a french style of chardonnay, light and food friendly. Grade: B


Colorado Cellars and Rocky Mountain Vineyards (Colorado) June 4, 2005

Next we moved to the tasting booth for Colorado Cellars and Rocky Mountain Vineyards. All I have to say is, too many people, not enough time. They had a whole lot of wine sitting on ice. Lots of mead from Rocky Mountain Vineyards. We liked the regular mead better than the spiced mead. Katie learned that she likes Gewürztraminer at this booth, I thought it was pretty good too. A lot of people were making comments about the Roadkill Red, we didn't get to try it unfortunately due to the vast sea of people. I would rather that these events be crowded rather than empty and boring. I urge you to check out their other offerings, what I tasted was well made with no evident flaws. I hope I can review more of what they have to offer in the future.

So what wine did I have the pleasure of tasting? The 2003 Cavalry Port from Colorado Cellars. Deep red coloring with heavy legs. Has hints of raisin on the nose. This port style wine has nice sweetness and a good depth of flavors. Nice. Grade: B

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Amber Ridge Vineyards (Colorado) June 4, 2005

The first wines we tasted when we got to the 2005 Manitou Springs Festival of Colorado Wines were from Amber Ridge Vineyards. I believe that owners Gene and Lorinda Corley were both there serving up samples of their wines. I heard him explaining to some of the guests that his wines contain no sulfites, so according to him, no headaches with this wine. If you have that problem (not always attributable to sulfur though) these wines would be for you to try. They were pouring three wines, a cabernet sauvignon, a chardonnay, and a merlot.

What did I want taste first? Cabernet sauvignon of course (I'm a red wine guy myself). They were pouring their 2001 Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. It's a deep red color with heavy legs. It has fruit on the nose but with a distinct dryness there too. It's in a fruit forward style with a slight oakiness that complement each other well. Overall it's clean and dry with a medium finish. I'm not a big fan of cab, but I liked this one. Grade: B

Next I tried their white offering of the day, their 2000 Chardonnay. It has a nice golden amber color with quick legs. Hints of melon and oak dominate the nose. The flavors are no surprise being mostly light melons and oak, but it's not overoaked. Has a medium length finish. This is a nice refreshing and light chardonnay. Grade: B

What's left but the 2001 Estate Bottled Merlot. This one had a nice dark red coloring with heavy legs. Scents of berries and cherries on the nose. This wine is meaty and earthy with some cherry flavors and is dry. It would probably go nicely with barbecue. Grade: C+

What's my overall impression of Amber Ridge? I liked what I tasted for the most part. It had good flavors and was clean and nice to drink.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Manitou Springs Festival Wrapup

I don't plan on a comprehensive wrapup of the festival until later in the week, but here are some thoughts right now. You missed an excellent tasting if you didn't make this one. It was well worth the $15. If you can make this event next year, do it! By the way, there is an event at Total Beverage in Thornton this Friday and Saturday. It's free, go there if you can, I am going to try to drive a van up there, so if you know me (Powers regulars), let's ride/drive together.

Back to Manitou. It was great fun. I tasted probably around 30 wines and got bloggable notes on 25 of them. There was some really good stuff, and some decent stuff, what you would expect from almost anywhere. What's really fascinating is the number of small wineries. Barton Creek Cellars/Breckenridge Winery for instance. That whole operation is James Davis. He's making some excellent wine and doing the marketing and probably a whole bunch of stuff by himself. You must try his Pinot Noir if you can get your hands on it, I don't know where to get it, but I will have to talk to Will about getting it into Powers.

Other highlights include talking to John Garlich of Bookcliff, where hopefully we are going to go to Boulder Thursday to help them bottle their two dessert wines. I will try my best to make that happen and to get some sort of interview with John if I can. The highlight for my wife was Riesling, Riesling, and Riesling. She learned that she liked Riesling, and why not, it's the best white grape out there (and it never ever sees oak). She also learned that she likes Gewurztraminer and some meads.

I had fun tasting the Pinots and Syrahs and Rieslings. Colorado has some nice Syrahs right now, and some unique wines overall. One thing I liked to see was winemakers selling out on some of their wines. Fantastic! It was great to see so many people carrying the special Colorado Wines bags full of bottles. I'm glad when there is this much buzz and excitement about our own wines. It was nice to see a prominence of $10 wines as well. Colorado Wines are definitely fun and exciting! Reviews coming soon...

Some last additions. There were 18 wineries on hand for the Manitou Springs Festival of Colorado Wines out of 44 total wineries in Colorado. Over at Fermentations there has been a discussion of "other states" wines. Specifically national wine writers write about California, Oregon and Washington wines, so the debate is why don't they write about other states' wines, like New York and Texas or Colorado for that matter. Another reason for the gap in wine press is the amount of wineries represented by each state. Previously I stated that Colorado has 44 wineries now, well St. Helena in Napa Valley California has 48 wineries! St. Helena is just one of 14 Napa Valley Appellations! If wine writers were to just cover Napa Valley, there would be several times the total amount of wines coming out of there than Colorado. It's no wonder we don't get noticed nationally.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Manitou Springs Festival of Colorado Wines

On June 4 Manitou Springs is having a wine festival to celebrate Colorado Wines. I don't know whether or not I will be attending as the cost is $15 and I am currently unemployed. If someone donates the money (see sidebar tip jar) I would gladly go and will blog the event. For more information here is the information at the Manitou Springs website.

Update: Friday Night: My wife and I have decided we will be able to attend the Manitou Wine Festival. The festival goes from 1pm to 6pm, but there is also the matter of the Powers Liquor Mart tasting, which I usually attend at 2:30pm. Well we are going to try to attend at Powers at 1:00pm (space permitting) then go over to Manitou Springs. I'll blog it all for your enjoyment. Drink on!

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Sad Times at Holy Cross Abbey

In today's Gazette they ran as the cover story an article about the Holy Cross Abbey and how it has little left but memories. Some pertinent information to those of you who love the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey's great selection of wines:

The Holy Cross Abbey will soon be no more.

The grand old landmark off U.S. Highway 50 is for sale for $13.5 million.

In 2002, facing the prospect of closing anyway because of their aging ranks and the dearth of new members to take their place, the monks voted to disband. Now the entire property, including the winery, which operates as a separate nonprofit, is for sale.

What would happen to the winery if, or probably when, the Abbey closes? I'm not really sure, but it would definitely be a sad day for Colorado wines. The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey is definitely putting out some exciting and tasty wines. It's nice for those of us in Colorado Springs that we don't have to drive to Palisade (5 hours) to see a winery and vineyards, Canon City is only an hour and a half at most. We do have another vineyard and winery here in town, but still it's nice to have Canon City as well.

If there is a way for me to find out more details on what would happen to the winery in the case of a sale, I will. Let's hope the new owners will say, keep on doing what you have been, your wine is exciting and needs to continue.

For a different take on this issue, I posted at my political blog about some of the other issues related to the impending closure of Holy Cross Abbey. Originally published at el Catavinos, my other wineblog.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


2005 Taster's Guild Winners From Colorado

Congratulations are in order for the Colorado Wineries that won medals at this years Taster's Guild International Wine Judging. If you can, send them a congratulatory e-mail for their efforts in making great wine, even better buy some of these award winners! Colorado wines are not well known nationally, but with good results like this, and the recent Supreme Court ruling, let's hope that more people take notice of Colorado wine.

Balistreri Vineyards takes home the following medals for their wines:

Gold Medals:

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon - Hovde Vineyard

2003 Syrah - Horse Mountain Vineyard

Silver Medals:

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon - Denver

NV Port 375ml - American

Bronze Medals:

2003 Sangiovese - American

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon - Brother's Vineyard

2001 Cabernet Franc - Colorado

E-mail Winemaker John Balistreri with congratulations for his accomplishments with wine.

Boulder Creek Winery takes home the following medals for their wines:

Gold Medals:

2004 Riesling - American

Silver Medals:

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

2004 White Merlot

Bronze Medals:

2003 Chardonnay - Washington

2004 Chardonnay - Vinelands Reserve

2003 Merlot

E-mail Boulder Creek Winery with congratulations for making great Colorado wine.

Garfield Estates brings home only gold this year:

Gold Medals:

2003 Cabernet Franc - Grand Valley

2003 Syrah - Grand Valley

E-mail Garfield Estates your congratulations on nothing but gold, gold, gold this year.

Grande River Vineyards takes home a whopping 13 medals this year!

Gold Medals:

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve - Estate

2003 Ice Wine 375ml - Estate

2001 Semillon L.H. 375ml - Estate

2003 Meritage-White - Estate

2001 Meritage-Red - Estate

Silver Medals:

2001 Cabernet Franc - Reserve

2002 Port 375ml - Estate

2003 Chardonnay - Estate

Bronze Medals:

2004 Semi Sweet

2001 Merlot Reserve - Estate

2003 Viognier - Estate

2003 Sauvignon Blanc - Estate

NV Merlot - Estate

E-mail founder Stephen Smith your congratulations on their winning ways.

Plum Creek Cellars takes home 4 medals this year:

Gold Medals:

2001 Grand Mesa

2002 Syrah - Grand Valley

Silver Medals:

2001 Merlot - Grand Valley

Bronze Medals:

2003 Sauvignon Blanc - Grand Valley

E-mail winemaker Jenne Baldwin with congratulations on wine well made.

The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey takes home 5 medals this year:

Gold Medals:

2003 Merlot Reserve

Silver Medals:

2004 Riesling

2003 Merlot

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

Bronze Medals:

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

E-mail the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey with your congratulations on a job well done!

Support Colorado wine by buying some of these medal winners today

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