A virtual tour of Colorado Bordeaux style wines, courtesy of Kyle!

A vicarious vinous trip to Colorado….

Kyle Schlachter recently sent out some selections of Colorado born and raised wines, and they just met an early demise at our recent “Wine Down Wednesday” dinner.

I had never had any of them before, and do not even know the price ranges, so our tasting notes included statements of how much people would be willing to pay for each wine.

The tasters were myself, my wife (I guess since we live in California, it should be “the wife,”) my wife’s mother (an avid taster,) my wife’s sister (also an avid taster,) and my neighbor wine buddy, Paul.

So, five tasters on hand….

We popped and tasted briefly, then slowly consumed the wines over about a five hour evening and dinner.

We had barbecued rib eyes, mixed green salad, rosemary roasted potatoes, and some snacky cheeses (Mt. Tam, Devil’s Gulch, and Redhwak, all made by Cowgirl creamery.)

We tasted through in the same order. Here goes…

  1. Book Cliff Reserve Cab Franc, 2012.

It started out very tight and a bit reticent, which I like to see. It was a bit lighter than average in color (which is not a criticism.) Each taster commented in his/her own way that there were no oxidized tones, which we all seem to prefer when comparing palates. There was, sorry to be clichéd, cassis and slight cedar (nose and flavor,) along with some black pepper.

There was a medium length, top of palate finish and several people mentioned “good acidity.”

My wife thought it most reminded her of a lighter and good Lodi zin, which we all discussed and found perhaps a hint of dry hay (a good thing.)

Then opened up nicely through the evening, and our group, who lean toward AFWE liked the evolution. It held together for the whole evening.

It went together very well with the progression of foods. Perhaps it is a bit like mid-1970’s Mondavi reds.

My MIL mentioned it reminding her of a hint of coffee, and then we all agreed after she made the observation.

MIL and Paul guessed 20 dollar range. My wife said she’d go 30-35. Again, we have no idea the real prices.

All in all, thumbs up!

  1. Creekside Cellars Petit Verdot, 2012.

Really a lovely looking wine in the stems (we used Riedel Bordeaux style stemware.)

Paul thought the nose indicated higher alcohol content than the listed percentage.

There was a distinctive and friendly note of sourdough bread on the nose, but likely significant VA. I thought ethyl acetate-like, my SIL thought Kohlrabi, my wife went for “Marks A Lot,” but my MIL hit it best with acetone. This carried over to the taste, which was too sour and a bit oxidized tasting.

Paul thought it improved when he’d take a bite of salad with an acidic dressing.

The nose did not change through the night. Actually, we likely would agree that it may have declined a little. After tasting wine #3, we felt this would not be indicative of the winery, because the next bottle, still made by them, was vastly better.

We gave this one no value rating. It was likely not representative.

  1. Creekside Cellars Cabernet sauvignon, 2012.

So, a stable mate to the Petit Verdot, but totally different experience.

We all liked what my SIL described as “fireside toast” on the nose, with bright fruit at the same time.

Paul thought subtle cherry was the predominant fruit impression, also likely a touch of black berry. Maybe a touch of vanilla and clove (very faint, more like a suggestion of clove.)

It went very well with the fattiness of the meat.

It held up well with all the foods and was an amiable companion for the night.

Value guessing was in the 30 dollar range.

  1. Canyon Wind Petit Verdot 2013

This is a great wine. I would have guessed maybe a northern Napa not overly extracted syrah or good Sonoma zin, or from an elevation above the valley floors in California.

It was flat out delicious. It started with some oak and cherry on the nose. Maybe a hint of violet or “eastern spice." The violet and spice were not the predominant sensations, but added lovely undertones.

We found blackberry and cassis, and just the faintest glimpse a fruit sensation I can’t quite identify other than to mention it as a positive attribute.

It was a good example of a ‘fleshy’ wine and went very well with dinner.

It had a very long velvety almost whole mouth finish that left tasters wanting another sip!

My MIL is a little cheap, and she guessed 45 dollars as the value point. My wife and Paul said they would call it a 45-60 dollar bottle for its performance.

It was the unanimous wine of the night. A really good wine.

Final note: Kyle also sent a waiter’s friend style corkscrew as an added bonus. I mention this because the ‘articulated waiter’s friend’ is my all time favorite opening device and this improved on that!

The foil knife was perfect, and the ‘first phase’ tooth that you use when starting to open a wine made for a much closer to true vertical pull than the typical waiter’s friend opener. Transitioning to the ‘second phase’ tooth also kept the trend for making cork extraction a truly vertical event rather than adding any bending pressure to the cork. It is exceedingly well considered. I am at work and forgot to take a pic of it, but I will. This corkscrew is the bomb. Really well thought out and executed and will make great future gifts!

Ok, so, that’s my long winded Colorado experience and I would like to thank Kyle for allowing us to take part in his experiment with Berserkers!

That was a fun and unique read, Anton. Thanks!

Sounds like something was off in the Creekside PV. It’s usually very floral with nice fruit. I know they’ve had bottling issues with corks going in slightly crooked. That sucks you got on me of those!

Bottle prices are:
Bookcliff CF $25
Creekside PV $30
Creekside CS $35
Canyon Wind PV $35

Thank you again for having done this!

It is fun to see the price guesses compared to reality. They seem to match up well…that Canyon Wind is a stone cold bargain.


Cool tasting, neat notes, thx Anton.

Thanks so much for the kind words - you have no clue how often we hear the opposite from Liquor stores because is says Colorado on the label. Glad you liked it!

Jay Christianson
Canyon Wind Cellars