The 21st Annual Colorado Mountain Winefest in Palisade, Colorado, concluded on Sunday, September 16. One of the highlights of the festivities was the announcement of the award-winning Colorado wines entered into competition.
One hundred eighty-nine wines were judged by a team of wine experts including Richard Leahy, Seminar Program Director for the Eastern Winery Exposition; Michelle Cleveland, winemaker, enology instructor, and sommelier from Evergreen, Colorado; sommeliers Harold Baer, Paul-Michael David, and Debbie Gray from Denver, Colorado; sommeliers Josh Matteson and Brenda Wray from Grand Junction, Colorado; wine professional Leah Deane from Durango, Colorado; and sommeliers David Falchek and Gerry Warren from outside Colorado.
These wines were voted Best of the Fest:
Best of the Fest Red Wine – BookCliff Vineyards Syrah Reserve 2010. This wine is a dreamy combination of smoke, blackberry, plum, earth, and pepper, and would pair well with savory meats and dark chocolate.
Best of the Fest White Wine – Grande River Vineyards Meritage White 2009. The white Bordeaux blend impressed with its brisk Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The wine was barrel aged to give it body.
Best of the Fest Mead & Fruit Wine – Meadery of the Rockies Cherries ‘n Honey. This blend of cherry and honey wine is at once decadent and light.
Best of Category: Dessert Wine – Carlson Vineyards Sweet Gewurztraminer NV. This zippy, sweet dessert wine has enough flavor to pair with savory foods, and enough sweet body to stand on its own as dessert.
Best of Category: Fortified Wine – Two Rivers Winery Two Rivers Port 2008. This velvety wine slips over the palate and pairs beautifully with dark chocolate.
In order to be voted “Best of Fest” Wines, each wine is recognized as the best in its category, and received no less than a gold medal in competition. “Best in Category” wines are the highest-scoring wines in categories where no gold or double-gold medals were awarded.
The judges awarded Double-Gold Medals to Grande River Vineyards Meritage White 2009 and Meadery of the Rockies as above, as well as to Meadery of the Rockies for Strawberries ‘n Honey, and to Plum Creek Winery for Palisade Festival NV.
The Colorado Mountain Winefest is the annual fundraiser for the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology (CAVE), a nonprofit trade organization of Colorado’s grape growers and winemakers. CAVE is one of two organizations that support Colorado Wine, along with the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board.