Posted on April 27th, 2011
A day job trip took be to Boulder, Colorado back in February. Not as glamourous as it sounds, mind you, it was about -16°C on my arrival, and during a 10 minute walk from bus stop to motel, I nearly lost my face to frostbite or general coldness.
Anyyyyyy-hoooooooo, the first of Gary Vee’s Daily Grape vids I tuned into was on a Colorado Cab, so I thought it was time to break out a Colorado Syrah I smuggled home. According to Chuckmeister V, before prohibition was a major player.
Apart from that, all we’ve got from “high up in the Rockies” is that Coors Light Crap. I picked this up in the local wine landmark, Liquor Mart, on the corner of 15th & Canyon.
And it’s bloody good – if US readers are reading this far, well done and we’re talking 91 points, otherwise, the “bloody good” could have been enough. This is bafflingly, stunningly, deliciously, surprisingly good wine.
Why shouldn’t it be, though, we’re just trained to expect US wines to be from California or Oregon.
If you were to wrap a black bag around the bottle (or your head, whichever floats your boat) along with some good samples from Cornas, St. Joseph in the northern Rhône or from Waiheke Island in New Zealand, or Clare Valley in South Australia, I’d stake a good bet that this Colorado Syrah would rank in the top two. It’s that good.
Which begs the question, at least in my head, of ingredients versus chef - the French notion of terroir is all about what the land gifts the winemaker in terms of grapes. Many modern winemakers talk about letting the terroir do the talking, with minimalist intervention. While I like that idea, I think all that terroir can do is produce great ingredients. It takes a great chef/winemaker to make a great wine from great ingredients.
Back to Colorado, in places there is unquestionably great terroir for great grapes, but these locations are just the foundation for great winemaking, particularly with respect to a great “chef” by the name of Alfred Eames.