Tag Archives: Creekside Cellars

Roussanne, the Delicate Wine!

Wine is like music: we need both loud and soft, fast and slow, soft and dramatic, to create Creekside Cellars Roussanne 2015interest.  Life, nor music, nor wine should be all the same.  We’ve evaluated some powerful wines. My personal favorite is “King Cab.”  But some foods and occasions call for a delicate wine, and we focus on one in that category today: Roussanne.

This grape is now all over the world.  Rhone is its home and it is their expression of this grape to which all other Roussannes are compared.  Delicate, refined, and an exciting pleasure to all white wine lovers.  It can even court a red wine drinker successfully.  It is difficult to ripen, but not here in Colorado if Creekside Cellar’s version is any indication.

Apple, pear, lime, and apricot spring from Creekside’s 2015 Roussanne.  Although not noted for its full body, this Roussanne is creamy, leaving the mouth coated and gently lubricated with the above flavors that will not quickly lose their appeal.  True, the alcohol is not that high (13.7%) and the wine’s legs wash down the glass a little too quickly.  But who cares for what the eye detects when the mouthfeel is so luscious.  This is a true sipping wine to be served for its aromatic qualities and its pleasurable fruit and creamy effects.

Learn from this wine the real meaning of delicate.  No rough edges appear.  The finish, its last impression, softly fades with a touch of acid bringing its silkiness and soothing texture to life — something winemaker Michelle Cleveland is very conscious of and something much needed in Colorado, where the heat can destroy the possibilities of a delicate grape, stripping it of its acid.

The flavors in a delicate wine are transparent.  You can taste through them to layers underneath.  No muddiness should be experienced in a delicate wine and there is none here.  The texture is silky, — oh so soft — brushing your palate with a gossamer touch.  Each flavor is like a sheer fabric or like the gossamer wings of a butterfly: fine and oh, so engaging to the senses.  Does it need to be blended with Marsanne for more body?  Not in my books.  This wine should continue to brandish its own richness and delicacy.  It does not need the traditional treatment of the Rhone.  The New World has discovered its appeal.  Do yourself a favor.

Rating: 89

Emotional appeal:  increasing with each sip.

Available from the winery.

The Move from White to Red Wines

French wines will be continued soon.  Let’s take a quick look at something to tantalize your tastebuds a bit.

Creekside Cellars 2015 RoseCreekside Rose 2015

If you are a white wine drinker, this Rosé is the ideal introduction to also becoming a red wine drinker.  It is delicate and gossamer-like, with just a touch of those red phenolics (the flavors and tannins that red wine drinkers come to love).  Result?  Nothing but elegance and refreshing pleasure in this wine.

Don’t let the light color fool you, though.  There is a lot in this wine that the slight touch of rosé color does not suggest.  Its dominant aroma is of white peaches, with floral and other light fruit notes, perhaps even a reminder of melon in its flavor arsenal.

Spirited acids, fresh and cleansing, flush your palate, but pay attention to some of this wine’s hidden flavors.  For example, raspberry notes on the finish give you the hint of its red fruit origin and this becomes its final song.

A finely-spun wine like this one has more complexity than it at first presents.  Concentrate and it will release its gentle pleasures.  It bridges the gap between white and red and in doing so, widens its appeal to give a liveliness to more robust appetizers — an excellent introduction to a red meat meal.

Yes, it’s clean, but not so clean that the cleanliness strips the flavors.  It surprisingly retains a touch of the grape’s tannins.  Now you have been introduced to what red wines are about and want to give you.  But don’t rush off to the reds.  Enjoy the charming details of this doorway into wine’s red world.

Rating:  89

Emotional Rating?  The more you concentrate, the more it will stimulate your emotions.

Availability:  From the winery.

A Colorado Merlot That Is Truly Luscious!

Creekside Cellars 2012 Merlot

Creekside Merlot 2012

Creekside Merlot 2012

At last, a Colorado Merlot that is truly luscious.  Rose and sweet oak is on the nose and palate. A mix of chocolate and caramel enriches the deep flavors. Loads of dark berries with flavors shot through with leather and earth.  Blackberry is dominant with the light edge of black currant also noticeable.   Beautifully balanced with supple acids and a long-lasting finish, this wine is top tier Merlot.

Merlot is spotty in Colorado, but as the vines age and vineyard techniques are refined, we are likely to see some beauties like this one.  The quantities are limited, so get this wine while you can.  I had it with lamb chops and the experience was truly memorable.  Although the above comments are a snapshot it should be important to you that the wine, when exposed to oxygen (which works its wonders and its destruction) actually holds up very well after days of being pumped, while other wines would have shown decay.

I recommend this wine for a great experience.

Rating: 92

Emotional rating:  Memorable!

Available at the winery.

Unusual, Well Made, and a Colorado Wine Worth a Try

Vineyards of Palisade, CO in the Grande Valley AVA

Vineyards of Palisade, CO in the Grande Valley AVA

Counoise, 2014— From the Grand Valley of Colorado

Something unusual and very well made is always worth the try.  In Colorado where the wine industry is still finding what grows and develops best in its AVAs, the unusual can pop up.  Counoise is used mainly in blends in Chateauneuf du Pape and the lower Rhone Valley in France.  When I was asked to identify this grape from the barrel at Creekside Cellars, I could not.  It is seldom produced as a varietal wine, although you will find some examples from the south of France and a few from California.  Maybe you could identify it, but the experience alone peaked my interest.  Here’s a good question, how much Counoise have you tasted as a single variety?

Counoise is valued for its contribution of acid and a spice in the form of a pepperiness, but otherwise it does not have a dominant distinctive note.   The excellent Creekside example made by winemaker Michelle Cleveland offered aromas of red currant, rose, and the expected lively acid and peppery notes for which this wine is well known.  Oak aromas of vanilla and cedar add to its complexity and what was so noticeable was its long peppery aftertaste.  The palate is light and fresh and the tannins are not obtrusive.  The wine needs a little time to air, so open it 30 minutes before you consume.  Its full contribution is experiences as a delayed reaction.

Thank’s to winemaker, Michelle Cleveland, for the experience of a Counoise from the Grand Valley and a confirmation of this grape’s ability to show its colors in such a different terroir.  A must adventure!

Rating:  89

Emotional rating: It has to be high for the wonderful experience it offers.

Available from the winery.

2012 – A Great Year for Wine in Colorado Too!

Creekside Cellars 2012 Cab Sauv

Creekside Cellars 2012 Cab Sauv

For most of the world, including Colorado, 2012 was a good year.  The fruit was full and rounded.  Cabernet Sauvignon ripened well in the Grand Valley and this wine will serve to demonstrate how, even when it is vinified at a less than knock-your-socks-off alcohol (13.9%), it holds its fullness and typical profile, displaying all the flavors and structure you expect in a Cabernet Sauvignon.  Cab is not just a wine of power, as those familiar with New World Cabs are accustomed to.  Richness is not lost with finesse.

Cabernet can be a wine that on one end of the spectrum is distinctly herbaceous, lean, and supple, or a wine that is rich, fully showing its depth with dark flavors and reserved but polished refinement.  And then it can be big, powerful, a fruit packed bomb ready to fill your mouth with ripe denseness.  In all of its presentations it does not lose its character unless it is badly vinified.

This wine from Creekside Cellars follows the second description of finesse: rich and full, yet reserved and polished.  Dark cherry greets you on the nose dressed in oak flavors of clove, cedar, leather, and the whole cigar box scenario.  A little toast and allspice polish off its well integrated flavors.

All are held together by firm tannins and it keeps its pleasant balance from the start to its long, rich finish.  An excellent example of the noble grape and a wine not to miss.  At the wineries restaurant, it pairs very well with the beef sandwich.

In bottle now, it awaits its release and will be something to tempt you strongly.  I have no problem in recommending this wine to wine lovers and those who favor a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon of subtle elegance and yet enough power to satisfy the potency lovers.  The PH is 3.49 and the TA is 7.3 grams per liter, which bodes well for a wine with a fresh backbone but, as you will find, also has a perfect balance while its viscosity and saturated flavors coat the mouth.

Rating 91+

Emotional rating:  Deeply satisfying without being over the top.  For me, a solid 95 points of pleasure.

Available from the winery, Creekside Cellars, Colorado.