Tag Archives: Gunslinger

Ruby Trust’s 2012 Gunslinger

Let’s do a bit of a comparison between Ruby Trust‘s 2013 “Gambler” (discussed earlier this month) and their 2012 “Gunslinger” — both full, lush Colorado wines.

We could hardly say that this blend is a lighter wine than Ruby Trust’s “Gambler.”  Syrah at 50%, Cabernet Sauvignon at 33%, and Petit Verdot atGunslinger 2012 17% would hardly lessen the weight of the 100% Syrah in “The Gambler.”  Both are hefty at almost 16% alcohol.  The Gunslinger is a little lighter in color and has a different flavor profile.  Blackcurrant and cedar, with hints of herbaceousness (a trademark of Cabernet Sauvignon) plus red fruit flavors from Petit Verdot combine to brighten the aroma and add zest to the mouthfeel.  Minerality and acids are a little higher to the taste in the “Gunslinger” than in “The Gambler” and the overall effect is a juicy, mouthwatering wine that cleanses the palate and would brighten any rich dish.  A long, clean finish seals the wine’s title for being a full, succulent red.

Tannins are fine and balanced, although a little stronger than in “The Gambler.”   Both wines are winners in the heavy-weight department.

Rating:  90+

Emotional rating: Very High


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Another Look at Ruby Trust — Age-Worthy?

wine cellarClaudius Galenus (commonly known as Galen) was a Greek turned Roman.  He lived c130-201 AD.  He was not only a noted physician, having compiled the medical wisdom of his time, being also referenced for centuries as a source of medical information, he was an expert observer of the temperaments of people.  Add to this his interest in wine, and we have a person to remember.

Galen talked about, among other things, the aging of wines.  Wine was known to undergo remarkable changes as it aged.  Even Luke, the Gospel writer, realized that wines can age and that their age improved them.  The ancients were very much aware of wine’s improvements with age — not in a bottle, but in amphora.

Galen also draws out attention to the ancients’ knowledge of aging wines prematurely by smoking or heating them.  Smoky aromas were all the rage at one time in Greece and Rome.  Today we want them aged by the winemaker to save us time and patience.  Some wines are made to drink now, while some with tannic bite to await development in the bottle, and others to drink now but appreciate more as the years pass.

The 2010 Gunslinger, about which I have written in Experiencing Colorado Wine, Vol. 1:The Dry Red Wines, is worth another look.  What has the winemaker done in regard to preparing this wine to age and what are the results?  This wine is 47% Syrah, 20% Petit Verdot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon — made totally from Colorado grapes.  At 14.9% alcohol, he has given it plenty of this vital aging ingredient.  Without adequate alcohol, it doesn’t have much chance of a long life.  The grapes were ripe and the fruit is solid and foundational.  Tannic acid is firm, already integrated, and the other acids are in place.  It is dry, so no sugar adds to the aging potential.

On tasting this wine for aging, I find it is still vibrant and full of power — a monster.  Its fleshy fruit is balanced beautifully with the acids, oak and tannin promising an exciting marriage in the bottle.  Just a glance at its depth of color — a true red-black — and I ruminate as I drink it of its decadent maturity.  I see this wine as a wine to drink young, but one that is also made to age, and it will do so nobly.  No smoking or heating necessary, just a glass and an appreciative palate.

Enjoy this wine with substantial food and ponder the coming of age of Colorado wine.


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Another Great Colorado Wine

The 2011 Gunslinger from Ruby Trust CellarsIMG_0955 is a blend of 64% Syrah, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot.  I loved the 2010 Gunslinger and am impressed with the solid structure and impeccable balance of their latest version.  Braden Dodds, the winemaker, has hit another home run.  (Watch this blog for the evaluation of his other two 2011 wines.)

Raspberry and blackberry dominate the fruit on the nose.  Cedar, leather, vanilla, warm new oak, smoke, chocolate, and black Assam tea flavors offer a complexity that will keep you plumbing the wine’s depths.  On the palate, its velvety feel, substantial weight, and fine grained tannins (which are not overpowering but are cleansing and integrated) make for a solid framework.  What may be this wine’s greatest asset is its very long finish, carrying its fruit and oak offerings through to the end.

This is a wine for food.  At 14% alcohol, it is warm and well balanced, full and round in the mouth, and a wine whose acid will hold up to the richest savory foods and strongest dishes.  No wimpy expression of the grape here!  Love powerful wines?  Don’t miss this sure shot.

Rating 90

Emotional rating 90

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my book, “Experiencing Colorado Wine,” and you’ll find the description of the pairing of several of them with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.  Order your autographed copyExperiencing Colorado Wine at Square Market.


What’s In a Name?

The Wild West bred Gunslingers with formidable reputations.  And one still lives on. Bred by Braden Dodds of Ruby Trust Winery, it packs a heavy load.  There’s a lot in this name: Ruby Trust Gunslinger, 2011.Blackjack Gun Wine Style is the first to hit you.  No wimpy wine here.  It’s a big boy with flavors cocked and when it strikes, it unloads a package of fruit and oak that will impress you if you love a wine that leaves no doubt about its weight and reputation. Power is in the name, and in the bottle too.  At 14% alcohol, one could think it is all deadening alcohol, but not so.  It’s as balanced as a gunslinger’s revolver. But it betrays its name because the next thing to wallop your senses is pleasure, and what gunslinger was ever viewed that way, except perhaps Billy the Kid in Lincoln, New Mexico when visiting his girlfriend. Ah! This is a mistake for sure: the Ruby Trust Gunslinger is soft on the senses and can even be thought of as delivering a silky touch.  Taste this Gunslinger and you will find the unexpected in the name: the feel of the sheriff gunslinger, with a heart determined to stamp out the rough and the bad and honor all that is good and civilized. I’ve just approached this good Gunslinger with care, and this is what I found, born and bred in Colorado’s Wild West:

  • First impression?  Interlaced, with lovely flavors of ripe, dark fruit, harmonizing with vanilla and spice.  Pleasing to the eye is the deep (almost black) ruby red, brilliant in hue and attractively edged by a transparent, colorless glycerol ring.
  • On the palate, a reminder of smooth dark chocolate softly floods your mouth.  Smooth power!  Licorice, with a distinct touch of anise, lingers for a long time after you have swallowed (don’t spit this one!).  Impressions are fast on the draw.  This Gunslinger is some suave customer.  More please!  TDF (To Die For)!

Rating 91 Emotional appeal:  Very high. You’ll find the 2010 vintage described in my new book, Experiencing Colorado Wine, and you’ll find the description of the pairing of it with a great recipe by a great Colorado chef, Paul Ferzacca, at La Tour Vail.  Order the book, Experiencing Colorado Wine, at Square Market.