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!
Emotional rating: It has to be high for the wonderful experience it offers.
Available from the winery.