Skip to main content

Wine of the Week: Creekside Cellars 2011 Cabernet Franc - Colorado


My first review of a Colorado wine.

Ever since I first sampled Colorado wines two years ago at the Wine Tourism Conference in Sonoma, California, I knew Colorado winemakers were producing good wine. The kind of wine I enjoy drinking. It was a pleasure to participate in a tasting of a well made Colorado Cabernet Franc. Yes, Cabernet Franc is now considered THE Colorado variety.

Colorado has received a lot of attention this past year due to changes in the regulation of a controlled substance. I've read that tourism has increased because of this change in law. For my readers of this wine blog, I'm recommending you travel to Colorado for their wine. Wine tourism is growing in Colorado, not because they make wine, but because they make wine so very well. In the southern hemisphere, Argentina, they make exceptional wine, Malbec, because of the elevation of their vineyards and ripening fruit from UV generated heat units. Colorado is doing something similar.

I was deeply impressed by the quality of this Colorado Cabernet Franc. You are strongly encouraged to visit Colorado wine country and seek out the wines of Creekside Cellars. Winemaker Michelle Cleveland is truly talented. I hope you appreciate the following tasting notes.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Garnet, slightly cloudy.
Nose: Big, smoky, dark violets backed up with dark cherry.
Palate: Dry, fine tannin, focused front palate, black currant, black cherry, medium body, tasty finish danced around with smoky, oaky, tannic elements. Like.

20 minutes:
  • Flavors integrated, delivered beautiful fruit on the palate and lovely fine tannin on the tongue. Finish expanded and delicious. Espresso and dark chocolate notes appeared on the nose. A dried herb component on the finish. Well balanced wine. Elements in harmony.
Day two:
  • Intense, almost jammy nose with dark candied fruit, dusty, rich leather and violets. Palate of ripe plum, dark cherry, balanced tannin and acid on the finish. Bright with medium finish of plum, dark cherry and an echo of coffee. 
Day three:
  • Dark fruit, wet tar, peppery cacao, blackberry jam, black cherry, focused, hint of tomato sauce + celery in background, covered the palate, dry, velvety, concentrated, happy gums, clove and mocha cherry on the long finish. Phenomenal on day 3. Big like.
  • Serve gently chilled with your favorite charcuterie. It was lighter bodied the first two days with intense flavors that would match well with flavorful food. Recommended.
  • On day three however, this wine delivered pure pleasure. This Colorado Cabernet Franc showed the talent of the grower, the accuracy of the site selection and the true skill of the winemaker. Impressive wine. Period. Wonderful vintage that showed its worth and aging potential. Bravo Michelle! Strongly Recommended.
Blend: 100% Cabernet Franc
AVA: Grand Valley (elevation 4,000-4,500 ft)
Closure: Natural Cork
ABV: 13.9%
SRP: $35
Michelle Cleveland, Winemaker
Sample provided by winery
Winery has total of 2,500 case production

Creekside Cellars
28036 Highway 74
Evergreen, Colorado 80439
Phone: 303.674.5460

Creekside Cellars became a bonded Colorado limited winery in 1996. They opened their doors to the public in 2000, the day after Thanksgiving, and in 2002 they planted their estate vineyard in Palisade, Colorado, called Vinelands. More than a winery, Creekside Cellars doubles as an Italian café featuring an outdoor deck overhanging Bear Creek.

Colorado Wine Facts:
  • There are 100 wineries in Colorado.
  • The Colorado AVA's and wine regions.
  • Why Colorado Wine?  Warm days + Cool Nights + Low Humidity = Delicious Wine!
  • 2011 Cabernet Franc: grown in the Grand Valley AVA on Colorado's Western Slope.
  • Cabernet Franc ripens earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon thus resulting in bigger tannin + fruit.
  • Weather is cold, which maintains acid and a unique representation.
  • Located approximately 250 miles from Denver, the high altitude and intense UV rays and deep color and flavor to the grapes. Think Argentina and Andes Mountains (UV for ripening). 
  • Colorado’s vineyards are the highest in North America!  
  • The AVA's of Colorado include: Grand Valley AVA + West Elks AVA.  There are only two now, but we hear that more are in the works! 
  • West Elks elevation is between 7000-7500 ft. 
  • Most produced reds in Colorado are:  Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cabernet Franc.


Popular posts from this blog

Chateau St. Michelle, Indian Wells, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Good Wine, Happy Camper Fall is settling on us quite rapidly. Today, our sunny afternoon was framed by ominous dark clouds lurking on the horizon north of us. It‘s unsettling how quickly the cool weather descends on SE Washington. That touch of autumn sunshine put me in the mood for grilling steaks tonight. I‘ll embrace the sun when I can. But, what good is steak without wine? On my way home, I grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. On a whim, I bought a wine I would not usually purchase; it was priced on sale for less that $15. My expectations were not high for the wine, I was just hoping for something palatable. Chateau St. Michelle Chateau St. Michelle, is a Washington winery - an Eastern and Western Washington winery. The St. Michelle winery and tasting room is located in Woodinville, Washington, just across lake Washington from Seattle. However, this wine is made in Patterson, Washington, from Columbia Valley grapes (Indian Wells series) at their attractive Columbia Crest

My Favorite Recipe | Flourless Chocolate Torte

Satisfying those chocolate cravings. My Instagram followers have seen me post photos ( @williampollardjr ) of my favorite dessert for over a year. Possibly, I've posted the original recipe to Instagram. If you ask, I usually do. After success and failures, I've learned that this dessert does not always deliver desired results. With some effort, I've figured out why, and the remedy. Yes, I've been gently tweaking the recipe. Adjusting ingredients. Modifying and streamlining the process. With mixed results. Confiding with my wife, she gave me a tip that finally nailed this recipe down. I'm happy to share this recipe with modifications. It's truly a lovely dessert. My favorite. Enjoy responsibly. Just out of the oven flourless chocolate torte. Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte An easy recipe to follow. You will need an oven, mixer, spring form pan and a double boiler. While you can eat this torte warm, I prefer to let it cool down and refrigera

The Best Sci-Fi Series You’re Not Watching. But I Am

The Ministry of Time/El Ministerio Del Tiempo History is under threat. Someone is attempting to alter the past. In response, a secret government organization is working to protect the sanctity of time. This group is the Ministry of Time. Agents of the ministry, are able to travel to different times and places via a deep well of stairs located in Madrid, Spain. From these stairs, innumerable doorways branch off to different periods of the past. Agents are recruited from other time periods, they work diligently to protect the history of Spain. And we get to go along for the thrilling ride. I’m changing up things today by recommending my favorite Spanish TV series. I found it accidentally, now I'm hooked. Improving my Spanish language comprehension Among my self-improvement efforts, there are many, one is to enhance my comprehension and speaking abilities of the Spanish language. With a neglected minor in Spanish, I’m embarrassed to have forgotten so much vocabulary and