Home > Uncategorized > Colorado Wine Week Day 3 and a tiger (or cougar) by the tail

Colorado Wine Week Day 3 and a tiger (or cougar) by the tail

It’s Tuesday, almost halfway through Colorado Wine Week 2013 and there still are so-o-o many more wines to try during the initial Colorado Wine Week Challenge.


Parker Carlson’s 2011 Cougar Run Grand Valley Dry Gewurtztraminer. Carlson began putting animal figures on his wines 30 years ago, well before so-called “critter” wine became popular. The quality of the drawing is in direct correlation to the improvement in computers and digital art.

I’m leaning in, honest, and I know it seems like work but press on and pull those corks.

You know the drill: Open and share a Colorado wine (or two) every day or night this week. I was hoping it would rain today and cool things off (so hot, so hot) and had a lush cabernet franc (the Grand Valley grows great cabernet franc) all ready to pop but no-o-o.

No rain, temps in the low 90s and drier than a divorce attorney’s laugh.

So tonight, I chose a Carlson Vineyards 2011 Cougar Run Grand Valley Dry Gewurtztraminer ($13.50).

Lots behind this medium-bodied wine, which has crisp acidity and tropical fruit and roses (notice the cute photo)…

Carlson started making a dry gewurtz in 2009, said assistant winemaker Ian MacDonald, when the local chardonnay was in short supply.

“We didn’t have enough chardonnay to make our normal blend and we had this gewurtztraminer ready so I suggested to Parker we dry it out and sell it,” said MacDonald, who starts tomorrow (June 5) bottling the 2012 dry gewurtztraminer.

To Parker’s surprise, the dry version sold, well, I can’t honestly say it ran out the door like Carlson’s luscious cherry wine, but MacDonald said the dry gewurtztraminer pays it’s own way.

And really, that’s all any winemaker can ask.

Carlson made 800 gallons of the 2011 gewurtztraminer, which with my math comes out to about 335 cases.

Even at that, it sells out every year.

The Gewurtz grape itself has a convoluted genealogy but apparently wa-a-a-y back when, it might have originated in a grape from  around Tramin in northern Italy’s South Tyrol, where the residents speak German more than Italian.

Back to Colorado Wine Week. The Governor’s Cup Award presentation is Friday night at The Hospitality Learning Center at Metro State College University (sorry, an old habit, y’know), but Parker Carlson won’t be there. Seems every June he and his wife Mary take off for 6 weeks to go fishing in Michigan.

Last year, Mary caught the bigger fish.

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