My wife is getting further along with her pregnancy (19 weeks already!) and we’ve been hit with the realization that our days of nice, quiet dinners out on the town are numbered. We’re excited and as ready as we’ll ever be for this next chapter. In the meantime, we’re aiming to finish the current chapter with a bang! Our recent Saturday night excursion was to The Wines of Colorado, a wine retail shop and restaurant located in unincorporated Cascade. Cascade is just a few miles west of Colorado Springs and less than a mile from the entrance of the Pikes Peak Highway (where crazy people do this).
The Wines of Colorado has a very large selection of Colorado wine and several of the wines can be sampled at no cost. I didn’t want to keep my hungry, pregnant wife waiting too long, so I only sampled three to four wines before dinner. One of these wines was the 2010 Winery at Holy Cross Abbey Cabernet Franc, which won Best of Show in the Governer’s Cup/AWS Colorado Wine Competition earlier this year. It was bold and impressive, and I’m inspired to make a pilgrimage to the Abbey in a few weeks to taste the rest of their lineup and re-taste the Cab Franc.
After tasting, it was time to select a bottle for dinner. I opted for the 2005 Guy Drew Meritage, based solely on my knowledge that Guy Drew is a very respected Colorado producer. Wines purchased from the retail shop can be brought into the restaurant without a corkage fee. As a wine consumer that sometimes–ok, oftentimes– complains about the markups/corkage fees in restaurants, this was a breath of fresh air.
The restaurant features indoor and outdoor seating, with the outdoor seating looking out over a beautiful creek that trickles down the Pikes Peak foothills. It was chilly, so we ended up sitting indoors. Perhaps we were subconsciously influenced by the buffalo on the sign, but we ended up splitting a bowl of buffalo chili and each ordered a buffalo burger. The food was good and inexpensive. The one fault that I found with the restaurant was the wine glasses. They were the same small tasting glasses that were used in the retail shop. My glass came out piping hot, and upon taking a whiff, it was obvious that it was just taken out of the dishwasher. Thankfully, the detergent odors did wane after a few minutes and did not interfere with my enjoyment and assessment of the wine.
Guy Drew’s 2005 Meritage is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 22% Petit Verdot. Black cherry was practically jumping out of the glass, with blue fruit, baking spices, and faint vanilla in the background. It’s ripe and friendly with a moderate oak presence and it’s drinking very young. There’s plenty of balance and some gripping tannins on the back palate. The fruit comes from Montezuma County in the southwestern corner of Colorado, home to Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners area. At a retail price of $19.00, I think it’s fairly priced. I rated it as Recommended (86-89) and a 3/5 value.
The Wines of Colorado is my kind of place and I would highly recommend it to anyone passing through the Colorado Springs area. Most of Colorado’s wineries are located on the less populated Western Slope, so Front Rangers and tourists get the opportunity to sample many of Colorado’s finest wines without having to make the trek across the Rockies. My parting recommendation–make sure that you sample these wines after braving the Pikes Peak Highway rather than before.