The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, has just announced the winners of this year’s 2015 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition which took place on May 16 and 17 at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center. The only statewide winemaking competition exclusively for Colorado wines, this year’s competition drew 241 entries from 37 local wineries, and was judged by a panel of sommeliers, winemakers, writers and wine experts from around the country.
“I think the wines this year show great balance and wonderful winemaking skills,” said judge and winemaker Warren Winiarski of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting.
The judges voted to award the 2015 Governor’s Cup “Best of Show” to two wines, both made from Syrah. When the sweepstakes tasting was complete, Canyon Wind Cellars’ 2013 Anemoi Lips and Turquoise Mesa Winery’s 2013 Syrah were tied. The 15 judges preferred to name both wines as Best of Show rather than break the tie with a vote.
Syrah is a red grape variety that originates from the Rhône region of France. The 2015 Governor’s Cup Case features the top 12 rated grape wines from the competition, but new this year is the special “niche” four-pack of cider, mead, fruit, and flavored wines. Both will be available at select retailers throughout the Front Range.
“Syrah often excels in Colorado as a varietal wine and also makes a wonderful component in blended wines,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the CWIDB. “It is quite a statement that four Syrah-based wines are among the top 12 wines in the competition.”
“I’m excited to hear that our 2013 Anemoi Lips won Best of Show,” Jay Christianson said. “We’re quite humbled that one of our wines has been awarded Best of Show two years in a row!” Last year, Canyon Wind Cellars’ 2012 Petit Verdot was the “Best of Show” winner in the 2014 Governor’s Cup Case. Canyon Wind Cellars, nestled along the Colorado River between the Book Cliffs and the towering Grand Mesa in Palisade is a family-owned estate winery named for the mountain breezes and canyon winds that nurture the fruit on its high altitude vineyard.
Norman and Ellen Christianson founded Canyon Wind in 1991 and crushed its first harvest in 1996. In 2010, the second generation arrived as the Christianson’s son, Jay, and his wife, Jennifer, took over the leadership of Canyon Wind Cellars and created a second brand, Anemoi Wines, in 2011.
Turquoise Mesa Winery, like Canyon Wind Cellars, placed two of its wines in the Governor’s Case Cup.
“We have always been proud of the quality of our wines, which means that the grape industry is outstanding in Colorado,” said Tom Bueb, “and our continued success only emphasizes that!” Turquoise Mesa Winery is a family-owned winery in Broomfield built on a passion for great wine shared among friend. Owners Tom and Mary Joan Bueb began making wine commercially in 2003, but it had been an amateur passion long before that. Turquoise Mesa Winery sources the finest Colorado grapes primarily from the Western Slope to produce limited quantities of handcrafted wines. Known for Rhône varietals and blends, Bueb added, “Turquoise Mesa Winery is honored and thrilled that our Syrah tied for Best of Show.