The Mattsons have teamed up with natural wine evangelist Troy Bowen and will open Noble Riot, a wine bar dedicated to natural, low-interventionist wines. If that's a little confusing in a wine market currently saturated with 40-ounce bottles of rosé and ManCans, just know that there are small wine growers and makers dedicated to the grape in the same way that craft brewers are dedicated to the grain, and possibly even more so, since there aren't many brewers growing their own beer ingredients. Noble Riot will focus on lesser-known regions and varietals as well as independent producers.
Bowen and Scott Mattson, both certified sommeliers, met years ago while working at Mondo Vino in West Highland, and both have since gone on to spread the wine word in bigger ways. Bowen is the founder and current president of the Colorado Natural Wine Consortium and organizes the annual Denver International Wine Week to help spread the word about wines made traditionally without the use of additives or correctives.
At Nocturne, Scott and Nicole have developed a stellar wine program to accompany the music and jazz-themed tasting menus. They note that Noble Riot (a play on "noble rot," the common name for the botrytis fungus that can turn certain vintages from good to great) will have a "beverage program [that] honors farmers and winemakers who produce wines with character and honesty."
Scott and Bowen refer to themselves alternately as "swashbuckling wine geeks" and "wine sherpas," giving an indication that the bar experience at Noble Riot won't be dry or boring. "It's irreverent. It's the yin to Nocturne's yang, and it's going to be a party," Nicole notes.
The wine bar will also serve a small selection of wine-friendly food: pâtés, terrines, cheeses, cured meats and seasonal daily specials.
The group plans to turn the space around quickly, but an exact date for the opening has yet to be determined, since city permitting and license transfers must still occur. Look for the first wines to pour in late September or early October.