Bookcliff Vineyards' 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve won Best of Show in the 2018 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition. A panel of sixteen sommeliers, chefs and wine experts judged 344 wines from 49 Colorado wineries in early September but waited to announce the winner at the public tasting event, Colorado Uncorked, at the History Colorado Center on November 8, 2018.
The 2015 Cabernet Franc Reserve richly deserves the honor, as do the vintners, John Garlich and his wife, Ulla Merz, who are also some of the nicest people you’ll meet in the industry. You can meet them and try their wines at the Bookcliff Vineyards Tasting Room, located at 1501 Lee Hill Drive in Boulder. Bookcliff is open from 1 to 6 p.m Thursday through Sunday. Enjoy a free wine, chocolate and cheese tasting at their holiday open house on November 20, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Guests will receive a 5 percent discount on bottles of wine.
As with all of their award-winning wines, Bookcliff’s Cabernet Franc is made from grapes grown at the winery's vineyards in Palisade, Colorado. Garlich and Merz have been earning praise for their wines for two decades, and they also sell their grapes to other top producers in the region. The secret to creating a winner? “Don’t stop until you find perfection,” says Garlich.
Bookcliff and seven other Colorado wineries took double gold medals in this year’s competition, which awards double gold, gold, silver and bronze. The Governor’s Cup Collection includes the top wines of the year made from Colorado grapes.
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In addition to the top prize winner, my favorites from the list include the Infinite Monkey Theorem Cabernet Franc, Colorado Cellars Port and Carlson Vineyards Sweet Gewürztraminer. Ticket holders for the event also enjoyed delicious food and wine pairings by area chefs and the wines. In addition to announcing the Best of Show winner, the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board honored Representative Leslie Herod (House District 8) for her work on behalf of the Colorado wine industry.
Here's the complete 2018 Colorado Governor’s Cup Collection:
Bookcliff Vineyards 2015 Reserve Cabernet Franc and 2016 Tempranillo
Carlson Vineyards 2016 Plum and Sweet Gewürztraminer
Colorado Cellars 1999 Port
Colterris 2016 Estate Selection/Riverside Vineyard Merlot, 2016 Petit Verdot and 2017 “Coral” White Cabernet Sauvignon
The Infinite Monkey Theorem 2016 Cabernet Franc
Monkshood Cellars 2016 Syrah
Red Fox Cellars 2016 Teroldego
Snowy Peaks Winery 2016 Élevé Rhône-Style Blend
Whitewater Hill Vineyards 2017 Riesling