Booze

Sauvage Spectrum Promotes Colorado Wine With a New Taproom in Ouray

The Ouray tasting room opened in August.
The Ouray tasting room opened in August. Sauvage Spectrum
Just three years after launching in Palisade, Sauvage Spectrum Estate Winery & Vineyard has debuted a second location, in the scenic mountain town of Ouray.

The Grand Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) winery, which sits at 4,728 feet in elevation, is striving to reimagine Colorado wine by embracing the state’s unique climate and the grapes that thrive here instead of mimicking wines from other regions, says winemaker Patric Matysiewski. Because Sauvage is an estate winery and vineyard, the 26 varietals used in its wine are all grown on site, from Albariño, Aromella and Grüner Veltliner to Pinot Gris, Petite Pear and Roussanne,

Matysiewski got his start in the Colorado fermentation world at Breckenridge Brewery and later worked at Infinite Monkey Theorem from 2012 to 2017. After working with Kaibab Sauvage on various wine projects, the two decided to open their own winery in 2019. Sauvage was raised in Palisade, where he has grown fruit for more than two decades and is the owner of grape supplier Colorado Vineyard Specialists.

So far, the duo's hard work has paid off: Sauvage Spectrum was named Colorado Winery of the Year in 2021 and 2022 by the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology and won awards at the Sunset International Wine Competition and Sommeliers Choice Awards.
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Sauvage Spectrum owners Kaibab Sauvage and Patric Matysiewski.
Sauvage Spectrum
Sauvage Spectrum's Ouray tasting room opened August 1 and is located at 480 Main Street, in the renovated historic 1881 Wright Building, adjacent to the Wright Opera House. “Colorado wine needed to be represented with that landscape, with those views,” Matysiewski says of the decision to add a location there. The space includes historic wallpaper and 1908 mining maps from the Department of Natural Resources, along with dramatic views from the windows overlooking the amphitheater.

At both the original Palisade location and in Ouray, visitors can expect an “unpretentious” wine experience, Matysiewski notes. “I hate saying that, but we just are,” he adds, explaining that “the staff is going to walk you through everything."

Matysiewski and Sauvage are all about research and development when it comes to grapes, planting new varietals every year. In the taproom, some experimental small-batch wines are available for wine club members to sample and offer feedback. “It’s been so exciting,” Matysiewski says of being part of the state’s wine industry. “Colorado wine has been on an awesome trajectory."

The first label Sauvage Spectrum launched was Sparklet, a sparkling wine that Matysiewski calls its lifestyle brand, describing it as fun, affordable, approachable and fruit-forward. It’s a bottle for every day, he says, coming in at a price point around $25. “We want you to drink this and not feel bad on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night,” he says. The Sparklet White, for example, has aromas of honeysuckle, gardenia and pineapple, and flavors of nectarine, ripe apricot, lemon and pear.
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The Pet-Nat is another popular selection; the name refers to pétillant naturel, a French term that roughly translates to “naturally sparkling.” “I like to tell people it's the ancient, rudimentary sparkling wine method made popular by French monks,” Matysiewski explains. “The wine is bottled with just the right amount of sugar for the fermentation to continue in the bottle. Because the carbon dioxide is sealed, it has nowhere to escape, and it carbonates the wine." There are no sulfites added, so the natural spontaneous yeast population ferments to create unique flavors, like the Pet-Nat Magenta, which is fruit-forward, hazy and funky. Other varieties include Pet-Nat White, Pet-Nat Skins and Pet-Nat Hops. Those looking for a seltzer alternative can opt for the canned Piquette.

The winery also collaborated with Denver's Infinite Money Theorem on a red blend called Ignition Alliance; 20 percent of proceeds from it go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, helping families of wildland firefighters who were injured on duty or who have lost their life on duty.

Sauvage Spectrum is releasing an easy-drinking Domaine series, including a Domaine White Blend made with Villard Blanc and Vignoles grapes, while its Reserve series focuses on French varietals, like the Reserve Red, a full-bodied Bordeaux-inspired blend of Petite Verdot and Malbec, with flavors of cooked plum, clove, black currant, vanilla bean and mocha on the finish.

At the taprooms, guests can enjoy wine flights. For a twist, the frozé wine slushee consists of a housemade purée of fruit directly from the orchard. There are also Bomb-Tails, made with various fruit pieces frozen in spherical ice cube molds.

For more information on Sauvage Spectrum's wines and tasting room locations, visit sauvagespectrum.com.
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Kristen Kuchar is a Colorado writer covering dining and the beverage industry, including wine, beer, cider and spirits. Her articles have appeared in VinePair, the Beer Connoisseur, Beer Advocate, Craftbeer.com, Zymurgy and more. She has a WSET Level 1 certificate and is a Certified Beer Server by the Cicerone Certification Program.