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Eat and Drink

13 Award-Winning Colorado Wines You Should Be Drinking Now

These wines were selected as part of the 2018 Governor’s Collection, which means they’re some of the best bottles in the state.

Every September for the past eight years, Colorado winemakers have submitted their best bottles for judging at the state’s Governor’s Cup wine competition. Esteemed judges gather in Denver to taste them all; this year’s 15 judges included three Masters of Wine (one of them was me!), two Master Sommeliers, and several well-established wine writers, tastemakers, and regional vino experts.

We wanted to find very best Colorado wines on the market, of course, but also to provide valuable feedback that would, hopefully, help with the continued improvement of the Centennial State wine industry. 49 of the state’s roughly 150 licensed wineries submitted their wines for judgment, with a total of 344 entries—up nearly 84 percent since 2014—ranging from reds (nearly half) to whites (about a quarter) to ciders, meads, and dessert and fruit wines. Interestingly, there were only six sparklers, a category some believe has strong potential to thrive here in Colorado, as evidenced by the Infinite Monkey Theorem’s 2013 Bubbles Universe, which was included in the Governor’s Collection last year.

Before I reveal the 13 winning wines, here are a few key takeaways from this year’s showing:

Now, without further ado, here are the 13 winning 2018 ‘Governor’s Collection’ wines:

Since I last judged the Governor’s Cup a few years ago, Colorado winemakers have clearly been hard at work. Our wineries have been refining their techniques, raising standards in their cellars, bringing in experienced people, gaining a better understanding of our incredibly challenging climate, and figuring out which grapes work better than others. All of that effort is certainly showing in the bottle.

One of these 13 wines will take home the Best in Show award on November 8 at Colorado UncorkedTickets range from $45 to $75, and include tastes of all of the wines mentioned here. 7 p.m., History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway

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