Memorial Day Weekend ushered in a new era with Settembre Cellars making the leap from a home-based winery to a formal winery with tasting room. Owner-winemaker Blake Eliasson and his wife, Tracy, were on hand to welcome tasters to their new home. Loyal devotees of Settembre Cellars wines flocked to North Boulder to sample wines in the tasting room and take a tour of the back rooms were the Old World-style wines are made.
Blake Eliasson guides tasters on a tour of the winery.
Eliasson specializes in Italian-inspired wines made from Colorado grapes with the precision you would expect of an electrical engineer. He ferments all of his wines in stainless steel. He macerates his red wines, leaving the wines on their skins and seeds for 60 days, when the norm is closer to 14 days. This is typical of Barolo wines, which are made to express their terroir. Eliasson can lower the movable lid of the steel tank to stay at the surface of the tank’s contents, allowing for this maceration process. He ages his red wines in French oak for a maximum of one year, the time it takes to integrate the amount of oak he incorporates into his wines. The result is a complement of delicious, food-friendly wines.
Tracy Eliasson led a team in pouring five wines to taste at the opening:
* Dry Riesling 2011 – A crisp, refreshing wine with the taste of lime, minerals, and wet stone. It had subtle residual sugars, which made for easy drinking. It would pair well with salads, summer soups, and fish.
* Rosato 2013 – A divine dry rosé wine made of Cabernet Franc. It was macerated for 4 hours, allowing it to sit on its skins and seeds long enough to acquire its pale salmon color. A number of tasters were musing about possible pairings for this wine. Their thoughts? A beach chair, sand, sunshine, a west-facing porch on a lazy afternoon…you get the idea.
* Chardonnay 2010 – A decidedly food-friendly wine aged in new French Oak for three months, then transferred to a neural oak barrel for another year. This balanced wine would pair well with chicken or pork with flavorful sauces that incorporate fruit, cheese, or savory herbs.
* Syrah 2010 – This wine was made in the Northern Rhône style. It would pair well with almost anything prepared on a grill, and would stand up well to more intense sauces and accompaniments. Historically, Syrah was the first wine produced by Settembre Cellars; their experience through multiple vintages shows in the craftsmanship of this wine.
* Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – Like, yum. This wine offered tastes of cherries, currants, and earth. It was smooth and delicious, with an elegant, long finish. It would (and did, as this was on our dinner menu) pair well with Italian red sauce that simmered for two days, as well as dark chocolate.
Follow the Settembre Cellars website for upcoming events. This Father’s Day, June 15, they are planning a vertical tasting including a library release from their 2007 vintage, and a total of 5 wines from 3 vintages and 2 vineyards.
Until our next adventure in wine and food…
1501 Lee Hill Road #16
Boulder, CO 80304
Neighborhood: North Boulder
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