Boulder winery wins 2nd prestigious Jefferson Cup award

A Colorado winery again has brought home the prestigious Jefferson Cup Invitational top award.

Boulder-based Bookcliff Vineyards was one of 29 top winners at the 13th annual competition held in Kansas City, Mo.

The competition, devised by Master Sommelier Doug Frost in an effort to recognize the best wines from all U.S. wine-producing regions, this year attracted 564 wines from 23 states.

“We had a representation of the best of what every quality wine-producing region in the country is offering right now,” he said. “Democracy reigned.”

This is the second Jefferson Cup for Bookcliff Vineyards, which also won in 2010 for its 2009 Grand Valley Petite Syrah.

This year, it was Bookcliff Vineyards’ 2010 Ensemble, a red blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and malbec.

The winery also won recognition for its 2010 Cabernet Franc Reserve (Medal of Excellence) and the 2010 Colorado Malbec (Medal of Merit).

Other Colorado wineries earning awards were Anemoi, Boulder Creek Winery, Canyon Wind Cellars and The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.

Ulla Merz, who along with winemaker John Garlich founded Bookcliff Vineyards in 1996, said she was excited and surprised at winning the top Jefferson Cup honor.

“I couldn’t believe it at first and had to email Doug to confirm it,” she said Friday.

The winery prides itself on using 100 percent Colorado-grown grapes, most of which are grown on Bookcliff’s vineyards in Palisade.

This is the fourth consecutive year a Colorado winery has received the Jefferson Cup award.

Previous Jefferson Cup Award winners from Colorado include Canyon Wind Cellars, 2011, and Boulder Creek Winery, 2009.

Merz said this year’s award, following the three previous Jefferson Cup awards, shows Colorado is making wines as good as anywhere in the nation.

“It’s truly affirmation for what we’ve been doing,” said Merz, who remembers the early years when Colorado wines were less well-received. “There still are going to be doubters but (Colorado wines) in the few years have really gotten so much better.”

The 29 Jefferson Cup winners “represent some of the most-compelling wines made in America,” Frost said.


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