We recently saw something on a Denver restaurant wine list that made us do a double take: A total of eleven -- you read that right, eleven -- Colorado wines available by the glass. Crazy, right? It gets even crazier: Four of those local wines were from a single producer, and it's one we're betting you've never even heard of: Sutcliffe Vineyards.
So how exactly did this Cortez-based winery land these prized wine list placements, at a spot better known for a heavy craft beer program and a Headbanger's Ball-inspired playlist, no less? Because Sutcliffe is making some damn fine juice.
And it's putting out quite the variety of fine juice, too. Sutcliffe Vineyards offers a little something for everyone, from a not-so-classic Bordeaux blend to a few eclectic reds rarely seen in varietal form. Former restaurateur-turned winery owner/founder John Sutcliffe is endlessly passionate about leveraging old school techniques and -- go figure -- making extraordinarily food-friendly wines. He's instilled that credo in winemaker Joe Buckle, who coaxes a mix of estate grown, Palisade-sourced and even a little Napa Valley fruit into unique bottlings with a decidedly modern, highly drinkable bent. Intrigued, we sat down and tasted through most of Sutcliffe's lineup to see if the random glasses we'd sampled (and loved) here and there were a fluke -- or foreshadowing of even more goodness from a completely slept-on producer. Herewith, our picks for the five most fantastic bottles you should try:
Read the reviews at Denver Westword.