Varaison Vineyards & Winery

Varaison Vineyards & Winery

Primitivo Private Cellar Reserve 2014

Port wine like. Strong cherry and chocolate taste — a month ago

Varaison Vineyards & Winery

Proprietor's Reserve Barbera

Wine is good. Too bad the winemakers are so annoying. — 6 years ago

Varaison Vineyards & Winery

Bin 405 Grand Valley Merlot 2007

Interesting. Quite oxidized but still bursting with flavor. Pipe tobacco, old leather, lots of spice. Almost no fruit but notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and crispy toast. Clove and spice.

I struggled with the winery. While the higher end bins seem to be standing the test of time and taste great, it’s a radical approach to the wine making process. Many would consider the art and beauty of wine to stem from the earth and the land itself. Tasting and exploring wine is tasting and exploring the earth, the glass of liquid being the medium which we can experience.

This wine is manufactured using scientific methods and adulterating chemical processes. In theory, this wine could be from anywhere and anytime, an ode to the ego of the winemaker rather than a hymn to earth, soil, rain, and wind.

I would speak to the comparison of music created by a live orchestra of talented musicians to a synthesizer keyboard played by a single performer. The analogy still falls short, though.

I don’t want to be the snob or the conservative critic - I generally like experimentation and new approaches - but even as a food scientist I just question the validity of wine made in styles that are less an homage to their place and more of a lab experiment for the creator.
— 4 years ago

Jillian Varner
with Jillian

Varaison Vineyards & Winery

Cuvée Brûlée Chardonnay 2007

It’s heavily oxidized, but not a reductive style. Orange peel and orange blossom on the nose. The creme brûlée name is accurate. Burnt sugar and cream flow out of this guy quite liberally. Butterscotch, vanilla cream. I get pineapple at the end. Long lingering finish. Remarkable for a 2007 Colorado wine.

I admit I’m struggling with the carefree attitudes of the winemaking process and lack of concern for the influences of terroir. We’re drinking with the winemaker, Alex, who is by trade a chemist. He brings this education to the wine in a way that strikes me uncomfortable, but I am not one to judge theory of his craft. The wine is great and has more age left in it. It’ll keep changing and altering over time.

It’s just that the wine is good, not because of where it comes from or how the grapes grew or the weather that year, but because Alex uses processes to alter their chemistry in ways that fit a style he prefers.

“Sustainable” grapes, though?
— 4 years ago

Jillian Varner
with Jillian