Review of the Wine Media: Colorado Wine News
The fourth in a series of reviews of wine publications
THE COLORADO WINE NEWS
Harold Baer is a soft-spoken man with a lot to say about wine. He says it primarily through The Colorado Wine News, a quarterly newsletter–a publication with a name the indicates its geographic origin, and not its focus.
The focus of TCWN is on wines that taste good and who makes them. Each issue is roughly 30 pages long with nearly 95 percent of the publication focusing on reviewing wines from across the globe. There is a decided emphasis on California wines. The reviews are pure. That is to say, they focus on what’s in the bottle, rather than what numerical score they ought to receive. Wines are not rated or scored beyond Harold occasionally offering a wine the designation of "BEST WINE" or "BEST BUY". But you really don’t need these designations to know if the wine is something special. The well-written reviews spell that out.
Here is a typical review from Colorado Wine News:
"The 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinq Cepage, Sonoma County, $70, is a blend of 76% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, 8% cabernet franc, 4% malbec, 2% petit verdot. Each component was aged separately in French oak for two years before blending and bottling. It is still very tight. Dark chocolate, raspberry, earth, smoky oak, wet leather, and cassis show on the nose and repeat as fresh flavors joined by good acidity before a broad, long finish. Well balanced, integrated, and structured with depth and layers of flavors, the wine needs at least five years to open, gain weight and begin to show at its best. Good layering of flavors and complexity. BEST WINE."
I like this kind of review. I want to know the components of the wine. I want a description. I want a sense of where the wine is in its development.
Baer often reviews a selection of a particular winery’s wines with an introduction the the winery and its history. This little addition is really important. A little context goes a long way.
In addition to reviews you are also likely to find short features on the state of a particular vintage, a review of a wine event, even a recipe. This is not flashy wine journalism, but rather useful, straightforward writing that gives the reader what they need to make buying decisions. The publication comes on beige 8.5" x 11" paper and is printed simply in black and white with labels printed here and there.
You have to wonder if there are any capitalist inclinations going on over at Colorado Wine News. The Subscription rate is a mere $8 per year. This newsletter is rich in information, easy to read, and something that for $8 really shouldn’t be neglected.