Ruby Trust Cellars is not your typical winery and neither are their wines, which is actually a good thing! Ruby Trust doesn’t have a tasting room, in fact just a production facility located near Happy Canyon Road and Santa Fe, south of Denver. Fortunately for us, owner Ray Bruening opens his doors to the public a few times a year allowing us to sample some of his delicious wines. I was lucky enough to stop by Ruby Trust’s open house a few weeks ago. Currently the winery only makes red blends and some of the names are Gunslinger, The Smuggler, Fortune Seeker, Bandit’s Pass and Stranglehold. Their wines are available in many liquor stores and restaurants throughout Colorado.
Who explains more about the wines than the winemaker? So I turn this blog over to winemaker, Braden Dodds and his thoughts on their 2013 release…..
Every vintage is unique, they say… and they are right. Each harvest since our first (2009) here at Ruby Trust has offered different challenges—and now, on the cusp of the release of our fifth vintage, I pause to briefly reflect on the factors that contributed to the wines of the 2013 vintage.
In my experience, the primary factor that contributes to the maturation of grapes in Colorado versus most other wine-producing regions of the world is the weather. “If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes,” has long been a quip served up to out-of-state visitors by Coloradans; but for a winemaker, the uncertainty of changing weather patterns can be inordinately stressful. Such a scenario was never more evident than in the autumn of 2013: Dancing around the rain on one hand and the heat on the other on a daily basis made deciding on the optimal date to harvest the fruit extremely difficult.
Once all of the grapes were in, we were faced with the challenges of careful sorting, acute attention to fermentations, and the lengthy process (burning the midnight oil on many occasions) of determining our oak-aging program. By mid-November, the vintage was finally in barrel. With the brunt of the workload behind me, I was still unsure of what these children of 2013 would produce—all of the wines were “closed,” each one giving much less of itself in its early stages than any previous vintage.
If there is one thing that my partner, Ray, has taught me in our five years of nurturing the wines of Ruby Trust to fruition, it is patience. As a winemaker, I invariably want every wine I sample from barrel to put its best foot forward every day… and if it doesn’t, I feel a pressing need to change something. We had given so much to the raising of our offspring of the harvest, and we felt like we were receiving precious little in return. But like any of the progeny of Mother Nature, our 2013 vintage needed time to blossom. Our patience began to reap rewards when, after a year in barrel, the wines started to open up, revealing soft tannins, bright acidity, and rich, expressive fruit; the disparate elements were finally coming together. With more than ten harvests under our belt, I felt that this one had become the most rewarding. While bottling the wines several months ago, many of our regular volunteers scored 2013 as our best vintage yet! Neither Ray nor I could disagree.Read more →