With his wine on more than 80 restaurant lists in the Denver metro area, winemaker and owner Ben Parsons has created a buzz—not too shabby considering 2008 was Infinite Monkey’s first vintage.
Infinite Monkey produced 2,000 cases in year one operating the urban winery in the hip art district off of Santa Fe—and has sold pretty much every bottle. Demand is high, which is why he has ramped up production to 4,000 cases in 2009.
There are two basic reasons his wines have become so popular:
1. They are good.
2. Parsons is almost as good at marketing as he is winemaking.
The marketing starts with the quirky name derived from a silly theory that states a monkey will eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare if it randomly typed at a keyboard long enough. He put a chimp on the bottle because it is more evolved than a typical monkey, a thought he hopes drinkers of his wines share. The art on the labels is slick and Infinite uses glass instead of typical wine corks to seal the bottles.
Infinite Monkey, which sources its grapes from Palisade, produces a strong lineup of whites including an oaky Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon and Gewürztraminer. Reds include a spicy Malbec, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and a proprietary blend called the 100th Monkey (the latter two have yet to be released).
Wine Spectator has already reviewed five of the 2008 class wines, including giving the Syrah an 87, matching the highest Colorado wine score to date by the publication. While a Colorado winery would usually struggle to reach that in year one, Parsons has been around the local wine scene for much longer than that, working with numerous wineries on the Western Slope before settling in as winemaker with Sutcliffe Vineyards.
Parsons opened Infinite in Denver with flashy marketing because he liked the refined palates of the average metro area wino and foodie. His winery doesn’t have a proper tasting room yet, but it is open during First Friday Art Walks and other special events.
He’ll even open the doors to private parties, called labs, of at least five for $50—expect to taste pretty much everything he has from barrel to bottle and intimately learn about winemaking with Parsons. And expect to use the floor drains as a spit bucket—this is a gritty urban winery after all.
Best bottle from the winemaker’s perspective: After debating back and forth between pretty much all of his wines, Parsons settled on the 2008 Cabernet Franc. Good luck trying to find one in stores, though.
Prices: $20 and up
Open for private groups (usually five or more; $50 a person) and during special Santa Fe Arts District Events
931 West 5th Ave. 970.260.0710