This edition of WIOG Weekly Roundup features some Michigan wines we drank this week at home, some we tried while on Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula last weekend, and a few random notes from earlier in the summer. As we often stress, we're not wine experts, but we do taste a lot of Michigan wine. (You may have noticed.) WIOG is our attempt to give you an idea of some selections that you may be interested in checking out based on what we've been tasting. Cheers!
- Verterra 2010 Reserve Red: "Blackberries and licorice. Black peppery spice kicks in at the end. It has a rustic quality to it. More earthy than fruity." — Shannon
- Bel Lago Red NV: "Cab Franc and 15 other varieties. Black cherry, black pepper and cigar box. Complex red with lots of tannins. One of my favorite red blends." — Shannon
- Bowers Harbor 2011 Red: "Bordeaux-style blend, black pepper and tart cherries explode in your mouth. A little barnyard coming through, but very enjoyable. More finesse than bold." — Shannon
- Good Harbor 2011 Grüner Veltliner: "Clean, refreshing, tangy melon, river rock, heavy on minerality, very unique and enjoyable." — Shannon
"As I said in Podcast #71: 'I LOVE THIS WINE. It's like drinking out of a cool, crisp, natural spring — but of wine.' Great minerality, mega-deliciousness. So fun to try wines made of some of the lesser-known grapes in Michigan." — Cort
- Sandhill Crane 2008 Sur Lie Chardonnay: "Butter popcorn, lime, vanilla bean, caramel, tangy oakiness with long finish. Spicy kick on the end. Pure deliciousness!" — Shannon
- Black Star Farms 2011 Arcturos Riesling: Green apple, very refreshing, like drinking from a cool mountain spring. Doesn't seem as sweet as previous vintages, more medium dry." — Shannon
- Black Star Farms 2011 BeDazzled Sparlkling: "Crisp, super fruity, medium dry." — Shannon
- Black Star Farms 2011 Arcturos Pinot Blanc: "Apple, lime, super refreshing. It really stood out as one of the more unique wines we tasted." — Shannon
- Black Star Farms 2010 Arcturos Pinot Noir: "Delicate berry medley, notes of spicy blueberry, with a little earthiness on the finish." — Shannon
- Black Star Farms 2011 Pinot Noir: "Fruit is bright and being highlighted in the forefront. Vanilla and cherries, great value for the price!" — Shannon
- Black Star Farms 2010 Arcturos Cab Franc: "Super full body with lots of tannins, spicy raspberry and blackberry. Great full mouthfeel." — Shannon
- Circa 2011 Chardonnay: "No oak, apricot, big fruit, nice minerality, river rock." — Shannon
- Circa 2010 Improvisation: "Honey, apricot, lemon, full mouthfeel." — Shannon
- Circa 2008 Cab Franc: "Blueberry, spice, blackberry, flavors are layered nicely. It has a great lingering finish. This wine was the highlight from the tasting!" — Shannon
- Circa 2011 Pinot Grigio: "Big aromatics, pear, lime, astringent mouthfeel." — Shannon
- Blustone Vineyards 2011 Gewürztraminer: "I'm not as skilled as Shannon at describing wines, but I couldn't resist adding this one to the list because I loved it so much. Bold that, underline it, italicize it. I drank this bottle over several nights, each time trying to put my finger on what, exactly, I loved about it — and I ran out of wine before I was able to reach a conclusion! There's something very woody and floral about it. Not as dry as many Michigan Gewürztraminers, but I wouldn't call it sweet either; I think it might just be fruitier than most. If you've tried this wine, I'd love to hear your opinion on it." — Cort
Post-script: I was so obsessed with this wine that I emailed Blustone's owner, Tom Knighton, to get some more specs on it. I didn't remember until he wrote back that he'd told me when we tried it with him up north that half of the juice was fermented in acacia wood barrels from France. THAT'S it, the unique-awesome factor that I couldn't quite pinpoint! The rest was fermented in stainless steel. From the winemaker's notes: "The acacia rounds out the spiciness that is characteristic ofGewurztraminer to make a more delicate wine with great complexity."
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