Hop in the car and head north with us along M37 as we sample a sublime round-up of new releases from Northern Michigan wineries on Old Mission Peninsula, a food and drink getaway just north of Traverse City. Freshly bottled, last fall’s bright, linear whites are showing pretty fruit and plenty of verve from the acids developed during the cool 2013 growing season. Meanwhile, 2012’s robustly concentrated red wines are being emancipated from their long barrel regimens to display a new paradigm of possibility from the year’s historically ripe harvest. With more wineries of Old Mission focusing on merlot and its propensity to produce complex, inky wines in our local soil, reds give enthusiasts a lot to be excited about this spring.  The following content was first featured in the May 2014 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

Brys Estate Pinot Blanc 2013

  • Versatile and aromatic, the new pinot blanc from Brys shows pretty pear and golden apple up front and ends in bright citrus and tropical fruit notes. A kiss of sweetness balances the bright acids.

2Lads Fouch Vineyard Late Harvest Riesling 2013

  • Heady, late-ripened riesling grapes from Dan Fouch’s vineyard on the northeast end of Old Mission yields this stunningly concentrated bottle that balances fruit, floral and mineral flavors accentuated by sweetness carried on crisp acidity.

Peninsula Cellars Chardonnay 2013

  • Forward and vivacious, this steel-fermented chardonnay shows off a sexy tropical fruit core of mango, pineapple and candied lemon peel.

Chateau Grand Traverse Whole Cluster Riesling 2013

  • A harmony of three separate pickings, CGT’s multi-clonal riesling bridges the flavor spectrum with ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a lush honeyed underpinning.

Villa Mari Ultima Thule 2010

  • From Old Mission’s innovative hoop house vineyard, Ultima Thule offers big fruit with Old World soul. A barrel-aged blend of cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo, merlot, syrah and malbec to rock your palate.

Hawthorne Vineyards Merlot 2012

  • Darkly extracted bold black fruit from a banner vintage is brought forward in roots-to-chutes intensity with the premier bottling off this young vineyard. Round, lush and mouth-filling with plum and berry character.

Chateau Chantal Pinot Grigio 2013

  • Allowed to ripen past the primary citrus character pinot grigio is known for, Chantal’s 2013 combines complex stone fruit notes with juicy drinkability.

Black Star Farms Arcturos Merlot 2012

  • Nothing namby about Black Star’s brawny 2012 merlot. Meticulous vineyard management and a long stint in barrel brings out deep blackberry, currant and cocoa characteristics from the wine’s rich solid structure.

Bowers Harbor Vineyards Block II Riesling 2012

  • Sweeping a double gold at the San Francisco Chronicle competition, Bowers’ 20-year-old riesling vineyard yields intense fruit with peach and apple notes framed by unctuous texture and a dry, dynamic finish.

May 2014 coverMore Northern Michigan Wine