Wine Tasting and Reviews From Around the World

Michigan Rieslings

Northern Michigan is home to some of the best Riesling producers in the world. The Germans of course have a well deserved long standing reputation. California is simply better at reds, Oregon and Washington have a few decent Rieslings but by and large they tend to be harsh and overly high in alcohol for what the Germans would regard as a Riesling.

Michigan is well noted for its white wine production and especially for the Traverse City area's Rieslings. Virtually every winery in the area offers at least one Riesling. Typically we find Northern Michigan Rieslings to be closer to Germany's offerings than the Pacific Northwest's. They tend to be more complex and lower in alcohol (but not as low as the classic German wines) as compared to the Rieslings from Washington or Oregon. Some wine snobs will scoff at anything from the Midwest. Much of this is deserved. However an honest trial of the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsula Rieslings will show that again they are more inline with the classic German Rieslings.

Northern Michigan has an ideal climate for whites and especially Rieslings. Typically Northern Michigan has an idyllic four-season climate. Cold, snowy winters protect the vines and give the ground adequate moisture while spring brings April showers and moderate temperature that help the vines grow deep roots. Dry, hot and somewhat humid summers are followed by temperate autumn weather that allows the grapes to mature evenly. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsula benefit from the warm water's moderation of the temperature and extends the harvest far later than most vines at this latitude experience. All this creates an ideal environment for winemaking and the Rieslings of this region are the biggest winners.

There is a tendency by many wine drinkers to over chill white wines. This is something that dulls the complexity of fine wines and while a nice cold drink may be refreshing, it too often hides the nature of white wines. This is especially true of higher alcohol whites; however most Michigan whites are not as high in alcohol as their west coast cousins. Subsequently a slightly warmer serving temperature benefits these complex wines.

Wine Tasting
2006 Good Harbor Fishtown White

Winery: Good Harbor
Brand/Type: Fishtown White
Vintage: 2006
Country: USA
Region: Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan
Alcohol content: 12%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance:
Aroma/Bouquet:

50% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Grigio, 15% Vignoles, 15% Seyval. Light oakiness.

Wine Tasting
Tabor Hill Classic Demi-sec

Winery: Tabor Hill
Brand/Type: Classic Demi-sec
Vintage: N/A
Country: USA
Region: Southeastern Michigan
Alcohol content: 12%
Closure: Cork
Appearance:
Aroma/Bouquet:

Claims to be a favorite of celebrities and served in the White House. Also stated to be a soft, semi-dry but was very sweet. Couldn’t finish the bottle. very sweet, not pleasant at all.

Wine Tasting
Trader Joe’s Coastal Fume’ Blanc

Winery: Trader Joe’s
Brand/Type: Coastal Fume’ Blanc
Vintage: 2006
Country: USA
Region: Central coast, California
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance:
Aroma/Bouquet:

Vinted and bottled by Castoro Cellars for Trader Joe’s.
A nice refreshing crisp white. Lightly fruitful and of decent structure. Excellent value and very affordable.

Wine Tasting
Azabache Rioja Rosado

Winery: Azabache
Brand/Type: Rosado
Vintage: N/A
Country: Spain
Region: Rioja
Alcohol content: 13.5%
Closure: Natural Cork
Appearance: Pink
Aroma/Bouquet:

Table wine, no vintage. Dry, fresh, fruity, slightly crisp, well balanced. Good value. Organic too!

Wine Tasting
Ciccone 2006 Nectar White Wine

Winery: Ciccone Vineyards
Brand/Type: Nectar White Wine
Vintage: 2006
Country: USA
Region: Leelanau Peninsula
Alcohol content: 12.5%
Closure: Natural cork
Appearance: Deep golden straw
Aroma/Bouquet: Tropical fruit, banana

Tropical fruit, banana, pineapple