Michigan Wine Tasting and Reviews

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
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

Wine Tasting
Ciccone 2005 Pallino Red

Winery: Ciccone Vineyards
Brand/Type: Pallino Red
Vintage: 2005
Country: USA
Region: Leelanau Peninsula
Alcohol content: 12.4%
Closure: Natural cork
Appearance:
Aroma/Bouquet:

A combination of Cabernet Franc and Dolcetto. Soft, off dry, smooth tannins.

Wine Tasting
St. Julian Red Heron

Winery: St. Julian
Brand/Type: Red Heron
Vintage: N/A
Country: USA
Region: Southeastern Michigan
Alcohol content: 10%
Closure: Screw cap
Appearance:
Aroma/Bouquet:

Semi-sweet wine. More sweet than semi-sweet. Very grape-ish, much like a Concord.

TC Wineguide

There’s a new online guide to the wineries and vineyards of Traverse City and the surrounding wine producing region that includes the Old Mission Peninsula, and the Leelanau Peninsula.

https://www.tcwineguide.com lists all of the regions wineries and vineyards. TC Wineguide also list the numerous hard cider producers along with mead and beer.

Wine Tasting
Ciccone 2005 Lee La Tage

Winery: Ciccone Vineyards
Brand/Type: Lee La Tage
Vintage: 2005
Country: USA
Region: Leelanau Peninsula
Alcohol content: 12.9%
Closure: Natural cork
Appearance: Ruby
Aroma/Bouquet: Strawberry jam, spice

Estate bottled. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec.
Full bodied, a big wine, black cherry and black pepper finish.
The Leelanau Peninsula is best known for whites but Ciccone does very well with reds!

Pentamere Rose’ Table Wine

Winery: Pentamere
Brand/Type: Ros’ Table Wine
Vintage: N/A
Country: USA
Region: Michigan
Alcohol content: 12%
Closure: Natural cork
Appearance: Cerise
Aroma/Bouquet: Hay and strawberries.

Pentamere is a unique winery; they have no vines. Located in Tecumseh, Michigan, only an hour from Detroit, this is probably one of the last places you would expect to find a winery. Tecumseh is better known for its architecture and antiques. Their website even makes light of their location.

Pentamere instead buys grapes from various vineyards throughout Michigan and produces their own wine. Now this isn’t a new idea or a radical concept, plenty of the huge wine labels do this. Pentamere isn’t huge. Instead they choose to make fine wine in a quaint little town off the beaten track and concentrate their energy on making wine versus growing grapes and making wine. Seems like more fun to me!

This wine is bears a resemblance to a Cabernet Sauvignon “lite”. It has a good body to it for a Rose’. Much more complex than most but not a full bodied red either. Full of fruit flavors and a slight hint of oak, this has soft tannins and a nice clean finish. This is a Rose` for the red wine drinker who doesn’t like Rose’. It’s also a good wine for those white wine drinkers who want to step up to reds.

Pentamere has many good and interesting wines. They’re worthy of a look. Like many Michigan wines, distribution outside of the state is scant. Pentamere does offer online sales however.

Wine Tasting
Gills Pier Ice box Apple

Winery: Gills Pier
Brand/Type: Ice box Apple
Country: USA
Region: Leelanau Peninsula
Alcohol content: 10%
Closure: Synthetic cork
Appearance: Pale straw
Aroma/Bouquet: Green apple

Gills Pier is a small winery with only four acres of vines. Given their small size, they concentrate on quality. Like many Northern Michigan wineries, they specialize in Whites. Northern Michigan has an ideal climate for whites and the Leelanau Peninsula boasts some of the very best white wines anywhere.

Northern Michigan is also renowned for cherries and with that most wineries offer some sort of cherry wine. Yes, Gills Pier does too but this review is about their Ice Box Apple.

Ice Box Apple is for certain a niche wine. Dont confuse this with Boones Farm, Annie Green Springs or some sort of bottom shelf wine-like substitute. This is a serious wine!

Semi-sweet with complexity rarely found, your palate is treated to a wonderful parade of flavors. The label boasts Crisp, Tart, Bright, Bold, Misty, Smart, Sassy, Earthy. While I cant say much for the Misty, Smart, Sassy portion of the label, the rest is indeed true.

It begins with a slightly sweet beginning rich with tangy sweet red apples and then melts into a tart green apple taste with a crisply light mineral finish.

This pairs very well with spicy foods like Indian, Thai or Chinese. Its probably not a wine that you drink alone but certainly with a meal or as an aperitif.

This is a hard to find yet very worth your effort. If you are ever in Michigan, by all means stop by their tasting room. Their website has online sales as well as list retailers throughout Michigan.

Wine Tasting
2005 Arcturos Black Star Farms Pinot Grigio

Winery: Arcturos Black Star Farms
Brand/Type: Pinot Grigio
Vintage: 2005
Country: USA
Region: Leelanau Peninsula
Alcohol content: 12%
Closure: Synthetic cork
Appearance: Pale honey
Aroma/Bouquet: Honeydew melon

Black Star Farms is one of Michigans finest wineries. Their wines are consistently excellent in both reds and whites. Black Star is an outstanding example of how Michigan has become one of the better wine producing regions of the world. Unfortunately their low volume prevents most wine lovers from experiencing what Michigan has to offer.

This wine has a slight herbal flavor along with a citrus note and slate finish. Tasting distinctly like a dry Pinot Gris but with a softer edge; this wine pairs well with delicate seafood. It wont overpower your meal like some harsh Pinots can. Buy it if you can find it!