Wine Tasting and Reviews of White 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
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
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
Ca’ De’ Medici White Lambrusco

Winery: Ca’ De’ Medici
Brand/Type: White Lambrusco
Vintage: n/a
Country: Italy
Region: Reggio Emilia
Alcohol content: 7%
Closure: Natural cork
Appearance: Very pale straw
Aroma/Bouquet: Musty grapes and strawberries.

Lambrusco. The name alone for many over the age of 40, conjures up memories of discos full of sweat and polyester – Wide lapel wearing lounge lizards hitting on free love disco dollies. Lambrusco was indeed a popular drink of that era. A sweet red wine that seemed to give the drinker a (false) sense of sophistication and still get their date drunk. Hindsight is 20-20 and Lambrusco has not been seen in a good light for many years.

So it was with special intrigue that this writer felt awkwardly embarrassed to purchase this wine. Luckily the clerk was far too young to make any association with my purchase.

Our review is of Ca’ De’ Medici’s White Lambrusco. A semi-sweet sparkling white Lambrusco. Yes, that is correct. A sparkling, white, Lambrusco. This is an uncommon find.

Ca’ De’ Medici is a small producer especially when compared to better known Riunite. Ca’ De’ Medici wines are crafted, not mass produced. Their production is 3 million liters compared to 132 million. Our bottle was proof of that. The wine tasted of sweet ripe berries but not overwhelmingly sweet as you might expect. Instead it showed good structure and a tart finish. Of course the carbonation takes the sweet edge off.

Perfect for desert or the patio; celebrate something special! Go ahead and drink this without shame, the past is forgotten.

Wine Tasting
Peter Mertes Spatlese Riesling

Winery: Peter Mertes
Brand/Type: Spatlese Riesling
Vintage: N/A
Country: Germany
Region: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Alcohol content: 9%
Closure: Synthetic
Appearance: Pale straw
Aroma/Bouquet: Pears, peaches, apricot

This being a non-vintage bottling with the label boasting the distinction of being privatekellerei or private cellar seemed a bit odd. This combined with a very low price; we didnt hold many positive expectations. Sometimes Germany floods the market with cheap, poor quality Rieslings that give both the grape and Germany a black eye with many wine drinkers. This however is not one of those

Happily this wine was quite a pleasant surprise; expecting a cheap, syrupy sweet wine with little if any character, instead we found it to be a nicely complex, off dry, that paired well with seafood, salads, and even Thai! It also lends itself to drinking it alone without a meal just as well.

Peter Mertes has produced a very good, low priced wine. Despite being a later harvest, this Spatlese isnt overly sweet like many Spatleses tend to be. It has a perfectly punctuated sweet note, but only a very short one on the initial taste. After that first impression you discover the pear flavors that dissolve into a light lemon finish that was bright and clean. The acidity and mineral is nearly perfect in balance.

We suspect that Peter Mertes doesnt indicate a vintage and uses the private cellar distinction to represent a wine made from grapes sourced throughout the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region. Its certainly understated and the wine is truly great. Highly recommended.

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!