Monday, August 17, 2009

Boskydel Leelanau Peninsula Vignoles, 2006

Vignoles (or Ravat 51) was a staple of Leelanau Peninsula wineries a few decades ago but has generally been replaced by more well known European grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. I still have fond memories of the dry Vignoles wines produced by Larry Mawby in 1982 and 1983, but all of Mawby's Vignoles grapes now go into a very good sparkling wine. Leelanau Cellars produces a dessert wine with this French hybrid grape, but to get a true dry Vignoles made in the traditional style, you have to get off the beaten path and visit Bernie Rink's Boskydel Vineyards (described here on July 28, 2009).

Bernie Rink's 2006 dry Vignoles is a medium gold color with good clarity and brilliance. Vignoles is said to be a clone of Chardonnay, and I smell some of the smoky, grainy notes of Burgundy satellite vineyards such as Rully and Montagny along with buttered apples and minerals. On the palate, it's the same with more depth and complexity than you'd expect from a wine of this price range. It has the full bodied feel of a Chardonnay with the brisk acidity of a Loire Valley Chenin Blanc--ripe and racy with a full range of flavors and a long finish. I love it and plan to go back for more on my next trip to Leelanau. At $64.48 a case (including tax!), this is one of the best values in white table wine to be found anywhere.

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