I was taken aback when the server told me that Brys Estates is focused on making high quality red wines. I later read that the owner has chosen red wine as a preferred marketing niche. I have always believed that Michigan, and particularly northern Michigan, is best suited for white wines. And the tasting today did not budge me from that notion.
2012 Pinot Blanc ($24): Ripe pear and apple with a hint of citrus on the finish. This is an enjoyable Pinot Blanc, richer and maybe a bit sweeter than the Pinot Blancs at Peninsula Cellars and Chateau Chantal.
2012 Pinot Grigio ($22): Another Italian-style Pinot Grigio, although a bit pricier than most. Lemon, lime, green herbs. Slightly tonic. Very refreshing for summer drinking.
2011 Pinot Noir ($30): Dark cherry, pepper and smokey oak. An attractive Pinot but a bit sweetish on the finish for my taste.
2011 Cabernet Franc/Merlot ($22): On my first sniff, I got a hint of green bell pepper leaning toward Jalapeno. I'm a bit sensitive to those traits but know many enthusiasts who find them quite attractive. Otherwise, the wine has good fruit-forward smells and flavors. And a good bit of oak.
2011 Merlot ($40): I tend to attribute green bell pepper notes to Merlot, not my favorite wine grape. Unlike the wine above, however, this wine has clear focus on the red rather than green qualities of the grape. Rich dark cherry smells and flavors. Full bodied and, again, a good bit of oak.