Saturday, November 10, 2012

Boskydel Leelanau Peninsula Blanc, 2008

You won't find this wine in many stores, and that's a shame. If you're anywhere near the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan, your best bet is to go directly to the source--the Boskydel Winery tasting room on Otto Road near Lake Leelanau. If you're lucky, you'll also get a chance to chat with Bernie Rink, 85, who started Boskydel when everyone else was thinking of the Leelanau Peninsula as a place for growing cherries and peaches rather than wine grapes. Today, Leelanau is recognized as a premium, cool-climate vineyard area, and Boskydel remains one of my two or three favorite wineries.

I ordinarily go to Boskydel for the dry Vignoles, but the 2008 vintage sold out before I got there. Bernie sold me on the Soleil Blanc, and I'm glad he did. It tasted a bit muted and anonymous when I tried it in Bernie's rustic shed/tasting room. Two years later, it has started strutting its stuff. Bright and lively color and aromas. Exciting aromas of green apples, citrus, cilantro. Medium body with clean, well defined flavors. A perfect match for green pork stew (made with tomatillos, poblano peppers and cilantro). No one would mistake this wine for a Chardonnay nor even a Sauvignon Blanc. It's a refreshing alternative to these old standards.

At the tasting room, Soleil Blanc sells for a little more than $9 a bottle. But don't buy just a bottle; buy a case and get a 40% (!!!!) discount. And don't worry about having time to drink it before it turns to vinegar. Soleil Blanc will last (and probably get better) for at least a decade after the vintage date. That's the way wine--white or red--should be made, and that's the way it's done at Boskydel.

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