Monday, August 15, 2016

Tasting at Chateau Grand Traverse, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan

I always look forward to tasting at Chateau Grand Traverse, the oldest--and, for my taste, the best--winery on the Old Mission Peninsula of Michigan. My three favorites here are the Lot 49 Riesling, the Whole Cluster Riesling and the Ship of Fools (a blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir). But none were available to taste or buy at this time.

The Lot 49 won high praise from wine writer Jancis Robinson a few years ago, so I suspect she buys all of this wine she can get her hands on. Too bad for me. The Whole Cluster Riesling and the Ship of Fools are apparently popular as well. I will have to come earlier next year.

I was happy, though, to taste the 2014 Dry Riesling, a wine that's readily available in Michigan for $10 to $12 a bottle. A pretty traditional Alsace style wine. Apple, pear, petrol with a bit of honey.
The 2014 Late Harvest Riesling is much sweeter, of course, but with great balancing acidity. The staff note citrus, white peach, melon and orange blossom honey. And that sounds about right to me. I could happily drink this wine several times a week.

Recently, CGT has also been having success with red wines. The 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve has attractive strawberry/rhubarb aromas and flavors, but it's a bit one-dimensional. Would be better with some of the peppery/spicy qualities of Pinots from Russian River or Anderson Valley. The 2012 Gamay Noir Reserve, though, is a special wine. The staff call it "our answer to Cru Beaujolais," but I find some of the spiciness and structure I expect from a good Pinot. Tart cherry and black pepper. Mmmm.

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