In my view, Michigan's climate is a bit too cool and cloudy to produce high quality red wine. There are, however, many wineries working hard to produce a Cabernet or Merlot to match those in California. Having tried many of these wines (most of which carry substantial oak and a high price tag), my favorite is a less expensive choice: the Old Mission Gamay Noir of Chateau Grand Traverse.
For $13, I bought a bottle of the 2017 version of this Gamay Noir Limited, and we enjoyed it in our hotel room with carry out pizza. It was even better than I remembered, with bright aromas and flavors of red cherry, berries and spice. Medium bodied with a perfect balance of fruit and acidity and a luscious finish. I found it hard to quit sniffing and spitting.
When I visited the winery the next day, I just had to have another taste, and, because I enjoyed the 2017 Gamay so much, the man at the counter offered me a taste of an older vintage--either the 2005 or 2008. I chose the 2005 and was suitably impressed. Compared to the 2017, it was mellow and laid back but no less delicious. Lots of subtle undertones, what you might expect from a very good Pinot Noir of the same age. And a remarkable after taste. I am still holding to my opinion: this is the best Michigan red wine I have tasted.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Chateau Grand Traverse Old Mission Gamay Noir, 2017, 2005
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