Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tasting Note: 2Lads Chardonnay

I received this bottle in my fall wine club box from 2Lads in the Traverse City area.  This is estate fruit, fermented half in stainless steel and half in French oak, and I’m enjoying this with shrimp and fettuccine tonight.

2Lads Chardonnay (2015) Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan – $20

Color: brassy/golden yellow

Aroma: lots of apple and lemon notes – Golden Delicious apples and sweet lemon curd, with an undercurrent of nutmeg and vanilla.

Taste: smooth and luscious texture, there is definitely some oak richness up front and in the mid-palate, but it’s not heavy or flabby; I’m comfortable with this amount of oak, but not any more. The lemon notes hit up front but are rapidly overcome by apple and pear; combined with the richness, it gives the impression of a really nice apple tart. The finish perks up with some more acidity for food-friendliness.

This is nice, close but not quite a recommended wine.  Don’t over-chill this!  It’s much better at 50F-55F.




Trip Report – Michigan’s Thumb

On Saturday, I was able to hit 4 wineries in the Thumb (the big peninsula on the east side of the state).  One in particular stood out – details below.  Several of them are close to Lexington, a small but picturesque resort town on Lake Huron about 80 miles north of Detroit.

3 North Vines is a real treasure – they’ve been in operation for less than a decade, but every single wine I tasted there was a winner.  And what’s especially dear to me is that they plant Pinotage, the South African grape that I’m a huge fan of.  There are fewer than 20 plantings of Pinotage in the US, and one of them is right in my back yard!

Unfortunately, they are just about sold out of their 2013 Pinotage, and the 2015 won’t be bottled until early spring.  You can bet I’ll be making a return trip as soon as the ’15 is available.  I’ll be posting detailed notes on the Pinotage shortly.

I also visited these wineries on the trip:

  • Green Barn Winery
  • Westview Orchards Winery
  • Blue Water Winery (tasting room in downtown Lexington)

I hope to make a couple of visits to the southwest Lake Michigan shore region between now and the spring, which will get me enough material for an e-book about everywhere in Michigan except Traverse City, the northeast, and the UP (I’ll need a full week to finish covering those).  Stay tuned!

Tasting Notes:

Picked this up on one of my Traverse City trips earlier in the year.  Their tasting room is a very nice modernistic building – slate, unfinished wood, chromed chairs – on a hilltop with a great vista of the vineyards.

Blustone Vineyards Riesling (2014) Leelanau Peninsula – $18

20161203_191725Color: bright and brassy.

Aroma: wow, big apple and pear aromas with white pepper and some of that Alsace oily character.

Taste: brisk and racy, dry, with loads of fruit.  Acidity hits right in the middle of the tongue and perks up the palate, with a good mouthfeel – full, but not cloying. The finish is perfectly balanced and clean, and plenty long.

Recommended!  Try this with charcuterie, grilled fish, or fresh goat cheese.  A great wine at any price, and $18 compares very well to quality dry Rieslings from France, Germany, or Washington.