Tag Archives: Riesling

Tasting Note: Chateau Aeronautique Dry Riesling

Another mid-Michigan winery that’s in the process of rapidly expanding with new vines and event space.

Chateau Aeronautique Dry Riesling (2013) Michigan – $18

Color: pale yellow/brass.

Aroma: a spicy, oily nose; very reminiscent of a good Alsace Riesling.

Taste: dry, not very fruity.  Crisp up front, then mellows out towards the back of the mouth. Predominately golden apples, plus stone fruit and mineral notes.

This was overwhelmed by the tomatoes and basil that accompanied my chicken; I think I’d much rather have this bottle with some simple charcuterie.




Tasting Note: Cherry Creek “Lynn Alexander”

One of the wineries I visited last year out towards Jackson.  This is a 50/50 blend of Riesling and Gewurztraminer from a single vineyard property.

Cherry Creek “Lynn Alexander” Old Woodstock #2 (NV) Michigan

Color: light gold/brass.

Aroma: fruity and spicy – the Gewurztraminer dominates.

Taste: a pleasant tingle of gooseberry and kiwi, bone dry, with racy acidity.  There are also notes of lime zest and minerality; the Riesling is foremost.

Pleasant all-around, but you have to like your wines on the tart side to appreciate this.

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.

Winetasting Report: The Wine Gallery, Dayton

I braved the sub-zero temperatures to meet up with Dan, an old distributor colleague, for some glasses last night at The Wine Gallery in downtown Dayton. I really like how their space on Monument Avenue is laid out.

We started with one of the Thanisch Kabinett Rieslings from 2010 for $22 – unfortunately, that was the last bottle, and by the time we thought of completing our tasting notes, it had gone into the recycling and I didn’t have a chance to get all the vineyard details noted down. It had fine, crisp, juicy acidity, and barely needed to be cooled down before it was really drinking well. A little bit of oily nose, then good mouthfulls of minerality, lime zest, and ripe apple. An excellent bottle. Thanisch almost always does a great job.

I ordered a burger, and we then moved on to the Chateau Segries (2005) Lirac for $19. Lirac is one of the recognized villages in the Cotes du Rhone region, and it’s so well-regarded that wines from there are allowed to just use the village name on the label. Depending on the vintage characteristics, 8 years can be pushing the envelope for a Lirac, and we were a little concerned when we opened the bottle.

The color was just starting to go bricky, and there was noticeable sediment both adhering to the bottle and suspended in the wine. The nose was also hot, and we were afraid it had started to oxidize.  After 10 minutes in the glass, however, it started to open up nicely. Not the best Rhone I’ve ever had, but quite pleasant overall, with stewed prunes, warm herb and spice notes, and good acidity throughout. If you have any 2005s from that part of the Rhone, drink them up now!


Drinking Tonight: Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Riesling

A simple off-dry Riesling to go with homemade chicken pot pie. The ‘petit reserve’ in the name means that this is a small production run, so availability is limited.

Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Riesling (2012) Monterey County, California – $6

Photo0302Color: very pale gold with a tiny hint of green.

Aroma: zesty – honeysuckle, green apple, and jasmine. As it warms up, some honeyed stone fruit aromas come out as well – apricot and white peach.

Taste: a good balance of acidity, fruit, and just a little sweetness (about 2 out of 10 on the sugar scale). More apple and floral notes on the tongue, with a little of that minerality that Riesling is known for. Not a lot of citrus, so you can drink this without food.

This is an excellent deal. It puts a lot of the $10 Rieslings from Washington to shame. Absolutely a recommended wine – get some while you can.

Winetasting Report: Trader Joe’s

Had to be down in Kettering today, so I timed my errands to do some shopping and taste wine. Bill had some interesting stuff on the table – the first you can find anywhere, the other three are Trader Joe’s exclusives.

Marques de Caceres Rosé (2012) Rioja, Spain – $10

Not a usual time of the year for a rosé tasting, but you should consider serving this with your turkey! It has a solid pink color, is fresh, and has loads of fruit. Not too acidic, either. This is delicious, and a good price for rosé – recommended.

Edition Maximillien Spatlese Riesling (2010) Rheingau, Germany – $11.50

Rheingau is one of the smaller wine regions in Germany – always a good thing to look for, since so many Germany wines are blended from dozens of individual plots. This has big sweet apple tastes – both Golden Delicious and Granny Smith – along with a nice kick of lime zest to keep it balanced. Nice and lively – very good quality. Not my usual style, but something to have with camembert and apple slices while you sit around the fire. Also recommended.

Edition Maximillien Pinot Noir (2010) Rheingau, Germany – $10.50

Very light in color and taste both. It’s a ripe, feminine style with just berry fruit and no earthiness at all. Unfortunately, it’s just too light for most people’s palates. I wouldn’t buy this unless you were a real aficionado of Germany wines, since it’s one of the few reds you’ll see from there on the US market.

Louise d’Estree Brut (NV) France – $10

This is a basic, non-vintage, no-appellation bubbly from France – but it’s made in the traditional manner with fermentation in the bottle. It’s light and clean – not bad for such an inexpensive bottle – but I prefer the Spanish Cavas in the same price range.

Winetasting Report: Trader Joe’s

Visited Trader Joe’s in Kettering, OH for groceries today, and hit the wine tasting – my old buddy Bruce was manning the table. They were featuring 4 wines – I had tasted the Found Object Malbec at home a few weeks ago, so I skipped it.

Trellis Chardonnay (2009) Sonoma County, California – $7.50. I’m somewhat familiar with this from my previous tenure working at TJ’s; Trellis was a good, reliable brand a few steps up from Charles Shaw.  This is a dark straw-yellow color with a very fruit-forward nose. It had a good, full body with rich, dense fruit, and just a little oak and vanilla on the finish.

Trader Joe’s Lot 74 Malbec (2011) Paso Robles, California – $10. These are usually small-botch bottling that won’t be sold in every market. Very dark purple and spicy on the nose. Big, big, big fruit up front, followed by black pepper and white pepper, but not too much tannin. Fruit notes include blackberry, cassis, and blueberry. This is very appealing if you like loads of ripe fruit, but I don’t think it will stand up to really rich steaks.

Edition Maximilien Spatlese Riesling (2010) Rheingau, Germany – $11.50. Rheingau makes up only 3% of Germany’s wine-growing territory, but it’s the home of many of their best and most innovative winemakers. This bottle is proof that Riesling can be both sweet and complicated at the same time. This has sweet apple and applesauce aromas and tastes. It’s extremely well-integrated, with enough acidity throughout, and the sugar is always there but never obtrusive. Excellent quality – try this with pork and sauerkraut or with Cajun blackened seafood.

A nice tasting overall. The Trellis and Lot 74 aren’t my favorite style of their respective grapes, but they are well-made and certainly worth the money. The Riesling will be an eye-opener for your friends who just want to drink simple, bland, sweet wines.