Northern Michigan Wine: Despite its intimidating polysyllabic moniker, umlaut included, our Northern Michigan cool climate manifestations of the Gewürztraminer grape are straight up sexy. Batting its oeno-eyelashes in the shadow of Riesling, the ruddy-skinned gewürz has an aromatic profile somewhere between Chanel and tropical fruit salad, tickling the olfactories with scents of rose petal, lychee and passion fruit. The intensity of the aromas translates to the palate where they are offset by startling spiciness, bright acid and a sometimes oily viscosity. While it favors cool climates, gewürztraminer has high potential sugar and a propensity for late-ripening, making it one of the last varietals to be harvested in October. Grown near Traverse City on both Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas, local gewürz runs the gamut from bone dry and cerebral to unctuously sweet and hedonistic with better vintages aging well for five years or more. Pair these peppery darlings with spicy Asian cuisine, smoked salmon or squash bisque.
2010 Brys Estate Gewürztraminer
Flirty floral aromatics with ripe tropical lychee and passion fruit, Brys brings pure love with this off-dry bottling from a banner vintage. Brys Estate, Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City.
2010 Bowers Harbor Gewürztraminer
Look for loads of candied citrus peel and rose petal as Bowers Harbor draws on the spicy soul of gewürz with each rich and pleasant mouthful. Bowers Harbor, Old Mission Penninsula, Traverse City.
2009 Forty-Five North Gewürztraminer
Forty-Five North swings for the tropical fruit fences, crafting a rounder more oily gewürz with loud and proud flavors of passion fruit, mango and papaya. Forty-Five North Vineyard & Winery, Leelanau Peninsula.
2009 Bel Lago Gewürztraminer
Rich and traditional, Bel Lago goes after the Alsatian aesthetic with a nuanced and full-bodied gewürztraminer showing lychee, rose and lots of spice. Bel Lago Vineyar & Winery, Leelanau Peninsula.