Traverse Magazine Food & Drink Editor Tim Tebeau shares his go-to new wine releases on Old Mission Peninsula.
The 2018 harvest season’s warm, dry midsummer weather was hijacked by plunging temperatures, torrential rain and damaging hail in the months before harvest, leaving Old Mission winemakers with reduced crop yields and intense sorting work to salvage healthy, ripe clusters. Lucky for us, uncommonly ripe, luscious wines from ’16 and ’17 have had time to integrate in barrel and bottle and represent the bulk of this spring’s most exciting new releases.
Bonobo Winery | Pinot Blanc 2018
Whiffs of apple, lime zest and lemongrass dovetail with bright, racy acid on the palate.
Bower’s Harbor | Stone House Sparkling Riesling 2018
OMP’s highest vineyard parcel spins off electric fruit for this tank-fermented bubbly effervescing green pear and white pepper.
Brys Estate // Photo by Dan Oswalt
Brys Estate | Artisan Series Merlot 2016
Brys’ Artisan Series showcases the peninsula’s propensity to grow world-class merlot. Expect dark berry, plum and spice wrapped in rich, persistent texture.
2Lads | Fouch Vineyard Riesling 2018
One of the Lads’ most beloved riesling sites, this dry iteration of Fouch offers up limesicle, pineapple and a leesy anise edge.
Chateau Chantal | Pinot Noir ‘The Laughing Winemaker’ 2017
Though he passed away just before harvest, the legacy of OMP icon, Mark Johnson, lives in this 50-case micro-batch of pinot noir stacked with dark berry fruit laid over ripe tannins.
Chateau Grand Traverse | Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2017
A regimen of French and American oak teases creamy texture and notes of vanilla, melon and apple from Chateau Grand Traverse’s exceptionally ripe 2017 chardonnay.
Tabone Vineyards | Estate Riesling 2016
Whole cluster pressed and racked off the lees right quick, Tabone’s flagship bottling is dry and brightly appointed with white peach and citrus.
Black Star Farms – Old Mission | 2016 Leorie Vineyard Merlot Cabernet Franc
Old Mission’s Leorie Vineyard is located on the site of a former quarry and produces incredible earthy tones with wonderful minerality. Says the winemaker: “This vineyard continues to astound everyone who either works in it or with the fruit it provides.”
Hawthorne Vineyards | Reserve Chardonnay 2016
Eighteen months in barrel with monthly lees stirring imparts velvety texture and structure to the pineapple, almond and brioche soul of Hawthorne’s flagship chardonnay.
Mari Vineyards | Troglodyte Rosso 2017
A deftly balanced three-part harmony of pinot noir, teroldego and merlot, Troglodyte delivers dark fruit, savory depth and mouthwatering acids.