Archive for September, 2013

Four Leelanau Whites and a Rosé

As previously reported, Shannon aka Shawn Walters sent me home from my June road trip to Traverse City and Leland, Michigan, with a selection of wines that he’d made for various clients. Besides selections from Bowers Harbor and Chateau Fontaine, he also gifted me with selections from Boathouse Vineyards, Blustone Vineyards and Verterra Winery. We’re very familiar with Verterra, of course, but not so much with Boathouse and Blustone. The intrepid reader can follow the links to their respective websites and pretty much learn about as much as we know about them, but I promise, my next trip up to Leelanau, I will be knocking on their doors to get a better taste and a bigger picture of what these two promising producers are up to. (Click images to enlarge.)

All five of the wines tasted here give yet further testimony to the great strides that have been made in the Leelanau Peninsula with regard to wine growing and winemaking in the past several years, and Shannon (it’s hard not to call him Shawn, but Shannon is his given name, and he goes by that now) is at the very forefront of this movement. Here are my impressions of each.
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Chateau de la Font du Loup Redux

Anne Charlotte Melia-Bachas (shown on the right with this taster; click on images to enlarge) came to town last week to promote the wines of her estate in Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateau de la Font du Loup. We first met Anne Charlotte in 2010, at a wine luncheon presented by Font du Loup’s regional distributor and importer, AHD Vintners. We were charmed by both her and the wines, and I took great delight in renewing acquaintances with her and meeting her husband, Font du Loup co-owner and winemaker Laurent Bachas.

So, when AHD Sales Rep Extraordinaire Michelle DeHayes invited Kim and me to join her and Anne Charlotte for dinner, we didn’t hesitate to accept. We convened at Cuisine, in Detroit’s New Center area. The food was quite good, and we were were pleased that Chef Paul Grosz joined us to taste through the wines; he seemed just as impressed with them as we were. Anne Charlotte herself is unabashed about liking her wines, and why not? I’ve never tasted anything from this estate that wasn’t excellent. Here’s what we tasted.
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As the Crozes Flies

There was a time, not so many years ago, that red wines from Crozes-Hermitage were pretty common in our repertoire of drinking selections here at Gang Central. These wines are usually 100% Syrah (though it is legal to include small quantities of white Roussanne or Marsanne grapes), and tend to be more reasonably priced than their prestigious northern Rhône counterparts from Hermitage, Cote-Rotie and even Cornas. Back then, our go-to choice was the Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert, and when we were slumming, Jaboulet ‘s Les Jalets was a pretty good alternative. When we wanted to treat ourselves, we’d opt for one of Alain Graillot’s beauties.
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