Grape: Pinot Noir
Region: Montaña Rusa & Capella, Old Mission AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Appearance: Pale, grayish pink.
Nose: Dry. Cedar, peach, thyme, heather.
On the palate: Dry and refreshing. Cedar chips, sweet woodruff, pluot plum, rosemary.
Finish: Clean and, surprise, dry. Slightly sweet and tangy, then fading quickly.
Parting words: Rosé still has a bad reputation among some casual wine drinkers. Sticky sweet white Zinfindel comes to mind. That attitude is starting to change, though, and “serious” rosé like this are leading the way.
What makes this wine serious? First of all, its dryness. This is not a pop wine, this is a mealtime wine. Grilled pork or turkey, not potato chips. Second, connected with its dryness, is its ABV. 12% is an alcohol level that demands attention. Third, and most important, is its character. It is full of varietal and terroir distinctiveness. The cedar/rosemary notes are, in my mind, the hallmarks of fine Northern Michigan red wine (and well-made pinks!). This wine is not the product of a single-vineyard but of two, Capella and Montaña Rusa, both on Old Mission Peninsula. The label touts this as a summertime red wine alternative. It is that, but it deserves to be considered on its own merits as a legitimate style of Pinot Noir.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but I won’t. Black Star Farms Arcturos Pinot Noir Rosé is highly recommended.