Chateau Grand Traverse Late Harvest Riesling, 2011

Maker: Chateau Grand Traverse, Traverse City, Michigan, USACGT Late Harvest Riesling 2011

Origin: Michigan, USA

ABV: 10%

Appearance: Medium gold.

Nose: Lychee, pineapple, tangerine, pear.

On the palate: Full-bodied and mouth-puckeringly tart when fresh from the bottle. Lemon, sour candy. As it has time to open up at room temperature it calms down quite a bit. The citrus is still there and still strong, but a pleasant herbal note asserts itself. Underneath all this is a beautiful firmness that presages good things to come.

Finish: Fairly sweet but still very tart. Fades fairly quickly and leaves a slightly sticky residue on the lips.

Parting words: I think this is another lesson wine for me. It was close to undrinkable on first pour, but I don’t think that’s due to any inherent flaw in the wine. I may be all wet here, but I think it needs much more time in the bottle to settle down. As it is, it’s unbalanced.

There is plenty of good stuff going on. The fruit in the nose is wonderful and the mouth feel is great, but this wine is not ready for primetime. This is the first time I have encountered a Michigan wine like this from a major quality producer (one of my favorites actually). Far from being disappointed I was encouraged that Michigan producers are making wines for which multi-year bottle aging isn’t just possible but recommended. That’s an encouraging sign.

Anyhow, rather than give a mild recommendation to this, I will give it an I for incomplete. Good thing I have another bottle cellared.

3 thoughts on “Chateau Grand Traverse Late Harvest Riesling, 2011

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