Gill’s Pier Riesling

Maker: Gill’s Pier, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Gill's Pier 2011 Riesling

Place of origin: Leelenau AVA, Michigan, USA

Style: Semi-dry

Vintage: 2011

ABV: 10%

Online from winery: $17

Appearance: Pale straw.

Nose: Ripe pear, Golden Delicious apples, gravel, a pinch of thyme.

On the palate: Full bodied and medium dry. Bosc pear, more Golden Delicious, white grape juice, flint.

Finish: Slightly tart and dry. Get more tart as it fades, but the faint mineral background remains.

Parting words: The first product I reviewed from Gill’s Pier was their tasty cherry wine. This is the first grape wine of theirs I’ve tried. When introducing myself to a Michigan winemaker, I always go for a Riesling first. I love Riesling and, like it or not, it’s Michigan’s unofficial signature grape and it has been for a while. Gill’s Pier passed the Riesling test with flying colors.

When I read “semi-dry” on a wine bottle, I usually expect something sweet. For once a semi-dry actually tastes semi-dry to me. It has a robust mouth feel and orchard fruit notes typical of sweeter Rieslings but without their sappiness and weight and with the minerality of better drys. It’s good with food, but is best on its own. If any aspect of this wine could stand improvement, it’s the nose. I would have preferred more intensity. That said, this is a good wine and worth the price I paid. 2011 Gill’s Pier Riesling is recommended.