Maker: J. Trees, Petersburg, Michigan, USA (tasting room in Tecumseh opening March 2014)
Place of origin: Michigan (Pioneer Wine Trail), USA
Price: $15 (website)
Appearance: Pale straw, scant legs.
Nose: Bartlett pear, dried flowers, orange blossom honey.
On the palate: Medium bodied and slightly tart. Tangerine, wildflower honey, lemon thyme, minerals.
Finish: Surprisingly dry. A touch of grapefruit and thyme. Fades slowly.
Parting words: I am a lover of all Michigan wine, but I don’t love every Michigan wine. The wines Michigan’s AVAs tend to be of consistently higher quality than those that just read “Michigan” on the label. The wineries of the Pioneer Wine Trail in Michigan are spread over many miles in Southeast and South Michigan and their vineyards occupy a wide variety of sites. What they have in common is they are more “continental” in climate with hotter summers and colder, drier winters than points west and north. All that said, any wine that simply calls itself “Michigan” can contain grapes grown anywhere in the state.
J. Trees is a fairly new winery, but they are producing like old pros. Their 2011 Dry Riesling wine is well executed and delicious from start to finish. It’s dry enough to pair well with food traditionally matched with white wines (we had ours with cheese tortellini in chicken stock) but complex enough for Saturday afternoon sipping with a good book.
The price is very fair for a wine of this quality and versatility. J. Trees Dry Riesling is recommended.