Tribute: Montague Estate Vineyard

Maker: Black Star Farms, Traverse City/Sutton’s Bay, Michigan, USABSF Tribute Reis 2011

Grape: Reisling

Place of Origin: Montague Estate vineyard, Old Mission Peninsula AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA

Vintage: 2011

ABV: 11%

Price: $18 (website)

Appearance: Pale straw with some necklacing and a lot of crystals.

Nose: Peach, pear, dry cider, flint, lemon thyme.

Palate: Medium bodied and balanced. Underripe peach, golden apple, winter savory, limestone.

Finish: Dry and flinty. Fairly brief and slightly bitter but not unpleasant.

Parting words: Tribute is a tribute to the Montague Estate Vineyard on Old Mission Peninsula. The vineyard faces the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay, facing Leelanau Peninsula. Owners Jay and Marie Hooper grow Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Blanc, Regent and Dornfelder at the site in addition to Riesling. For more information on the vineyard and the wine, click here.

It’s a fitting tribute. I have had many fine dry Rieslings from OMP (and a few that were not so fine) but this is one of the best. It’s everything a dry Riesling should be. It’s aromatic, elegant, food friendly and refreshing. It has a touch of acid

I hesitate to point out its food-friendliness because I don’t want this wine to get tagged as a table wine in the minds of my gentle readers. We had it with chicken liver tacos and it was amazing but it’s just as good or even better on a sunny, temperate afternoon while listening to a recording of the music of Hildegard of Bingen on the CD player (seemed appropriate for sipping a Reisling).

In sum, this is a brilliant wine produced by a brilliant winery, produced from a brilliant grape from a brilliant vineyard in a brilliant vintage. Brilliant. Tribute: Montague Estate Vineyard 2011 Dry Riesling is highly recommended.