Fleur Blanche

Maker: Lone Oak Vineyard, Grass Lake, Michigan, USA2016-03-16-12.32.43.jpg.jpeg

Place of origin: Michigan, USA

Grapes: Unknown (Riesling and something else?)

Vintage: NV

Style: Semi-sweet white blend

ABV: 12.8%

Purchased for $15 (Papa Joe’s, Birmingham)

Appearance: Dark gold, chablis-ish with some particulate matter.

Nose: Oxidized. Strong canned peaches, leather, cooked green cabbage, apple juice.

Palate: Peach syrup, cabbage, winter savory.

Finish: Sweet pear juice, white grape juice, lemon thyme.

Parting words: The last Michigan wine I reviewed was one that I though was over the hill. While it didn’t taste bad, it didn’t taste like it should. It had fallen apart. That was a varietal from a big (by Michigan standards), Up North winemaker.

This wine, Fleur Blanche, is a blend from a small, downstate winemaker. Lone Oak is a fairly old winemaker in Grass Lake, east of Jackson, Michigan founded by Kip and Denise Barber. It’s not technically a part of the Pioneer Wine Trail, but it’s in the same general region, north of the Irish Hills. This specific blend is no longer produced by Lone Oak and it hasn’t been for a few years. I stumbled across it at a grocery store yesterday. It’s oxidized, but it’s really not too bad. It’s retained a luscious texture and perfumed, fruity nose, even if a bit of cabbage has wafted in. It goes to show what time in a bottle can do even for table wines. It lacks the freshness and vitality it probably had at a younger age, but it’s still a fun drink, at least on an intellectual level. Just goes to show that an old cheap wine is not necessarily a terrible one. Fleur Blanche NV is mildly recommended.

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