Maker: Domaine Berrien, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA
Place of Origin: Domaine Berrien Estate, Lake Michigan Shore AVA, Michigan, USA
ABV: Unknown (2013 vintage was 13.2%)
Price: $12 (Website price for 2013 vintage)
Appearance: Medium gold with thick, widely spaced legs.
Nose: Canned pear, roasted almonds, lemon verbena, nutmeg.
Palate- Full bodied and luscious. A little oxidation evident. Golden Delicious apple, winter savory, ginger, angelica.
Finish: White pepper, clove. Fades but leaves a subtle sweetness lingering behind.
Parting words: Domaine Berrien is best known for their reds but they produce some very good whites, like this one too. Traminette is one of the few hybrids grown on their estates, but it’s a good choice given the warmer climate and lower latitude of Lake Michigan Shore AVA. It’s a fairly new hybrid created in 1965 as a cross of Gewurztraminer with a Seyve hybrid at the University of Illinois. It’s been named the signature grape of Indiana as well.
This is described as a “German style” Traminette, which is odd since the grape is not widely grown in Germany, to my knowledge anyway. I think what they mean is that they were aiming for a wine in the style of late harvest Riesling or Gewurz from Germany. It certainly has the mouthfeel and many of the aromas of an aged Spatlese or Auslese. I almost found myself wishing that I had let it sit for another year or two, but I’m also afraid that the slight mustiness on the nose might erupt into full-blown mildew. Maybe I was right to open it when I did, then.
Anyway, Domaine Berrien Sweet Traminette, 2012 is recommended. It may be hard to find at this point, but the 2013 is kicking around.