Maker: Chateau de Leelanau, Sutton’s Bay, Michigan, USA
Place of origin: Leelanau Penninsula AVA, Michigan, USA
Production: 210 cases
Price: $24 (Michigan by the Bottle Tasting room Sipper Club selection)
Appearance: Dark plum
Nose: Wild blackberries, toasted oak.
Palate: Raspberry juice, black cherry, crimini mushrooms, oak, smoke.
Finish: Blackberry jam, oak.
Parting words: I wrote off Chateau de Leelanau for dead years ago after visiting the place and being unimpressed with everything, except the cherry wine which rose to the level of mediocre. I reviewed the wine back then, and got an annoyed comment from “Matt” who rattled off a long list of awards and an “interesting reaction” comment from MBTB’s Courtney Casey. I stand by that review, but after hearing that they’ve changed ownership since then I decided to give them another chance at a review.
Holy cats, am I glad I did. This is a fantastic wine, easily one of the top five Michigan Cab Francs I’ve had, maybe the best one. It’s earthy, fruity, oaky, perfectly balanced and delicious. Only two things about this wine disappointed me. First, that I only had one bottle. Second, that I didn’t wait for another year or two to open it. It’s only gonna get better kids. CDL’s 2012 Cab Franc is an example of the best that vintage has to offer. This is one to seek out. Highly recommended.