Maker: Shady Lane Cellars, Suttons Bay, Michigan, USA
Grape: Riesling (100%)
Style: Medium dry sparkling white wine (secondary fermentation was using the cuve close, aka “tank” method)
Place of origin: Shady Lane estate (Blocks M, I & N), Leelanau Peninsula AVA, Michigan, USA
Price: $25 (Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room, Auburn Hills)
For more information, scroll down to this wine’s entry here on Shady Lane’s website.
Appearance: Very pale straw with steady, delicate bubbles.
Nose: Whiff of yeast then classic Riesling profile. Big peach, plum, jackfruit, fresh squeezed blood orange juice.
Palate: Light bodied and medium sweet with moderate acidity. Mineral water, grapefruit, lemon peel, vanilla bean.
Finish: Clean & crisp. Minerals, acid.
Parting words: Shady Lane, one of Leelanau’s best wineries, is named after the founder’s favorite Pavement song (ok, probably not but I like to pretend that it is). Almost all their wines are made from estate grown grapes. That sets them apart from most of their peers. It also makes their wines harder to find and a little more expensive, but it’s worth it.
Sparkling Riesling is relatively rare in the US or anywhere else for that matter. The last one I had was this one but it doesn’t really count since it was the result of an accident. I enjoyed Shady Lane’s intentional version quite a bit, as did a friend I served some to. My wife didn’t like it as much. She found it to be lacking in flavor and aroma. I will say that it is a little bland right out of the refrigerator. Letting the glass or bottle warm for a couple minutes before drinking brings out all the deliciousness described above. It is balanced enough that it pairs very well with spicy Thai or Middle Eastern food.
Sparkling Riesling is rare and a wine this well made at $25 is even more rare. It’s like that easy going but never boring friend with a bubbly but never unbalanced personality you always want to have around at a party (once she comes out of the cold, anyway). Shady Lane Sparkling Riesling is recommended.