Maker: Mari Vineyards, Traverse City, Michigan, USA.
Grape: Riesling (100%)
Place of origin: Mari estate, Old Mission Peninsula AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Style: Semi-dry Riesling. Light lees contact.
Purchased for $26 (winery)
Appearance: Pale gold.
Nose: Lychee, canned pears, gravel, pineapple sage, pinch of epazote.
Palate: Full-bodied and lush. Underripe bartlett pear, mandarin orange, and lemon sherbet but without the sweetness of all those things. A little tarragon too.
Finish: Acid first, then gravel.
Parting words: Scriptorium is a semi-dry Riesling, but it drinks like a lucious late harvest one. There’s a lot of fruit and big acid up front with some minerality and herbs bringing up the rear.
Riesling might not seem to fit the profile of Mari Vineyards at first glance. Mari is known for elegant red blends, especially ones featuring grapes not commonly grown in Michigan like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese (they can grow these grapes because of their nella serra system). Riesling very much fits the profile of Mari winemaker Sean O’Keefe, though. His family founded, and still owns, Chateau Grand Traverse just five miles up the peninsula from Mari. So when he was hired as winemaker at Mari, he knew he had to make Riesling too. It’s in his blood.
I’m very glad it is too. Scriptorium is a wonderful wine that is a bargain at $26. Drink it now or drink it later, but just drink it! 2016 Scriptorium Riesling is highly recommended.