Maker: Peninsula Cellars, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Grapes: Merlot (75%), Cabernet Franc (25%).
Place of Origin: The Hog’s Back vineyard, Old Mission Peninsula AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Notes: 230 cases produced, 13 months in French oak.
Purchased for $30 at winery.
Appearance: Dark ruby.
Nose: Medium bodied and fruity. Cherry juice, fruit of the forest pie filling, mace, blueberry.
Palate: Cherry juice, ancho chili, toasted oak.
Finish: Juicy, then a nip of bitter oak.
Parting words: The Hog’s Back is the next entry in the 2012 project, the goal of which is the see how Michigan wines age. I last reviewed this wine in 2017, when it earned coveted “highly recommended” status. See that review for more information on The Hog’s Back vineyard, and Peninsula Cellars, one of my favorite Northern Michigan wineries.
Going by that review, this wine has changed in a few ways. First, it’s not nearly as acidic (in taste anyway) as it was back then. The cherries and berries are still there, but it’s like the tang has been almost completely removed. The baking spice is also still there, but there’s a bitter oak taste in the finish that was surprising.
This is still a very good wine at over ten years old, but it is probably starting its inevitable downward slide. If you still have a 2012 Hog’s Back, it’s time to drink up! Still, Peninsula Cellars 2012 Merlot/Cabernet Franc, 2012 is recommended.