Maker: Good Harbor Vineyards, Lake Leelanau, Michigan, USA
Grape: 100% Marechal Foch
Place of origin: Good Harbor estate, Leelanau Peninsula AVA, Michigan, USA
Purchased for $16 (winery)
Appearance: Very dark for a rosé. More light ruby Burgundy than pale Provançal pink.
Nose: Grape jelly, crushed mulberry.
Palate: Cherry soda, allspice.
Finish: Sweet and fruity.
Parting words: This is a simple but very tasty wine. It’s very fruity but not overly sweet. Goes down easy with food or on its own. I haven’t had a lot of Foch, but I think maybe the world needs to see more of it, at least in pink.
2016 Good Harbor Rosé is recommended.
Maker: Chateau de Leelanau, Suttons Bay, Michigan, USA
Grape: Pinot Noir (at least 85%)
Place of origin: Chateau de Leelanau estate, Leelanau Peninsula AVA, Michigan, USA
Purchased for $26
Appearance: Dark ruby.
Nose: Watermelon, cranberry juice cocktail, cedar.
Palate: Medium-bodied and semi-dry. Cranberry/raspberry cocktail, cherry juice, toasted oak.
Finish: Dry, oaky, slightly tart.
Parting words: In Michigan, 2016 is beginning to be spoken of in the same breath as 2012 as one of Michigan’s greatest vintages. Wines like this juicy beauty are why. It’s refreshing but never boring. It’s food friendly but also great for porch sipping. It’s all you want in a summer rosé. It’s very good now, but will surely improve or at least maintain its quality with another year or so in the bottle. 2016 Chateau de Leelanau Rosé of Pinot Noir is recommended.
Maker: Sandhill Crane, Jackson, Michigan, USA (Moffatt family)
Grape: Cabernet Franc
Region: Michigan, USA
Online price: $17
Appearance: Pale pink with thick legs.
Nose: Subtle. A whiff of smoke, plum, black cherry, hint of cedar.
On the palate: Light bodied and delicately sweet. White mulberry, white pepper, slightly underripe blueberry.
Finish: Plum, ripe fig, then a delicate oaky flavor as it fades.
Parting words: Sassy Rosé is dedicated to the memory of the Moffats’ beloved Airedale Rosie (2003-2011), who I actually met on a couple occasions while stopping by the tasting room in Jackson. She was a friendly dog, but being an Airedale she could be, well, sassy.
I’m a big fan of dry rosés, especially those from the South of France, so I came into this wine with high hopes. I have had it before at the winery and it tasted good, but wines tend to taste better when sampled at the winery with friends. I was eager to get it home and write up a review.
When I first opened it, I was disappointed. It was much sweeter than I remembered and lacking in sass. After spending eighteen or so hours in the refrigerator, it has improved quite a bit. The profile is much closer to dry French rosés and much more enjoyable now. It gets a bit overwhelmed by spicy food, but does well with a light lunch of cheese and crackers or with holiday turkey. The price is on the high side but it’s fair for what it is and may be a little cheaper at the tasting room if I recall correctly. Sassy Rosé is recommended.
Maker: 2 Lads, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Place of origin: Old Mission AVA, Traverse City, Michigan, USA
Vintage: 2011 (different vintage pictured)
Nose: Dry, grapey, bit of toasted oak, bit of tobacco.
On the palate: Dry with some underlying sweetness, ripe plum, red raspberry jam, wild blackberry, oak.
Finish: Dry with lots of wood, but not unpleasant. Paired with food, the finish is more balanced.
Parting words: This is another “serious” rosé from a serious (but not stuffy) winery on Old Mission. 2 Lads is a relative newcomer, but they have quickly become one of the best. It’s great with food and on its own with plenty of varietal and terroir character. The 2011 vintage was very good all through Michigan. If this is any indication of what the rest of that vintage has in store, I am very excited. 2 Lads Rosé is recommended.