Maker: Gill’s Pier, Traverse City, Michigan USA (defunct)
Grapes: Riesling (at least 85%)
Place of origin: Leelanau Peninsula AVA, Leelanau County, Michigan, USA
Closure: Screw top.
Purchased for $10 in 2016 (Michigan by the Bottle, Royal Oak)
Appearance: Pale straw.
Nose: Pear, stone fruit, limestone dust.
Palate: Full-bodied. Green apple, pear, ripe peach, lemon thyme.
Finish: Drying. coats the back of the throat.
Parting words: Gill’s Pier was one of my favorite wineries for many years before they closed down and sold the land to an alpaca operation back in 2013. That was the last vintage of wines produced there, making 2012 the second to last. If I recall correctly, Left Foot Charley’s winemaker made all of Gill’s Pier’s wines, but all (except one) were released under the Gill’s Pier label.
This will probably come as no surprise, but I have reviewed this wine before. That was the 2011 vintage, also a very good one in Michigan. Michigan’s variable weather makes vintage even more important here than in regions like California with a more consistent climate.
When the property was sold, I bought up as many GP wines as I could, reserving some for this project. I’m very glad I did. They’ve held up amazingly well, better than some reds under cork of the same vintage. I’m not sure why that is, but to me it proves that well-made wines with screw caps can hold up just as well as ones with cork. It also shows that well-made Michigan Rieslings can age just as well as their German cousins.
This wine is long gone from shelves but was a steal at $10 even back in 2016. The 2012 (semi-dry) Gill’s Pier Riesling is recommended.