Peninsula Cellars2005 Gewurztraminer, Manigold Vineyard
(Old Mission Peninsula)
For the last several years, when wine consumers think Riesling and Gewurztraminer from Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula, they talk about Peninsula Cellars. And we're not talking only Michigan consumers. Peninsula Cellars Gewurztraminer has garnered GOLD from the San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition.
Owners Joan and Dave Kroupa have their winemaking operations, begun in 1994, on the grounds of their 250-acre orchards on Old Mission Peninsula. The winery is not open to the public, so the first Peninsula Cellars tasting room was located in a small space at the local post office. Now it's located in the renovated Maple Grove School, which taught local school-age kids between 1895 and 1955.
Winemaker Bryan Ulbrich crafts the Alsace-style Gewurztraminer by allowing crushed fruit to macerate 36 to 48 hours before pressing. Ulbrich believes this aids extraction of spicy phenols from grape skins. Settled juice is fermented to dryness and because of the nearly perfect 2005 vintage, yielded a remarkably fruity-spicy wine at 14.5% alcohol. Post fermentation, the wine rests on gross lies for a month before racking. Then it ages another six months before bottling.
Rose petal and lychee notes jump out of the glass. Gewurz spiciness kicks in on the palate and screams, "serve me with Pan Asian foods." Any coconut-based Thai curry is a food and wine match made in heaven. Grill a firm-fleshed fish and serve a side of grilled pineapple along with this wine and drive your taste buds crazy.
This wine won Best of Class Dry White earlier this month at the 29th annual Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition.
Reviewed August 14, 2006 by Eleanor & Ray Heald.
Eleanor & Ray Heald
The Healds have been writing about wine since 1978 and have focused on appellation significance in many of their world beat writings. They value recognizing site personality (terroir) within an appellation's wines. They praise balance and elegance in wines styled to pair well with food and eschew over-extraction, high alcohol and heavy-handed oak. “Delicious” is their favorite descriptor for a great, well-made wine.