Traverse City News and Events

Traverse Wine Coast Wines Get High Grades

Jan. 22, 2023

Numerous wines from Traverse Wine Coast wineries received plaudits from Wine & Spirits magazine, the national publication covering the global wine industry. The magazine’s blind-tasting panels sampled 112 wines from across the Grand Traverse region selected as their best efforts by the participating wineries. Critics scored the 47 top wines between 88 and 91 points, the highest scores for Michigan wines ever recorded by national and international wine critics.

The wines receiving the highest scores of 91 were:
·      Verterra 2021 Dry Riesling
·      Verterra 2018 Dry Gewurztraminer
·      Brengman Brothers 2018 Dagudscht Blanc de Blanc sparking
·      Mawby Michigan Brut Rose Grace
·      Ciccone 2020 Lee La Tage sparkling
·      Mari 2016 Old Mission Peninsula Ultima Thule Red blend (91)

Additional top scoring wines from the Wine & Spirits team were as follows:
·      90 | Mawby Michigan Brut Gold
·      90 | Mawby Michigan Brut Blanc
·      90 | Mawby Michigan X
·      90 | Mari 2016 Old Mission Peninsula Dry Riesling Jamieson Vineyard
·      90 | Good Harbor 2021 Leelanau Peninsula Pinot Grigio
·      90 | Brengman Brothers 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Cabernet Franc
·      90 | Black Star Farms 2017 Leelanau Peninsula Blanc de Blanc
·      90 | Black Star Farms 2021 Michagan Arcturos Semi-Dry Riesling
·      90 | Mari 2016 Old Mission Peninsula Proserpina
·      90 | Mari 2018 Old Mission Peninsula Totus Porcus
·      90 | Mari 2020 Old Mission Peninsula Bestiary Ramato Bella Vista Vineyard Pinot Grigio
·      90 | Brengman Brothers Leelanau Peninsula Kabinett Crain Hill Vineyard Riesling
·      90 | Verterra 2021 Leelanau Peninsula Pinot Blanc
·      90 | Laurentide 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Riesling
·      90 | Shady Lane 2017 Leelanau Peninsula Pinot Noir
·      90 | Shady Lane 2017 Leelanau Peninsula Dry
·      90 | Mawby Leelanau Peninsula Talis
·      89 | Mari 2020 Old Mission Peninsula Troglodyte Rosso
·      89 | Black Star Farms 2019 Leelanau Peninsula Capella Vineyards Gamay Noir
·      89 | Brengman Brothers 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Artist Series Barrel Aged Crain Hill Vineyard Chardonnay
·      89 | Black Star Farms 2020 Old Mission Peninsula Arcturos Montana Rusa Vineyard Pinot Blanc
·      89 | Good Harbor 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Pinot Noir-Zweigelt
·      89 | Bonobo 2019 Old Mission Peninsula Estate Oosterhouse Vineyard Pinot Noir
·      89 | Bonobo 2020 Old Mission Peninsula Pinot Noir
·      89 | Rove 2018 Leelanau Peninsula Pinot Noir
·      88 | Mawby 2014 Michigan Brut
·      88 | Good Harbor 2021 Leelanau Peninsula Pinot Blanc
·      88 | Mari 2019 Old Mission Peninsula Simplicissimus Sparkling Riesling
·      88 | Black Star Farms 2020 Michigan Arcturos Dry Riesling
·      88 | Good Harbor 2021 Leelanau Peninsula Pinot Noir Rose
·      88 | Good Harbor 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Zweigelt
·      88 | Bonobo 2019 Old Mission Peninsula Sparkling Rose
·      88 | Bonobo 2020 Old Mission Peninsula Blanc de Blanc
·      88 | Ciccone Vineyard 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Dolcetto
·      88 | Aurora Cellars 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Gruner Veltliner
·      88 | Aurora Cellars 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Dry Riesling
·      88 | Shady Lane 2017 Leelanau Peninsula Merlot
·      88 | Shady Lane 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Muscat
·      88 | Brys Estate 2020 Old Mission Peninsula Reserve Merlot
·      88 | Brys Estate 2021 Old Mission Peninsula Dry Reserve
·      88 | Leelanau Cellars 2020 Leelanau Peninsula Late Harvest Riesling

Paul Hamelin is owner of Verterra and on the board of the Traverse Wine Coast. He says the decision to submit several of the top wines from the region as a group rather than individually enabled the judges to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the region’s wines.

The accolades demonstrate the growth and increasing prominence of the region’s wine industry, according to Hamelin, and he anticipates that continuing. “Our best years are ahead of us,” he says. “We’re getting better on the reds. It’s the first time I’ve seen our reds getting 88s to 90s.”

Drew Perry, winemaker for several of the award-winning wineries, including Verterra Winery, Aurora Cellars and Good Harbor Vineyards, agrees with that assessment. “We’ve created a group here that seems to be getting not just statewide but national attention,” he says.

Patrick Comiskey, who wrote an article for Wine & Spirits on the region’s wines, praised their overall quality. “We’d received submissions from Michigan wineries before, but never as many at one time, resulting in a comprehensive snapshot of the Leelanau Peninsula,” he says in the article. “As its vinifera-winegrowing heritage enters its second generation, we found a region making impressive strides in quality, worldliness, and energy, a provincial locus with global aspirations, freshly interpreting the wine world’s latest innovations and trends.”
 

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