Dry Riesling is all the rage in Northern Michigan’s Traverse City, the beating heart of this burgeoning wine region. But Riesling earned its reputation as a noble grape in Germany where sweeter styles were the marker of quality. In the competition for dry white supremacy, Riesling has many competitors. But it is hands down the queen of sweeter styles which is arguably what Riesling does best.
This wine caught my attention as an example of a classic Mosel-style. A blend of grapes from four vineyards, it’s labeled “medium sweet” with 39 g/l of residual sugar. This is not a dessert wine and will pair well with most savory dishes.
The nose is a lovely blend of tangerine and lime, with a green apple background, capped by crushed rock minerality, very precise and focused. Creamy but lightweight in the mouth, the citrus-inflected sweetness as it opens gives way to scintillating acidity finishing dry and crisp. Exquisitely balanced, it’s a study of Riesling’s chameleon nature, gradually shedding its fruity greeting becoming delicate, slender, yet bracing as it lingers on the palate.
Stylish but full of whim and caprice like Portugal the Man Feel it Still
Story: Left Foot Charley begin when Brian Ulbrich and his wife were persuaded to rescue a vineyard of Riesling that had fallen into disrepair. In exchange he was allowed to harvest a small lot of Riesling from which to make his own wine. Over the years Brian has continued to support small vineyards throughout Northern Michigan sourcing his grapes from 18 vineyards owned by small farmers, making the wine in Traverse City’s only urban winery.
Price: $18 (purchase here)