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bel lagoThis is another winner from  Northern Michigan. Bel Lago was founded in 1987 so they were present near the beginning of Michigan’s emergence as a quality wine region. They grow over 100 varieties of cool-climate grapes including rare varieties such as Auxerrois and Siegerrebe. When I tasted there recently, this Pinot Noir stood out as remarkably expressive.

Bing Cherry and pomegranate are prominent but they show a distinct candied dimension. Dusky cinnamon helps to darken the fruit and leaven the candy; dried leaves, floral notes, and a bit of cola round out this vibrant yet cute and pretty nose.

A silken, glycerin-like texture and thoroughly elegant evolution add to the charm. The midpalate is long and languorous, the tannins deliciously soft, no fireworks here, until a prickly, peppery sensation and a hint of orange zest emerge at terminus.

The wine is calm and peaceful, the aromas spicy enough to seem exotic but rendered thoroughly innocent by the candied fruit. It has the gentle sweetness of Air’s All I Need.

Score: 90

Price: $25

Alc: 13.3%