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2014 Fennville Pinot Noir - La Esperanza Vineyard 750ml

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2013 Pinot Fennville Front_Web copy.png
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2014 Fennville Pinot Noir - La Esperanza Vineyard 750ml


The Wine:

The cool growing season made it necessary to hang the grapes late, harvesting towards the end of October.  The fruit was high in acidity but perfectly mature with good thick skins.  Following classical Burgundian technique, the grapes were cold-macerated for four days to extract color and aroma, and then were inoculated with 71B yeast to bring out fruity aromas while reducing the high malic acid for a more rounded wine.  The wine has a bright, clear scarlet-ruby color that is transparent and rich.   The nose displays sweet red currant, cranberry jelly, and hints of mint and brown spice.  The medium-full body is already silky, with lovely cranberry/raspberry and sweet red cherries on an elegant frame.   The lingering finish has just the right amount of tangy acidity and soft tannins to make this wine deliciously drinkable in the near term.

Harvest:  October 17-21, Sugar at harvest:  22.3 brix, pH 3.13, Total Acid: .90, Alcohol: 13%, Only 26 cases and 4 Magnums made.

Food Pairing:

This wine will pair well with leaner meats such as roast pork loin or turkey, cornish hens, grill-crisped duck or maple-mustard glazed chicken breast.  Mild or creamy cheeses such as Brie or Camembert are nearly perfect.  On the vegetarian side mushroom risotto, sauteed greens or roasted beets can bring out the earthy side of this wine

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The Vintage and the Vineyard:

This is the very first of our wines to be produced from our new neighbor’s vineyard in Allegan County, just north of South Haven in the Fennville AVA.

2014 was the harvest year following the infamous “Polar Vortex” winter which destroyed the entire crop of vitis vinifera grapes in Michigan.   However there were a few spots along the shore that seemed more sheltered by the “lake effect” than others.  One of these places is the shoreline stretching from South Haven north to Grand Haven.   The Arctic winds must cross Lake Michigan to hit this particular area and are warmed a bit more as a result.  Temperatures dipped down to -13 there where most of the shoreline experienced -17 F.  This difference allowed a tiny crop of Pinot Noir to survive.   La Esperanza vineyard was planted with 35 acres of vitis vinifera and is located near the town of Glenn, just south of Saugatuck.   It is about one mile from the lake and has clay loam soils.  It is slightly cooler than Berrien County during the growing season making it perfect for a style of Pinot Noir which I love—Volnay, in the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy.

Winemaker’s Comments:

As a winemaker, I am very excited by this wine!   It is altogether a different animal from what I make from Berrien County and marks another first for me—making Pinot Noir from two different Michigan appellations.   It appears that Pinot Noir is just as variable in Michigan as it is in Burgundy.   I expect future vintages to resemble Corton as the vines mature.



Please note: our wine shop has a 6 bottle minimum. You must be at least 21 years of age to order. We can currently ship to customers in Michigan, California, Florida and Illinois.