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Reviews for 2023

April 2023 - Michigan Governor’s Cup Competition

April 2023 - Michigan Governor’s Cup Competition
This month's Wine feature is Michigan Governor’s Cup Wines

Michigan Governor’s Cup Competition Reviews

Braganini 2020 Reserve Cabernet Franc
96 points
$26
Outside of Chinon, one of the best examples of Cab Franc encountered in quite some time.
Awards: '2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Best Vinifera Red Wine' 2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Governor's Case Best Red 2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Governor's Cup Winner
Chateau Fontaine 2021 Woodland White Auxerrois
94 points
$16
Best Buy
A delightfully tasty and tropical alternative to Riesling and Gewurztraminer that will excel with Asian fare.
Awards: 2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Governor's Case Best White
94 points $16 Best Buy
End Of The Road Winery NV Mount Me Cherry Wine Michigan
94 points
$16
Best Buy
Tremendous purity and depth make this a superb choice for a dessert pairing, or dessert itself.
Awards: '2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Best Fruit Wine'
94 points $16 Best Buy
Braganini 2020 GDN Estate Reserve Petite Pearl
94 points
$21
A distinctive sweet red wine that has some fun twists and turns; serve with desserts and cheeses.
Awards: '2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Best Hybrid Red Wine' 2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Governor's Case Best Red
St. Julian NV Blueberry Wine Lake Michigan Shore
93 points
$11
Best Buy
A delightfully spicy blueberry treat for desserts or clever cocktails.
93 points $11 Best Buy
St. Julian NV Sweet Nancie Sparkling Peach Wine Lake Michigan Shore
93 points
$12
Best Buy
A rich, pure and delicious peach flavored sparkler that will be great with desserts and cheeses.
Awards: '2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Best Specialty Wine'
93 points $12 Best Buy
St. Julian NV Solera Cream Sherry Lake Michigan Shore
93 points
$13
Best Buy
Concentrated fruit backed with a tart acidity, this would pair well with blue cheese and candied nuts.
Awards: '2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Best Fortified Wine'
93 points $13 Best Buy
Chateau Chantal NV Bubbly Cherry Michigan
93 points
$18
Best Buy
A rich, spicy, sweet, and satisfying cherry sparkling dessert wine that will be a delicious 'dessert in a glass' or vanilla ice cream pairing.
93 points $18 Best Buy
Braganini 2022 Mountain Road Estate Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
93 points
$21
Textbook Sauvignon Blanc varietal character and phenolically fully ripened; the very definition of a gold medal.
Braganini 2021 Reserve Gruner Veltliner
93 points
$21
A well balanced Gruner with incredibly pleasing flavors and style.
Soul Squeeze Cellars 2017 Bluff View Vineyards Rapt Dry Riesling
93 points
$23
A solid example of Riesling for everyday food pairings. a Michigan Kabinett if you will.
Chateau Fontaine 2021 Wall Of Goats Sauvignon Blanc
93 points
$28
Lean and green with racy acidity but comes through with tropical fruit and varietal characteristics that will pair very well with Southeast Asian cuisine.
Awards: 2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Governor's Case Best White
Tabone Vineyards 2020 Bubbly Riesling
93 points
$30
Smells and tastes like Riesling; the bubbles are fun and lively, so an all around winner.
Chateau Chantal 2020 Estate Ice Wine Old Mission Peninsula
93 points
$90
Grab the bleu cheese with the fruit and nut platter; this is a wonderful dessert wine in the finest European tradition.
End Of The Road Winery NV All That Crazz Cranberry & Raspberry Wine Michigan
92 points
$14
Best Buy
A pure and mouthwatering fruit wine that will be very versatile; pair with desserts, cocktails, and spicy foods.
92 points $14 Best Buy
St. Julian NV Gru V Bubbly Gruner Veltliner
92 points
$15
Best Buy
A racy and rewarding sparkling Gruner with great fruit and savory table tuned flavors and structure, especially salads.
92 points $15 Best Buy
Chateau Fontaine 2021  Chardonnay
92 points
$18
Best Buy
A nicely made Chardonnay that is a serviceable daily drinker and would be great as a BTG for a nice farm to table restaurant in Grand Rapids or Detroit.
92 points $18 Best Buy
Two K Farms NV Imperial Hard Cider Leelanau Peninsula
92 points
$18
Best Buy
A lovely common cider loaded with tart refreshing apple and ginger on the nose and palate; this belongs in an English public house.
92 points $18 Best Buy
Braganini 2021 Mountain Road Estate Reserve White Blend Lake Michigan Shore
92 points
$21
A fresh and lively white blend that engages the palate with an array of mouthwatering tropical fruit and savory flavors.
Chateau Chantal 2021 Proprietors Reserve Dry Riesling
92 points
$25
A bit concentrated now but very good and reminiscent of Clare Valley Rieslings; interested in how this wine will develop in bottle as well as with older vines.
Shady Lane Cellars 2021 Sparkling Riesling
92 points
$25
An all star picnic wine for those looking for something with a little sweetness and floral characteristics.
Shady Lane Cellars 2020 Estate Blaufrankisch
92 points
$28
Sweet baking spices fill the glass like a Christkindlmarkt in this very Teutonic styled Blaufrankisch.
Chateau Chantal 2020 Proproprietors Reserve Trio Red Blend Old Mission Peninsula
92 points
$30
Earthy, fruity, and layered complexity; the proper food pairings could make this really sing.
Chateau Chantal NV Cerise Fortified Cherry Dessert Wine Montmorency Tart Cherry
92 points
$30
A robust and snappy cherry fruit wine with a stimulating peppery finish.
Braganini 2021 Mountain Road Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
92 points
$34
A very pleasing Pinot Noir with sweeter aromas and crunchy red fruit on the palate to pair well with richer cuisine.
Two K Farms NV Barrel-Aged Pommeau Leelanau Peninsula
92 points
$35
Delicious fresh apple cider with more apple juice, a little baking spice, and just a splash of Bourbon.
Chateau Fontaine NV Barrelback Red Blend Leelanau Peninsula
92 points
$50
A nice, ripe cherry flavor saturated in luxurious cocoa and vanilla from the oak.
Mari Vineyards 2018 Estate Proserpina Red Blend Old Mission Peninsula
92 points
$50
A great wine to pair with grilled red meat.
45 North Vineyard & Winery NV Special Reserve Northport #21 Leelanau Peninsula
92 points
$65
A silky and satisfying fortified wine with loads of delicious berry and Bourbon-barrel accented flavors.
Braganini 2022 Reserve Aromella
91 points
$15
Best Buy
A floral and delicious white wine that will delight fans of Gewurztraminer.
91 points $15 Best Buy
End Of The Road Winery NV Blackberry Wine Michigan
91 points
$15
Best Buy
A supple and appetizing berry dessert wine will be great with vanilla ice cream.
91 points $15 Best Buy
Mari Vineyards NV Drollery Ambra Brut Traditional First Edition Old Mission Peninsula
91 points
$24
A fine, dry artisan cider-like sparkling fruit wine that will make a great aperitif.
Shady Lane Cellars 2021 Estate Hennessy Vineyard Gruner Veltliner
91 points
$24
Exactly what you expect of high quality Gruner; versatile enough to pair with the flavors of salads as an aperitif but enough acid to cut through and pair with a Chicago style hot dog if you go in that flavor direction.
Stoney Ridge Vineyards 2020 Estate Marquette
91 points
$25
Interesting lush red and black fruit flavors with a savory earthiness; would like to pair this with a bison burger.
Braganini 2020 Winemaker Series Reserve BDX Red Blend Lake Michigan Shore
91 points
$29
Drink this instead of grand Cru classe Bordeaux; pour it for your wine friends in a blind and see if they believe this is from Michigan.
French Valley Vineyard 2017 Reserve Merlot
91 points
$30
A truly delicious expression of cool climate Merlot.
White Pine 2020 Reserve Merlot
91 points
$32
Rich body and well blended illustrating excellent Merlot typicity.
Stranger Wine Company 2021 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
91 points
$38
A cool climate, savory Pinot Noir with crunchy red fruits.
St. Julian NV Lemonade Sangria Lake Michigan Shore
90 points
$10
Best Buy
A distinctive, tangy and tempting white sangria with nice creamy lemony notes.
90 points $10 Best Buy
Chateau Chantal 2021 Unoaked Chardonnay
90 points
$16
Best Buy
A restrained and crisp style of Chardonnay that is of very good quality from a cool growing climate.
90 points $16 Best Buy
End Of The Road Winery 2022  Frontenac Blanc
90 points
$18
Best Buy
A crisp and tasty off-dry white with bright fruit that will appeal widely.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Braganini 2022 Winemaker Series Reserve Gewurztraminer/Riesling Lake Michigan Shore
90 points
$21
A juicy and generous Gewurztraminer with tasty flavors and well balanced structure.
Braganini 2021 Mountain Road Estate Reserve Riesling
90 points
$21
A high quality Riesling exhibiting great potential for this grape in Michigan in the future.
Braganini 2021 Winemaker Series Limited Edition Petite Pearl/Marquette Red Blend Lake Michigan Shore
90 points
$22
A sweet and fruity juice bomb that is sure to please consumers that want obvious fruit flavors with plenty of sugar.
45 North Vineyard & Winery 2021 Red Blend Leelanau Peninsula
90 points
$28
A young 1974 right bank Bordeaux in style.
Mari Vineyards 2018 Estate Totus Porcus White Blend Old Mission Peninsula
90 points
$28
Gewurztraminer dominates on the nose in a pleasant way and is balanced with Riesling acid and fruit on the palate with some of the Pinot Grigio; A lovely example of the sum being better than the individual parts without losing sense of each component.
Tabone Vineyards 2019 Dry Bubbly Michigan
90 points
$30
A bright and mouthwatering sparkler with a chewy backbone of chalky minerality; drinks a lot like a Blanc de Blanc.
Stranger Wine Company 2021 Single Vineyard Pinot Gris
90 points
$36
A richer and more textured style of Pinot Gris that is reminiscent of Alsatian examples of the varietal.
Braganini 2020 Mountain Road Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$39
A great pairing with grilled meats, this wine nicely expresses the savory and earthy side of cooler climate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bel Lago 2018  Cabernet Franc
90 points
$48
An interesting and tasty Cabernet Franc with a considerable dollop of oak flavors and aromas.
Mari Vineyards 2020 Estate Bel Tramonto Red Blend Old Mission Peninsula
90 points
$50
A savory and dry American Super Tuscan with nice table appeal.
St. Julian NV BFF Dry Rosé Lake Michigan Shore
89 points
$15
Best Buy
Pleasant and fruity with refreshing acidity this is a picnic wine or patio pounder to keep everyone appeased.
Awards: '2023 Michigan Governor's Cup - Best Rose Wine'
89 points $15 Best Buy
End Of The Road Winery 2022 JHB Red Blend Michigan
89 points
$18
A tasty off-dry red with rich jammy fruit flavors and lip smacking acidity; will be a great BBQ wine.
Crooked Vine Vineyard 2021 Cottage White Blend Top Of The Mitt
89 points
$21
A fun flavor-packed wine that is sure to please on the patio this summer.
Braganini 2020 Reserve Merlot
89 points
$26
Varietally correct and reminiscent of cooler vintage Merlot from Bordeaux, so chalk that up as a win for Michigan.
Tabone Vineyards 2020 Estate Pinot Gris
89 points
$28
A dry, savory Pinot Gris with a table-friendly, old world style; this will be nice with oysters.
Mari Vineyards 2020 Simplicissimus Brut Sparkling Riesling
89 points
$36
A well made sparkling wine with zesty acidity and a very lean fruit profile.
Crooked Vine Vineyard 2020 G & G Reserve Petite Pearl
89 points
$39
A solid, dry red wine that will be versatile.
Stranger Wine Company 2021 Single Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Franc
89 points
$40
A fruity and savory example of a good Cabernet Franc that would pair well with a burger.
St. Julian NV Cento Chambourcin
88 points
$9
Best Buy
A easy drinking and delicious, off-dry red for punches, parties, and pulled pork.
88 points $9 Best Buy
St. Julian NV Margarita Lake Michigan Shore
88 points
$10
Best Buy
A tasty, well balanced wine-based Margarita.
88 points $10 Best Buy
St. Julian NV PB&J Flavored Wine Lake Michigan Shore
88 points
$11
Best Buy
A fun, user-friendly flavored wine that is sure to be a hit with the sweet tooth set.
88 points $11 Best Buy
Chateau Chantal NV Naughty Red Blend Michigan
88 points
$14
Best Buy
Tart red berries with good flavor and a nice acidic lift; will pair well with grilled meats.
88 points $14 Best Buy
Chateau Chantal NV Nice Red Blend Michigan
88 points
$14
Best Buy
A pleasing red wine that will especially appeal to fans of fruity New World Pinot Noir.
88 points $14 Best Buy
Braganini 2021 Mountain Road Estate Reserve Rosé Lake Michigan Shore
88 points
$16
Pleasant red fruit and good acidity make for a pleasant sipper.
Chateau Chantal NV Tonight Brut Sparkling Wine Old Mission Peninsula
88 points
$18
Fruity and floral with an interesting cheesy quality, this will make a nice summer apéritif.
Braganini 2021 Reserve Late Harvest Vidal Blanc
88 points
$19
Fruity and floral aspects will make this a natural pairing for a fruit and cheese dessert tray.
Braganini 2021 Reserve Late Harvest Vignoles
88 points
$19
A supple and tasty sweet wine for cheeses and less sweet desserts.
Boathouse Vineyards 2021 License To Chill Rosé Pinot Noir
88 points
$20
A bit tangy and savory on the fruit character but a lovely Michigan rosé with crunchy red berries.
The Dream 2021 Semi-Sweet White Blend Michigan
88 points
$20
A round and welcoming white blend that will play nice at a cocktail party or with lighter fare.
Braganini 2021 Reserve Viognier
88 points
$21
Tropical fruit treats while walking through a flower garden.
French Valley Vineyard 2021  Traminette
88 points
$22
A distinctive and appetizing Traminette wine for sipping or fine dining.
Phyllis NV Etta Red Blend Lake Michigan Shore
88 points
$24
Fruity and savory with good depth and complexity; a fun food wine to experiment with pairings, and over delivers for a hybrid.
Boathouse Vineyards 2019 Boathouse Red Blend Leelanau Peninsula
88 points
$25
A BBQ wine to go from kabobs to cherry pie for the July 4th weekend cookout.
Petoskey Farms 2022 Estate Frontenac Gris
88 points
$25
A mouthwatering and long finishing white that will be a lovely addition to the table with a wide variety of foods.
Tabone Vineyards 2019 Estate Riesling
88 points
$26
A zippy white to serve chilled on a hot summer day to enliven the palate.
Tabone Vineyards 2020 Unoaked Chardonnay
88 points
$26
A very lean and racy style of cool climate Chardonnay; quite lovely for consumers that like the taste of green apple.
Bel Lago 2018  Blaufrankisch
88 points
$28
A richly fruited wine with good earthy undertones that will pair well with steak or game.
French Valley Vineyard 2020  Pinot Noir
88 points
$28
A solid representation of Pinot Noir with excellent potential and would make a nice pairing with duck in plum sauce or duck ala orange.
Tabone Vineyards 2018 Reserve Red Blend Old Mission Peninsula
88 points
$28
An approachable and easy drinking red blend.
Braganini 2020 Reserve Meritage Red Blend Lake Michigan Shore
88 points
$29
Comes alive on the palate with red and black fruits; a nice red table wine.
WaterFire Vineyards 2021 Single Vineyard Gruner Veltliner
88 points
$31
A nice white wine for any occasion.
St. Julian NV Black & Blueberry Apple Wine Michigan
87 points
$11
Best Buy
A nicely balanced fruit wine with complimentary apple and berry flavors.
87 points $11 Best Buy
St. Julian NV Cathermans Port Chambourcin
87 points
$13.99
Best Buy
This reads very clearly as both Chambourcin and Port; tip of the cap.
87 points $13.99 Best Buy
Braganini 2021 Reserve Traminette
87 points
$15
Best Buy
A curious, white vermouth-like white wine that will be fun to pair with, or use in cocktails.
87 points $15 Best Buy
Bel Lago 2021 Select Harvest Riesling
87 points
$18
Fruity and floral with enough sugar to help balance spicy cuisine; try with extra spicy Thai chilies.
Chateau Chantal 2021 Select Harvest Gewurztraminer
87 points
$18
Like drinking a cup of candied fruit and honey in a field of flowers.
Amoritas Vineyards 2021 Dry Riesling
87 points
$19
A nice and refreshing white wine but rather demure on the nose and palate.
White Pine 2021 Reserve Mirage Dessert Wine Lake Michigan Shore
87 points
$19
An intriguing fortified wine with interesting wood character; try in cocktails.
Soul Squeeze Cellars 2020 Better Angel Gruner Veltliner
87 points
$23
A ripe Gruner Veltliner that would pair well with white lake fish.
Chateau Fontaine 2020  Gruner Veltliner
87 points
$24
A piquant Gruner sipper.
Stoney Ridge Vineyards 2019 Frick & Frack Estate Red Blend Michigan
87 points
$25
A big, bold, and funky Marquette.
Tabone Vineyards 2018 Estate Riesling
87 points
$25
A refreshing aperitif Riesling for a warm summer day .
Chateau Fontaine 2021  Viognier
87 points
$26
Intensely perfumed with loads of fruit while maintaining acidity. Exactly what Viognier should be and will pair well with grilled salmon and veggies.
Petoskey Farms 2020 Estate Marquette
87 points
$28
Earthy, spicy, and fruity flavors with good structure; a nice change of pace steak pairing.
Stranger Wine Company 2021 Single Vineyard Estate Chardonnay
87 points
$38
An incredibly green and herbaceous Chardonnay with rich buttered nut flavors, like peppermint jelly on buttered almond flour toast.
St. Julian NV Cherry Wine Lake Michigan Shore
86 points
$8
Best Buy
A vibrant cherry wine with bright acidity and fine food affinity.
86 points $8 Best Buy
St. Julian NV Blood Orange Sangria Lake Michigan Shore
86 points
$10
Best Buy
A pleasantly punchy sangria sipper.
86 points $10 Best Buy
Forbidden Fruit NV Blackberry & Blueberry Flavored Cider Michigan
86 points
$11
Best Buy
Delicious hard red berry soda flavors abound.
86 points $11 Best Buy
St. Julian NV Sweet Nancie Sparkling Traminette Lake Michigan Shore
86 points
$12
Best Buy
A honeyed and earthy, off-dry sparkling wine that will go well with spicy Vietnamese dishes.
86 points $12 Best Buy
Chateau Chantal 2020  Pinot Grigio
86 points
$16
A citrusy wine for a spring afternoon that shows some interesting terroir.
Chateau Chantal 2020  Riesling
86 points
$18
Sweet and pleasant with some zippy lemon flavor.
Shady Lane Cellars 2021 Estate Hennessy Vineyard Pinot Gris
86 points
$22
An excellent everyday Pinot Gris to have around the house.
Braganini 2020 Tercero Vineyard Reserve Blaufrankisch
86 points
$24
Smoky red and black fruits will make this a great wine to sip at your next back yard BBQ.
Tabone Vineyards 2020 Estate Semi-Sweet Riesling
86 points
$26
A nice wine and an excellent pairing with foods.
Tabone Vineyards 2020 Rosé Pinot Meunier
86 points
$28
A cheerful winter warmer of a Rosé with festive spices, or a great sangria option for summer sipping.
Braganini 2020 Signature Series Reserve Red Blend Lake Michigan Shore
86 points
$29
Oak heavy but well executed for those that love rich mocha coffee with hints of cherry.
White Pine 2020 Reserve Cabernet Franc
86 points
$32
A nice red wine for any occasion and some well executed wine making.
Mari Vineyards 2021 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
86 points
$34
An easy going white wine to serve with brunch; lots of savory citrus aromas that would compliment eggs Benedict.
45 North Vineyard & Winery 2021  Chardonnay
86 points
$35
An oaky, supple Chardonnay sipper.
Soul Squeeze Cellars NV Crazy Carroll Cherry Fortified Wine Old Mission Peninsula
86 points
$35
A spicy cherry wine that will be fun to pair with.
Forbidden Fruit NV Cherry Flavored Cider Michigan
85 points
$11
Sweet ripe fruit that has a fresh acidity leaving the cider to feel less sweet.
St. Julian NV Ciao Bolle! Brut Rosé Cayuga
85 points
$14
A fun and serviceable sparkler for local market consumption; a great bottle to crush on a summer day while out on the boat or hanging at the beach.
Chateau Chantal NV Celebrate Sparkling Rosé Old Mission Peninsula
85 points
$18
Pleasant flavors of orchard fruit and tropical fruits with floral highlights.
Stoney Ridge Vineyards 2020  Petite Pearl
85 points
$22
A serviceable red wine that could by served by the glass at a local restaurant.
Mari Vineyards NV Drollery Rosso Brut Traditional First Edition Old Mission Peninsula
85 points
$24
An intriguing, savory, dry Normandy cider-like sparkling fruit wine that will work well at the table.
St. Julian NV Headgames Spiced Red Lake Michigan Shore
84 points
$8
A spicy sangria-like wine for parties and brunches; serve on ice.
St. Julian NV Cranberry Flavored Wine Michigan
84 points
$11
Wine with candied tart red berries that will make a toothsome dessert pairing.
French Valley Vineyard 2021 Unoaked Chardonnay
84 points
$16
Easy drinking and approachable, grab this for picnics in the park and cheese pairings.
End Of The Road Winery 2022 White Tranquility Top Of The Mitt
84 points
$18
A smoky, sweet wine for funky cheeses.
Stoney Ridge Vineyards 2020 Itasca Semi-Dry White Blend Michigan
84 points
$18
A silky, somewhat candied white wine sipper.
Stoney Ridge Vineyards 2021 Rosé Marquette
84 points
$20
Very typical Marquette but well crafted to be a little lighter in style; a lovely summer patio sipper.
45 North Vineyard & Winery 2021  Pinot Gris
84 points
$24
A fun and vibrant Pinot Gris with zippy acidity to cut through rich dishes.
Bel Lago 2018  Chardonnay
84 points
$24
This not-so-subtle style of Chardonnay with creamy coconut and baked fruit has plenty of fans.
Petoskey Farms 2021 Estate Frontenac Blanc
84 points
$25
A crisp and tangy citrus white that will be good with salads and appetizers.
Amoritas Vineyards 2021 Marys Folly Field Blend Sparkling Rosé Leelanau Peninsula
84 points
$30
A savory sparkler with nice table appeal.
Mari Vineyards 2021 Estate Ambra Malvasia
84 points
$36
A pleasant, soft floral sipper.
St. Julian NV Raspberry Truffle Flavored Wine Lake Michigan Shore
83 points
$14
An earthy, slightly funky, chocolatey red wine.
Chateau Chantal 2021 Proprietors Reserve Rigan Vineyard Auxerrois
83 points
$25
A dry and direct white wine; serve with a good chill.
Boathouse Vineyards 2019 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
82 points
$20
A fascinating oxidative style of Pinot Noir that might do very well as an aromatized wine.
45 North Vineyard & Winery 2021  Pinot Noir
82 points
$36
Lean and under ripe with red berries and the pronounced aromas of dried Italian herbs.
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