I am like a little kid with all of these wine club selections all arriving in time for my birthday. Yes, I am spoiled. Black Star Farms is rather unique in that it has vineyards and tasting room facilities on both peninsulas, so that they are kind of surrounding Traverse City which is kind of the focal point for all of the wineries in the area. In 1998 Black Star Farms purchased Sport Valley Farm which was a one-hundred-twenty-acre equestrian facility, and the stylized black star was part of the architectural décor in the main house. In their Twentieth year, they were honored to receive the 19’th Annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC) -Best Wine of the 2018 Challenge and only the second time an American wine came out on top. There were 567 Rieslings from six countries (Australian, New Zealand, USA, Germany, France and the Czech Republic). The Black Star Farms Arcturos Dry Riesling 2017 scored 98 points, in addition to taking home Best Dry Riesling and Best American Riesling. In fact, all six of the Riesling wines that Black Star Farms submitted took home medals, showing a consistency across vintages and styles. The fruit is sourced from both of the proprietor’s vineyards and from local grower partners in both the Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula. The winery has three series; the premium Arcturos, A Capella and the Leorie Vineyard labels for sparkling and fruit wines. So, we do look forward to the club deliveries.
The first bottle that came out of the shipping carton is the Black Star Farms Arcturos Pinot Noir Michigan 2018. According to the notes, the fruit for this wine came from five different vineyards and hence the Michigan AVA. The wine was aged in French Oak, with around fifteen percent new. The notes from the winery say that the wine is a balance of vibrant fruit and spicey complexity that comes from time the barrel.
The second bottle was the Black Star Farms Arcturos Sur Lie Chardonnay Michigan 2020. There is no explanation of where the fruit was harvested, and it could actually be from two of their own vineyards which are located in different AVA designations, but it is not stated. This is a non-oaked style wine, which I presume to mean that it is Stainless Steel. The winery notes call for floral notes, a medium-bodied wine with tastes of ripe citrus, apple and pear with a subtle mineral finish.