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. It has only been about four years or so, that we joined their club, which we had no intention of doing, but we went there to purchase some wines, after having them at a Michigan resort and we were dazzled by the enthusiastic and professional wine representative that was pouring some wines for us to taste.
The first wine out of the carton was Black Star Farms “Arcturos” Merlot Michigan 2017. The wine carries the Michigan AVA, because the fruit for this wine comes from their Capella and Isidor’s Choice Vineyards which are located in two distinct AVA regions on each side of the city of Traverse City. There is a dearth of information from the winery, but they have been producing a Merlot wine for several years, even though it is a finicky varietal to grow successfully in Michigan, I will venture to say that the wine was probably aged in oak for about sixteen months. They are describing this wine as offering blackberry and plum notes with a hint of oak and dark chocolate. They also say that the wine has a velvety texture and mild tannins and could actually age for five to ten years. It will be interesting to see.
The second wine out of the carton was their Black Star Farms “Blushed” Dry Sparkling Rosé Leelanau Peninsula 2018. The wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Marquette. The wine is produced in the Methode Traditionnel with only a half of one percent residual sugar. They have offered that the wine has flavors of red raspberries, Montmorency cherries and lemon tart and should offer a cellar life of three years. It will be an interesting wine to try, as we have not had a sparkling wine from Black Star Farms.