There I was walking up the steps at The Royce going up to the mezzanine to have a tasting with Mike Laing of Mawby Sparkling and bigLITTLE Wines. After they made sure that we were registered and paid, we were handed our first glass of wine and of course, I had to slow up the proceedings as I had to take a photo of the bottle; and then we went off to stake our seats. I selected two seats with a small table at the rail, so that I could watch what happens up in the loft, and downstairs to see what was going on at the wine bar.
The first wine that we were given was bigLITTLE Wines Rosé “Open Road” Leelanau Peninsula 2020. All of the bigLITTLE Wines have names evoking nostalgia to the two Laing boys and this wine evoked family road trips from their home, and I have to say that road trips were very prominent and still are to Michiganders and the home of the original Big Three automotive corporations. The wine is a blend of fifty percent Pinot Gris, twenty-five percent Marechal Foch and twenty-five percent Riesling. The fruit was hand-picked, crushed and gently pressed together. The wine was fermented in Stainless Steel and three-hundred cases were produced. This dry rosé wine had notes of strawberry and hard candy, while on the palate fresh strawberries, juicy with a crisp acidity that made you want to have another taste. A good first wine or to enjoy on a nice summer day with a casual dinner.
Even before we started to enjoy the first wine, they came around and poured the second wine for tasting and it was Mawby Sparkling “Grace” Brut Rosé, Leelanau Peninsula NV. The wine is a blend of seventy-nine percent Pinot Noir, nineteen percent Chardonnay and two percent Regent. The fruit was hand-harvested and had whole-cluster gentle pressing and only the juice from this first pressing was saved for this cuvee (the harder pressed juice which contains more phenols, tannins and acid are reserved for other sweeter sparkling wines). After Stainless Steel fermentation, the young wines are blended with older, reserve wines before bottle fermentation in the Methode Champenoise and tirage ageing of fourteen months culminating with a dosage of Brut wine. This pretty pale rose wine had notes of red fruits and on the palate, there were tones of black cherries and red berries mixed with that charming yeasty flavor, with a crisp and dry finish. A very easy drinking wine that would add festive notes for any dinner’s first wine, or by itself, just with friends.
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