Back when the world was young and fun, we were at a board meeting at the Inn at Bay Harbor, and a delightful time it was. The food was excellent and normally the wine takes a back seat to the liquor selection and the craft beer selection, but this time even the wine was excellent. The final evening of events the wines were from Black Star Farms of Michigan, and there was quite a lot of buzz, at least in Michigan wine drinking circles, because the Black Star Farms Arcturos Dry Riesling Michigan 2017 had won the Best in Show at the Canberra International Riesling Competition. We did not have the Dry Riesling being poured, but we tried their Cabernet Franc 2013 and it was that great, along with two other wines, that my Bride wanted to make a special stop at the winery to see if we could get the Cabernet Franc and some of the Dry Riesling. We were so impressed with the service from the representative that we did a tasting with, that we signed up for their club.
We just received the June 2022 wine selections and the first two wines out of the box were the Black Star Farms Arcturos Dry Riesling Michigan 2017, as the winery decided to put two pallets aside for some additional aging and a surprise bonus to their club members. So, we have a couple more of this exceptional wine, as we had bought as much as we could find. At the Canberra International Riesling Competition there were 567 Rieslings entered for the challenge, from six countries; Australia, New Zealand, USA, Germany, France and the Czech Republic. This wine carries the Michigan AVA, because the fruit came from their vineyards from both sides of Traverse City; Old Mission Peninsula AVA and the Leelanau Peninsula AVA. According to the newsletter, the wine is drinking exceptionally well. “Bright yet complex, this wine truly expresses its vintage and terroir. Flavors of peach, honeydew melon, and ripe apple are complemented by nuances of honeysuckle and pear on the nose.”
The second set of wines in the shipping carton was Black Star Farms Arcturos Cabernet Franc Michigan 2019. The first bottling of Cabernet Franc was 1998, and this grape has taken on a life of its own, not only in Michigan, but around the world. What was once considered a blending grape by most, but others knew better; has become a grape of its own right and has even acquired its own wine day along the way. The cooler climate and the extended growing season has been very beneficial to this grape, not to mention that the vines are also maturing. There was a little over a thousand cases produced of this wine with fruit that was harvested from two of their best vineyards; Old Mission Peninsula AVA and Leelanau Peninsula AVA. The tasting notes described the wine as “dark fruit aromas, dominated the nose and are followed by flavors of blackberries, plums, oak and herbal notes in the finish.”