As we wandered around Mackinac Island, it dawned on us that something was different this time on the island, compared to all of the other times. We were there on the weekend, and we have never been there except during the week and the island was overrun by rude and impertinent people; we made a vocal decision to never return on the weekend and only go during the week. The Hotel Iroquois is a charming three plus story structure, that could have been a home at one time, or it could have been a boarding home, but it is a reminder of another era. We arrived for dinner before five for our reservation, the restaurant was not opened yet, but we were led to the bar for something refreshing.
As we were looking over the menu and the wine carte, the bartender was excellent, as he kept us entertained with this wonderful banter and his knowledge. We couldn’t decide between two bottles of wine, and he poured a tasting of the two, and my Bride decided that her original choice didn’t compare to what I thought we should have, and that is not a boast on my part; “a happy wife, a happy life.” The wine that did not make the cut was Trig Point “Signpost” Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2018, and from all indications from the label, it would have been perfect. A nice pale golden wine that offered notes of pear and melon. On the palate, the wine reminded me more of a Chablis, with the fresh fruit, crisp acidity and a creamy texture, not oak induced with a nice medium finish of terroir courtesy of the Russian River Valley. This could have been the one.
We were taken to our table with a beautiful view of the Straits of Mackinac and were able to watch the boats. We started off by sharing an order of Smoked Whitefish Cakes with a Mustard Vinaigrette, yes, we now share appetizers. My Bride had the Pan Seared Diver Scallops with Lemongrass Ginger Aioli, Frizzled Leeks and Wild Mushroom Risotto. I had the Berkshire Tomahawk Pork Chop with Wild Rice. The bottle of wine that we decided on was Fournier Pere & Fils Sancerre Grand Cuvée La Chaudouillonne 2017. Paul Fournier began with one hectare of land in 1950 and now has sixty hectares. In 2015, the winery was acquired by Joost van der Does de Willebois and his de Villebois company. This Sauvignon Blanc wine from the Loire Valley from the village of Verdigny in Sancerre, and La Chaudouillonne comes selected vineyards of the famed terroir Caillottes of Verdigny. The wine is cold fermented in small tanks, and each tank is aged on fine lees for about eighty months. This pretty pale straw-colored wine offered passionfruit and lemon peel and a mature nose not often encountered. On the palate, it offered candied citrus, a complexity of layers of tanginess, herbal acidity and ending with a nice long finish of terroir. It was delicious and I think that we both raved about the wine, all throughout the meal. Now, you have to give us a break and cut us some slack as we share our desserts, just like we share our appetizers. We had the Crème Brulee and we also shared a glass of dessert wine. We shared a glass of Frost Bitten Wines “Ice Wine” Riesling Yakima Valley 2019 produced by Once Bitten Wines of Mosel, Germany and JZ Wine Company of Richland, Washington. The Riesling grapes had been frozen post-harvest, creating concentrated press juice of twenty-three percent residual sugar at harvest and once fermented the wine came out at 18.5 residual sugar. A nice golden color that wine offered notes of apricot jam, orange marmalade and ripe peaches. On the palate there was stone fruit, pineapple and honeysuckle without being syrupy or cloying and finished with bright acidity at the finish. We actually liked the wine over the Creme Brulee.