We were on our last business trip and we were going to the northern part of the lower peninsula, and we were going a day early to have some “us” time as well, so that we could be refreshed for the board meeting. We also took a slight right turn and went back to Mackinaw City, where my Bride saw a piece of lawn art and she had been thinking about it since she saw it, on our last trip. I was not thinking of lawn art, but I always like to ask and research an area to find someplace, hopefully new to us and worth our effort. We went to the Walloon Lake Inn for dinner on our first night up and it was an excellent excursion. The building itself was built in 1891as the Fern Cottage an inn on the lake for travelers. It was renamed the Walloon Lake Inn in 1981 and totally renovated in 1981.
We were seated at a table overlooking the Walloon Lake and you really couldn’t have asked for a better table. I even have to mention that one of the walls in the Men’s Room kind of made me homesick for my cellar; I later found out that the Lady’s Room did not have such décor. We started off with two appetizers. My Bride had the Ahi Tuna Tartar with Organic Mixed Baby Greens, Mango, Avocado, Pickled Red Onion, Peanuts, Cracker Ring, Honey Lime Vinaigrette and Blood Orange Aioli. I had the Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic and Sherry Cream. We started off with a bottle of Marc Bredif Vouvray Classic 2020 one of the many labels that are part of Domaine de Ladoucette. The original estate dates back to 1787, when the Comte Lafond bought the estate from the illegitimate daughter of Louis XV and, to this day, the estate is owned by his descendants. Marc Bredif created sparkling Vouvray in the early Twentieth Century. The cellar goes back to the Tenth Century with vintages back to 1874. Baron de Ladoucette purchased Marc Bredif in 1980. The wines are now made at the Chateau du Nozet of Ladoucette. The “Classic” means the traditional interpretation of Chenin Blanc Vouvray. The soils are mostly chalk clay, but some are flint clay, and most of the vines are twenty-five to thirty years of age. The grapes are hand-picked, and undergo pneumatic pressing, and only the free running juice is used for this wine and the juice is left to clarify for almost two days. Two months of temperature-controlled fermentation, followed by nine months on the lees in Stainless Steel vats. The pale-yellow wine offers notes of peach and pear, along with citrus. On the palate, the tones of pineapple and citrus, some lemon zest in a big full wine with a nice medium count finish of exotic fruits and terroir.
My Bride had the Seafood Risotto which was a Vegetable Risotto with Scallops, Shrimp in an Herb-Butter Wine Sauce. I enjoyed a Citrus and Chile Braised Short Ribs with Whipped Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Baby Carrots in a reduction sauce of including Cilantro-Parsley Chimichurri. Afterwards, we shared a Lemon Tart with Toasted Merengue and Raspberry Coulis. While my Bride continued with the Marc Bredif, I went with the Gibb Dusty Red Napa Valley 2019. This is a third generation of a wine growing family that started in the 1950’s along with walnuts and dates. In 2000 they began experimenting with winemaking and in 2013 they introduced Gibbs, with some vines that go back sixty years. The wine is a blend of forty-eight percent Cabernet Sauvignon, twenty-two percent Merlot, thirteen percent Malbec, ten percent Petit Verdot and seven percent Cabernet Franc. Each varietal was individually fermented and then blended prior to bottling. The wine was aged for twenty-two months in French Oak and only eight-hundred-twenty-four-cases were produced. This was a very pretty deep Bordeaux style wine with notes of cherries and spices. On the palate there was a comingling of black and red cherries, very velvety with a nice finish of spices. A real pretty wine with food, that wasn’t the typical California, in your face blend, but more Continental and plusher.