Uncharted Flight: Lemon Creek Tasting Notes
On a recent jaunt through Southwest Michigan, we stopped by Lemon Creek Winery. Open since 1984 and 100% estate grown, the Lemon family has been growing wines long thought inhospitable to that area of the country. We have previously reviewed their Pinot Noir Rose.
Lemon Creek has an expansive wine list, but due to COVID procedures, were only offering pre-set flights of five. When we stopped in, they had twelve different flight options available from reserve wines to desserts. It certainly was an improvement on one winery we stopped at that just had two options, dry or sweet. However, we do want to note that while a limited flight list is necessary during a pandemic, it is one of the things to be loosened as we exit the pandemic. If you are growing a wide variety of estate grown fruit in a rising wine region, you need to give your savvy customers a chance to taste the full range.
Here are some highlights of our tasting:
2018 Kerner ($18). Uncommon to find outside Germany or Alto Adige (a few other Michigan producers are now growing it). Crisp, not as high-acid as you would expect from a Michigan Riesling though. Green apple, apricot, honeysuckle, and a touch of clove. Semi-dry. Kerner could be a future showcase grape for this region. 90 points.
2017 Carmenere. Carmenere is likewise popping up on a few Michigan wine lists. Medium to dark ruby, with violet, raspberry, cherry, hazelnut, mint, and clove. Long finish. In its prime now. Another grape we want to see more of in this region. 91 points.
2013 Cabernet Franc Reserve. Medium ruby. Black currant, raspberry, cedar, prune, pepper, and tea. Wonderfully expressive. 91 points.
NV Pheasant Run Red ($12). Not sure of the blend here, but it certainly seems to be both vinifera and hybrids. Akin to a lighter Cab Franc. Plums and currant dominate, bit of clover and licorice, light touch of sweetness. 87 points.
NV Great Lakes Blanc ($11). Vignoles. Light gold. Blossom, zest, lemon, honey. Semi-dry. 88 points.