There's a thriving wine AVA on the strip of land, along with breweries and distilleries. I've tasted Michigan wines before and found them to be of very high quality, so I had high expectations when the OMP reps sent some of their wines to me for review. I was not disappointed.
At the base of the peninsula is Traverse City, which is where Two Lads Winery is located. They have 23 acres of sustainably farmed grapes and make a variety of wines, mostly red. Their tasting room boasts a view of the east bay.
The wine - 85% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot - was allowed to complete full malolactic fermentation, creating a fuller mouthfeel and weight, then aged for nine months. 45% of that aging took place in stainless steel tanks, 40% in used oak barrels and 15% in a large French oak tank. The alcohol content is blessedly restrained at 13.3% abv and it retails for $35.
The wine is excellent. A nose that promises blackberries and chocolate is followed by a palate that is dark, rich and complex. The fruit has accompanying notes of black pepper, anise and mocha. The mouthfeel is smooth, yet the tannins are firm enough for a ribeye. Don't limit yourself, though. This is a great wine for a chocolate pairing, the darker and richer, the better.
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