WINE REVIEW: 2013 Bonobo Winery Cabernet Franc, Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan ($54)
by Andrew Chalk
The current vintage is 2017 (and the above price reflects that) but we thought it would be helpful in understanding its lineage to review a fully mature example from the cellar.
Appearance: Translucent brick red core yielding to a transparent rim;
Nose: Not fully ripe raspberry, green pepper, tomato leaf, black pepper, forest floor;
Taste: Tannins of fine sandpaper. Medium acid. Raspberry fruit and green pepper shines through;
Michigan to Texans is where Texas is to Michigonians on the recognition scale: “Oh, they grow grapes there?” Get over the novelty and judge it by what’s in the glass and you have a respectable cabernet franc that signals a propitious future for the grape in the state. Bonobo Winery made a chardonnay that impressed me a couple of years ago. This wine continues the impressive pattern.
The key to grape growing in snowy Michigan is to plant in carefully chosen mesoclimates. In this case, commit Old Mission Peninsula to memory as it is one of those areas.
We shall be tasting more Michigan wines here over the next three weeks in order to give a more complete picture of the industry in that state.