Friday, August 7, 2009
Chateau Fontaine 2008 Woodland White (Michigan)
Not sure of the reasoning behind it, but Dan Matthies, winemaker and owner of Chateau Fontain, decided to name this impressive white "Woodland White" instead of after the grape he makes it from: Auxerrois. I think it is another case of the consumer being short changed on some learnin' or a chance for the winery to educate. It's like when wineries give other names to wines made from Gewurztraminer because they don't want to deal with the public pronouncing it wrong, or maybe they do it because the public pronounces it so wrong, so often that they try to make it easier on buyers. But I feel it negates the grape and is a disservice to the wine buying public. People want to learn a little when they are tasting wines especially when the visit a winery. They want new tastes and new experiences ... if not they would have just gone to their local liquor store and picked up any old thing. Which is why I think Dan should bring the name 'Auxerrois' to the front of the bottle ... maybe one day. But no mater what he does to the outside, it is going to be what's inside that reallly counts, and this white is superb, no matter what else you call it. The nose has quince, kiwi, bosc pear and lemon; the palate retains the pear and citrus, while adding orange and melon rind with an incredibly long finish. This was another fantastic find I discovered on my tour of the unsung northern Michigan wineries.