June 2017 Domestic Wine: 2015 Chateau Fontaine Chardonnay, Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan
Chateau Fontaine: Getting its French title from proprietor Lucie Matthies’ middle name and paying homage to the French immigrants who settled in the area, Chateau Fontaine was a deserted potato farm and cow pasture when Dan Matthies discovered the property in the 1970’s. He was attracted to the favorable south-facing slopes, which are better suited for growing grapes. Today, the cow pasture is one of three vineyards totaling 30 acres of grapes with plantings of Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Merlot, among others. Today Dan and Lucie’s son Doug is the wine maker and the family hosts many tourists and Michiganders at the estate. Chateau Fontaine is located in the heart of the Leelanau Peninsula just south of Leland and Lake Leelanau. Beginning with the 2012 vintage, Chateau Fontaine was the first Michigan wine that we sold here at Fine Wine Source. They have won many awards: Chateau Fontaine Picked up Gold at the 2013 Great Lakes Wine Tasting Competition for their Woodland White and Woodland Red. At the Michigan State Wine Tasting Competition Fontaine won Gold on their semi-sweet white Riesling and Best of Class for their 2012 Pinot Blanc. All told, Chateau Fontaine has won over two dozen gold medals at various wine competitions from here in the Mitten to the Finger Lakes region of New York.
About:The Chardonnay is made in a White Burgundy style and undergoes malolactic fermentation. It is aged for one month in neutral French oak. The wine has a full body, creamy texture, and a bright crisp taste of light citrus, apples, and grapefruit. The grapes are grown on our estate property on thirty year old vines; some of the oldest in all of Northern Michigan. The wine is ready to consume now; however with proper storage, it will age gracefully for many years.
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay .
Tasting Notes: Straw yellow with glints of golden hues in the glass with a nose of Michigan apples and light citrus. Lemon and apples play on the tongue with a creamy texture and bright crisp finish that is as refreshing as a dip in Lake Michigan.
Food Pairings: Think fresh catch out of any Great Lake: Salmon, Whitefish, Lake trout, Perch or Walleye grilled, fried, or in a beurre blanc. Fruits and cheeses on the deck at the lake house or watching the sunset over Lake Michigan!
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Crisp and light with a long finish. Flavors of apple and pear, best served with chicken, fish, or duck.