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I was able to spend an afternoon tasting through the 2020 barrel samples at Wyncroft Winery with Jim Lester earlier this year. 2020 provided excellent growing conditions in Southwest Michigan which allowed producers to not only put out quality early ripening grapes but also all of the Bordeaux varietals as well. a few of the white wines have already been bottled but the reds will not be released until at least 2022. Here are my notes:


2020 White Wines

  • 2020 Wyncroft Chardonnay Avonlea Vineyard - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. 1 barrel will be made (25 cases). This is the last year that this wine will be made since Jim sold the Avonlea Vineyard. 21 year old vines. 14% alcohol. Light yellow color. A lighter style this year despite being aged in new French oak. Notes of lemons, pears and baking spices. Tart acidity at present. Clean finish. 90 points.
  • 2020 Wyncroft Riesling Wren Song Vineyard - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. The 22 year old Wren Song vineyard is now owned by Jeff Lemon which Jim has access to. 100% Cone 10. This was an impressive wine. Dry and more of an Austrian style. Very minerally with lemon zest and some tropical notes. 100 cases made. This should be a rather ageworthy wine. 91 points.
  • 2020 Wyncroft Shou Blanc - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. This was bottled in March 2021. 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon. Lighter body than previous vintages at this point. Soft texture. Clear white color. Notes of orchard fruits and white tea. 88 points.
  • 2020 Wyncroft Sémillon - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. 1 barrel aged in French Acacia wood after Jim bottled his Shou Blanc. This may be released as a separate bottling for club members. The grapes were picked at 21 brix and chapitalized to 22 brix. Pale straw color. A little cheesiness on the nose. Notes of green apples, sweet tarts and citrus with light to moderate acidity. 13% alcohol. 87 points.

2020 Red Wines

  • 2020 Marland Cabernet Franc - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. 50% came from the LePage Estate and 50% from Lemon Creek. This was about to be bottled. It had a little sappiness to it with gummy bear notes and a touch of pyrazine. Lighter body. 86 points.
  • 2020 Wyncroft Pinot Noir Avonlea Vineyard - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. 1 barrel will be made (25 cases). Sadly this will be the last year for this wine as well since the Avonlea vineyard has been sold. 50% clone 777 and 50% Pommard clone 4 picked at 22 brix. 100% destemmed. Aged in new French oak. Carmel aromas on the nose. A smooth and silky wine with cranberry and raspberry notes. Supple tannins with a luscious finish. A definite buy when it s bottled. 92 points.
  • 2020 Wyncroft Pinot Noir Lepage Estate - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore, Fennville (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. Actually this tasting note is a combination of 3-6 barrel samples that will go into this wine from 3 different sections of his property (the North Slope, South Slope and Driveway Block). All the grapes were picked between 22.5 and 24 brix. My scores on the different barrels ranged from 90-93 points with the North Slope being my favorite. Overall the samples were ripe, jammy and perfumy with meaty red fruit and dark scarlet colors. 2020 is going to be a stellar year for this Pinot. 91-93 points
  • 2020 Wyncroft Shou Lepage Estate - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    Barrel sample at the winery. Actually this tasting note is a combination of 3 barrel samples of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc that will go into the Bordeaux blend. All of the grapes were picked between 23.5 and 24 brix in the excellent 2020 growing season. This showed be a deep inky red color and on the bigger side of recent Shou's. I liked the Cab Sauv the best of the samples. The Cab Franc was clean and ripe without any green notes. Overall there were notes of blackberries, licorice, currants and leather. This is another wine to buy when it is released. 91-92 points.

Older Vintages

  • 2019 Wyncroft Chardonnay Crain Hill Vineyard - USA, Michigan, Leelanau Peninsula (7/13/2021)
    Tasted a bottle at the winery. 100% clone 76. This vineyard is owned by the Brengman Brothers. Lightly oaked with good acidity. Pear and citrus notes. 87 points.
  • 2017 Wyncroft Blaufränkisch Lake Michigan Shore Glacier's Edge - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    From bottle at the winery. Partial whole berry fermentation. I thought it was a little green for being from the ripe 2017 vintage. A fruity wine with lower tannins. 87 points.
  • 2018 Wyncroft Pinot Noir Lepage Estate - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore, Fennville (7/13/2021)
    Tasted a bottle at the winery. This had a higher acidity and a light red color which was a reflection of the vintage. Soft tannins with cherry and cranberry notes. 86 points.
  • 2019 Wyncroft Shou Lepage Estate - USA, Michigan, Lake Michigan Shore (7/13/2021)
    From bottle at the winery. Medium red color and on the tarter side with some sour cherry notes. Definitely lighter than the 2020 with moderate tannins. 86 points.

VM

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