Chateau Chantal, "Nice" Red Wine, Semi-Dry, NV

Having a winery in your backyard (I use that lightly... it's about 30 miles away from where I grew up) is a privilege.  Having a whole network of wineries is just flippin' cool.  Chateau Chantal is a monument in Michigan Wineries.  Having visited the property, I know the beauty of this winery.  Sitting on top of a landscape viewing both the East and West inlets of Grand Traverse Bay, a modern castle surrounded by hills of vineyards and a winding road snaking its way through the vines, Chateau Chantal is a breath-taking sight to behold.

The label "Nice" would refer, I assume, to the soft approach this wine presents to its enjoyers.  I would call it the ultimate in a "beginners" wine.  The label does not list the varietals ("...made from classic wine grapes"), but there has to be some Pinot Noir in the mix.  The wine is very light bodied and ripe red / young Burgundian in color, with a tart cherry nose and the spice of a Pinot.  The palate is again very light, very tame, fruit forward, and very easy structure.  Very little dryness of tannins, no strong alcohol presence (it's listed as 12.5%).  The palate is comparable to red grape juice (well, yeah Ben, that's what it is) with a hint of smoke.  It's "nice" for the beginner.  My mom, who does not drink an abundance of wine (by that, I mean only when I'm home, and I say "try this"), very much liked this bottle from Chantal.

Now I should try the CC "Naughty" Red Wine, and see if there is more of a full-bodied presence that satisfies my "lust" for "gluttonous," "prideful" big tannin wines that I "envy..." ok, enough word play... I went there, and I went too far... just a little too psycho.  Now I feel like I should be drinking 7 Deadly Zins.  [Erica will read this and roll her eyes, I guarantee it.]


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