Peter Michael L'Esprit des Pavots 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
2009 L'Esprit des Pavots is spectacularly rich and intense with all the classic elements which characterize Les Pavots terroir: blueberry, vanilla bean, coffee, cacao bean, cedar, black currant, blackberry, blueberry and subtle notes of grey pepper. The property's younger vines contribute brighter fruit such as strawberry, black cherry and plum liqueur in addition to a touch of red pepper, which add to the wine's complex bouquet. The palate is rich, concentrated and full-bodied exhibiting abundant, youthful, yet supple tannins and a refined lingering finish. Fruit forward and enjoyable at release, this wine should age well for a decade.
Blend: 47% Cabernet Franc, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "As good as Les Pavots is in 2009, the real surprise is the 2009 L'Esprit des Pavots, which costs about half the price and delivers nearly as much pleasure. To be sure, $95 a bottle isn't cheap, but the Esprit delivers the goods and then some. The 2009 is a huge, mouthfilling wine bursting with dark fruit. It doesn't have the textural finesse or sophistication of Les Pavots (especially in the tannins), but it is nevertheless incredibly pleasing right now. I loved it. The Esprit is made from vineyards that are 10-15 years old. The blend is 47% Cabernet Franc, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky violet color. Aromas of dark cherry and pungent herbs are brightened by peppery spices and flowers. Offers intense blackcurrant and bitter cherry flavors brightened by juicy acidity, which adds back-end cut. Sappy and precise on the tenacious finish, showing sexy mocha and vanilla qualities."
Peter Michael Winery
In 1982 Sir Peter and Lady Margaret Michael built the Peter Michael Winery on a square mile of rocky volcanic ridges that form the western face of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California. The estate vineyards rest on steep hillsides ranging in elevation from 1100 to nearly 2000 feet. Of the nearly 600 estate acres, only about 20% are planted to grapes. Peter Michael Winery is best known for single-vineyard and estate grown Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Peter Michael Winery remains true to its commitment to growing classic grape varieties in small mountain vineyards in order to produce great wines using classical winemaking techniques. Given this covenant to the product, only a limited quantity will ever be available. View all Peter Michael Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.