Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
#3 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
The 2008 Ma Belle-Fille is spectacularly intense, boasting aromas of nectarine and Mirabelle plum, accented with wet stone-like minerality, brioche and lily flower notes. Generous in the mouth, rich and concentrated, the wine displays flavors of William pear, honey, dried almond, meringue, dry chamomile, orange rind and notes of baked Reinette apple. In the mouth, the wine is tactile, gourmand and extremely pure. Layered and seductive, the finish is very long.
Wine Spectator - "This is a tremendous Chardonnay, intense, pure, ripe and complex, with concentrated pear, apple, fig and melon flavors that are elegant and refined. Well-defined and long on the finish."
The Wine Advocate - "Flamboyant and exotic, the extroverted, exuberant, powerful 2008 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille is a sensational hussy of a wine. Lots of brioche, buttered pastry, lemon oil, tropical fruit, honeysuckle, nectarine and caramelized citrus characteristics soar from the glass of this big, full-bodied, super-intense 2008. The oak is hardly noticeable and the acidity and freshness are impressive in spite of the 15.4% alcohol. It is a stunning Chardonnay to drink over the next decade. "
International Wine Cellar - "Green-tinged yellow. Sexy, intensely perfumed aromas of nectarine, pear, iodine and anise, with a slow-building floral quality. Taut, deep, gently smoky orchard fruit flavors are complicated by succulent herb and honeysuckle qualities and given cut by a zesty mineral quality. Plenty rich but gives up nothing in the way of energy, finishing with strong stony cut and excellent clarity."
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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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.