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Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP97
  • WS97
15.4% ABV
  • RP98
  • WS93
  • JS96
  • WS92
  • JS98
  • RP94
  • WS92
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Try the 2015 Vintage 179 97
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15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's 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.
WS 97
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.
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Peter Michael

Peter Michael

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Peter Michael, , California
Peter Michael
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.

Piedmont

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A prestigious and distinctive region for red wines in northwestern Italy, Piedmont is responsible for some of the country’s longest-lived, most sought-after wines. Set in the foothills of the Alps, the terrain consists of visually stunning rolling hills. The most prized vines are planted at higher altitudes on the warmer, south-facing slopes where sunlight exposure is maximized. The climate is continental, with cold winters and hot, muggy summers. Despite the rain shadow effect of the Alps, precipitation takes place year-round, and a cooling fog provides moisture that aids in the ripening of grapes.

Easy-going Barbera is the most planted grape in Piedmont, beloved for its trademark high acidity, low tannin, and juicy red fruit. However, the most prized variety is Nebbiolo, named for the region’s omnipresent fog (“nebbia” in Italian). This grape is responsible for the exalted wines of Barbaresco and Barolo, known for their ageability, firm tannins, and hallmark aromas of tar and roses. Nebbiolo wines, despite their pale hue, pack a pleasing punch of flavor and structure, and the best examples, when made in a traditional style, require about a decade’s wait before they become approachable. Barbaresco tends to be more elegant in style while Barolo is more powerful. More affordable and imminently drinkable Nebbiolo can be found in the larger Langhe area as well as Gattinara, Ghemme, and other less-prominent appellations. Dolcetto is Piedmont’s other important red grape, ready to drink as quickly as Barbera but with lower acidity and higher tannin. White wines are less important here but can be high in quality, and include Arneis, Gavi, and sweet, fizzy wines made from Muscat.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you love Barolo and Barbaresco but can’t afford to drink them every night, you can try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. But Piedmont’s best-kept secret is the northern part of the region, where outstanding earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) are produced in Ghemme and Gattinara.

KHM107277_2008 Item# 107277

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