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Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP95
  • WS94
15.2% ABV
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15.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Distinctly intense and powerfully hedonistic aromas of lychee nut, citrus and rose petal come to mind with a pronounced background of mineral, candied orange, yellow peach, nutmeg and a final touch of toasted almond. Weighty in the mouth and creamy, the palate is rich and seamless. High natural acidity and notes of brioche and pain grille complete the mouth feel. The 2008 Belle Côte is enjoyable now and will continue to develop its unique character for at least a decade.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Chardonnay Belle Cote offers copious aromas of honeyed orange blossoms, brioche and sweet pineapple as well as a full-bodied, dense, rich mouthfeel and great acidity buttressing the wine’s intensity and power. This superb white wine can be enjoyed over the next 7-8 years.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A rich, unctuous, full-bodied style, with ripe fig, melon, honeysuckle and floral scents that are full-bodied and concentrated, turning elegant, with a long, persistent finish.
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Peter Michael

Peter Michael

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Peter Michael, Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
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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.

Knights Valley

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A small and picturesque valley separating Napa Valley on its south border and Alexander Valley to its north, Knights Valley excels in similar varieties as the two aforementioned appellations, namely red Bordeaux varieties and blends, as well as Sauvignon blanc. Originally established by Beringer Vineyards, today several outstanding producers claim acreage here. The circadian cooling effects of the nearby Pacific Ocean create a nighttime respite for vineyards during the hot growing season.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

KHM107276_2008 Item# 107276