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Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2012

  • RP99
  • JS95
750ML / 15.6% ABV
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750ML / 15.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very intense and powerfully hedonistic aromas of lychee nut, citrus, rose petal and orange blossom, with a background of mineral, bergamot orange, candied orange, yellow peach, nutmeg, nougat, whole nut and toasted almond. The rich seamless palate is weighty in the mouth and very creamy. Notes of brioche, saffron and pain grille coupled with natural acidity and minerals complete the mouth feel. The wine will continue to develop for at least two decades.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The nearly perfect 2012 Chardonnay Belle Côte boasts an amazing perfume of pineapple marmalade, tangerine oil, wet rocks and citrus blossoms. This full-bodied, stunning Chardonnay has a creamy texture as well as fabulous underlying mineral characteristics. One of the great wines of the vintage, this amazing Chardonnay can be enjoyed over the next decade or more.
JS 95
James Suckling
Aromas of flint, pineapples, sliced apples, white peaches, pears and light honey. Ginger. A full-bodied, broad-shouldered white. It turns linear and shows lots of licorice and aniseed character. Drink or hold.
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Peter Michael

Peter Michael

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Peter Michael, 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.
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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.

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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.

WER133228_2012 Item# 133228