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Flat front label of wine

Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006

Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP92
  • WS90
14.6% ABV
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14.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Terroir-driven minerality remains the signature of this vineyard, with aromas of crushed stone, lily, hazelnut and sweet pear. Touches of mandarin orange, acacia, honey and sweet vanilla complete the elegant bouquet. Notes of citrus oils, white peaches and lemon highlight the minerality. Rich, intense, and sculpted, presenting wonderful concentration and elegance on the palate, it has bright acidity and minerality, much like its Burgundian cousins from Puligny-Montrachet.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of my favorite cuvees is always La Carriere. The 2006 La Carriere (about 2,600 cases) displays wonderful honeyed grapefruit, crushed rock, and some spicy, yeasty notes along with nectarine and honeyed citrus. The wine is rich, full-bodied, with a striking minerality. It should drink nicely for 3 years maximum.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Firm, intense and complex, with fresh, vibrant, spicy pear, melon and apple flavors that turn rich and creamy, ending with a dash of hazelnut and spice.
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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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

KHM302565_2006 Item# 302565