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Peter Michael Les Pavots (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005

  • RP95
  • WS92
1500ML / 14.1% ABV
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1500ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Saturated ruby color with a nuance of vermillon, 2005 Les Pavots reveals an deep bouquet of black cherry, blackcurrant, blueberry and blackberry, with nuances of cedar, cacao, cigar box, black tea, graphite, a stylish 'guarigue' touch, forest floor, sweet vanilla and cloves. Extremely full-bodied, this wine offers the same rich, ripe fruit impressions on the palate. The mouth feel is full and round, with elegant tannins, which lead to a long finish. Complex, 2005 Les Pavots will benefit from another year of cellaring for near term enjoyment and will age gracefully for a decade or more.

Blend: 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
The 2005 Les Pavots (3,600 cases of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot) is a sensational wine, with a style that suggests a hypothetical blend of a great St.-Emilion and Pomerol. Chocolatey cassis notes intermixed with incense, licorice, and a hint of black olive are present in this wine. When it hits the palate, it comes across as very Pomerol-like, with lushness, full body, and opulence. The tannins are sweet, the pH high, and the wine gorgeously full, pure, dense, and long. It’s a terrific example of non-interventionalist winemaking that has turned out a beautiful, silky-textured wine that should age effortlessly for 15+ years. Like so many 2005s, this wine has really put on weight since I tasted it last year.
WS 92
Aging beautifully, this is smooth, rich and layered, with tannins that offer substance and traction around the core of earth- and mineral-laced dark berry, cedar, tobacco and sage. Ends a bit grippy from tannins, but won't disappoint. Best soon. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.—2005 California Cabernet blind retrospective (September 2015). Drink now through 2020.
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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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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

LIT331869_2005 Item# 331869