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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Peter Michael Les Pavots 1994

  • RP94
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of cassis, blueberry, lavender and coffee interspersed with oak nuances of cedar and tobacco. Rich, ripe fruit impressions on the palate accentuated by silky, yet assertive tannins. It possesses a unique balance, full body, concentrated extract and a fine finish. Les Pavots is a fusion of traditional French and neoclassical Californian winemaking techniques. The wine is ready for near term enjoyment and has the richness, extract and structure for five to seven more years of aging.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
1996 was a much hotter year than 1997, 1995, and 1994. While the 1996s are outstanding wines, in some cases the aromatics are more muted because of 1996's high heat. The Chardonnays from Peter Michael are easy to understand, but I am not sure Les Pavots is as fathomable. First of all, Les Pavots is made in a backward, Bordeaux-like style that does not offer the gush of jammy fruit so noticeable in many California Cabernets. However, this is an authoritatively rich wine overlaid with a structural profile that suggests the wine needs 4-5 years of cellaring - at least in top vintages such as California has experienced in the nineties. The superb 1994 Les Pavots is, to my palate, the finest example of this wine Peter Michael has yet made. Since its bottling, this deep, saturated purple-colored wine has taken on a gorgeous nose of cassis intermixed with violets, licorice, and attractive spicy oak. Sweet, rich, and surprisingly showy for a Les Pavots, this medium to full-bodied wine possesses a luscious, multi-layered texture, outstanding depth, and attractively integrated tannin and acidity. When I tasted it, it was more evolved and delicious than I had anticipated given its recent bottling.
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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.

MLNPMPAVOTS_1994 Item# 26961