Peter Michael Les Pavots 1997 Front Label
Peter Michael Les Pavots 1997 Front Label

Peter Michael Les Pavots 1997

  • RP96
  • WS92
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. The 1997 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 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1997 Les Pavots originates from a hillside vineyard overlooking the Knight's Valley that has 23 acres planted with Bordeaux varietals. The 1997 blend consists of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged in French oak (50% new), and bottled without filtration. Fortunately, there are 4,351 cases of 750 ml bottles, as well as 330 cases of magnums. A blue/black/purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of toast, blackberries, creme de cassis, licorice, and cedar. Full-bodied, with silky tannin, low acidity, and layers of concentrated, pure black fruits judiciously wrapped in subtle toasty oak, this wine can be drunk early, but promises to hit its peak in 5-7 years, and last for two or more decades.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
On the plus side, this is dense, firm and concentrated, offering notes of dried currant, olive and anise. Still rustic, ending with chewy tannins.—Non-blind Les Pavots vertical (March 2011). Drink now through 2016.
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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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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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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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.

ENG31052_1997 Item# 31052

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