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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Peter Michael Les Pavots 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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15.1% ABV
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15.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Saturated ruby with a hint of purple in color, the 2003 Les Pavotsreveals a gorgeous, intense bouquet of red cherry, blackcurrant,blueberry and blackberry, interspersed with nuances of cedar,tobacco (cigar box), graphite, lavender and sweet vanilla. Veryrich and full-bodied, this wine offers the same ripe fruit impressionson the palate. The mouth feel is creamy, with gorgeous velvetand slightly firm tannins, which lead to a long finish. The 2003 LesPavots will benefit from another year of cellaring for near termenjoyment and will age gracefully for several decades.

Blend: 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This wine has filled out very nicely. Nearly 3,000 cases were produced of this flowery, tar, camphor, incense, blackberry, black currant, espresso and chocolate-scented beauty. A blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, a whopping 22% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot, this full-bodied, opulent 2003 is just entering its plateau of full maturity. It is better at age ten than it was early in life from cask and post-bottling.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
Tannic and closed to the point of inaccessibility, this Cab-based blend, which contains Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, comes from low-yielding vines grown 1,700 feet above Knights Valley. It all comes down to a question of ageability. The answer is it will age quite nicely. The balance is superb, and the core of fruit is there. Do not open this wine until 2010; it should continue to develop for another 10 years at least.
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Peter Michael

Peter Michael

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Peter Michael, 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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

ARP127922_2003 Item# 127922