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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Peter Michael Les Pavots 2015

  • JD98
  • JS97
  • RP95
  • WS94
750ML / 15.4% ABV
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750ML / 15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Grown on the slopes of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley, the distinctive aromas and flavors of our proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot clearly display their hillside origins. Rocky, rhyolitic soils created through volcanic activity millennia ago, contribute a mineral richness and add to the wine’s complexity. Spanning 49 acres, Les Pavots ascends to an elevation of nearly 1,400 feet. Merlot and Cabernet Franc grow on the cool upper slopes and Cabernet Sauvignon grows just below.

Near black in color with saturated ruby and vermillion nuances, 2015 Les Pavots reveals a deep bouquet of cacao powder, dried blossoms, dried red fruit, black cherry and currant, blueberry and licorice, with nuances of cigar box, graphite, vanilla and black truffle with a stylish ‘garrigue’ touch. Extremely full-bodied, the palate echoes the nose with the same rich, ripe fruit tones and diverse spice notes. The mouth feel is dense, round and seamless, with supple tannins, savory clove and tobacco elements and beautiful ‘patina’ notes leading to a long finish with subtle mineral accents. The wine provides a classic presentation of our estate’s terroir and will age gracefully for two decades.

Blend: Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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JD 98
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2015 Les Pavots checks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot and the balance Petit Verdot. It offers a huge nose of blackcurrants, blackberry, scorched earth, graphite, and cedarwood. Deep, rich, supple, and sexy, with a seamless, incredibly elegant texture, it builds with time in the glass and is a monumental Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Napa Valley.
Rating: 98+
JS 97
James Suckling

Intense aromas of plums, black truffles, bark and dark plums. Pine needles, too. Full-bodied, tight and polished. Extremely elegant and precise. The finish is very long and vertical. Compressed and refined. A beauty already. 

RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Blended of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot, the 2015 Les Pavots Proprietary Red Wine is scented of crème de cassis, blueberries and baking spices with hints of chocolate box, black earth and cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate simply sings with black fruit preserves and spicy layers, supported by chewy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Remarkably complex and nuanced, with a firm mix of cedary oak and mocha notes and tight dark berry, anise, gravel and spice flavors, finishing long and persistent. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
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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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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.

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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.

SKRCPE383_2015 Item# 431022