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Flat front label of wine

Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2004

  • WS95
  • RP94
750ML / 14.5% ABV
Other Vintages
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  • RP94
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Spectacularly rich and intense, this vintage of Ma Belle-Fille boasts aromas of citrus oils, orange, dry apricot, apple skins, wet stone and brioche intermixed with notes of acacia. The mouth is rich, concentrated and very generous, displaying additional flavors of baked Reinette apple, meringue and orange rind. The finish is layered, rich, seductive and very long.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 95
Wine Spectator
Wonderful expression and purity of Chardonnay fruit, accented by smoky oak. The core fig, apple, pear and earthy nuances take on a butterscotch note as the finish sails on, unveiling one layer of flavor after another. Remarkable. Drink now through 2008. 1,752 cases made.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There is a greenish hue to the medium straw/light gold color of the 2004 Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille (1,500 cases produced). Revealing an almost tannic character (unusual for Chardonnay), along with good richness and fatness, it is a firm-structured, stony/mineral-dominated, closed effort.
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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 most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

Tasting Notes for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a dry, white wine. When Chardonnay grapes are planted on cool sites, the resulting wine's flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Food Pairings for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secrets for Chardonnay

Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy this lighter style.

ARP153382_2004 Item# 153382

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