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Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2008

Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP97
  • WS97
15.4% ABV
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  • WS93
  • JS96
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15.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#3 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010

The 2008 Ma Belle-Fille is spectacularly intense, boasting aromas of nectarine and Mirabelle plum, accented with wet stone-like minerality, brioche and lily flower notes. Generous in the mouth, rich and concentrated, the wine displays flavors of William pear, honey, dried almond, meringue, dry chamomile, orange rind and notes of baked Reinette apple. In the mouth, the wine is tactile, gourmand and extremely pure. Layered and seductive, the finish is very long.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 97
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Flamboyant and exotic, the extroverted, exuberant, powerful 2008 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille is a sensational hussy of a wine. Lots of brioche, buttered pastry, lemon oil, tropical fruit, honeysuckle, nectarine and caramelized citrus characteristics soar from the glass of this big, full-bodied, super-intense 2008. The oak is hardly noticeable and the acidity and freshness are impressive in spite of the 15.4% alcohol. It is a stunning Chardonnay to drink over the next decade.
WS 97
Wine Spectator
This is a tremendous Chardonnay, intense, pure, ripe and complex, with concentrated pear, apple, fig and melon flavors that are elegant and refined. Well-defined and long on the finish.
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Peter Michael

Peter Michael

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Peter Michael, Knights Valley, 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.

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.

Chardonnay

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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.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay 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 Pairings

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 Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

KHM107277_2008 Item# 107277