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Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
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Winemaker Notes

#20 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2014

Ma Belle-Fille has a core of lean citrus flavors and vivid minerality, with layers of baked apple and nectarine rounding out its profile. The name translates to "My Daughter In-Law" in honor of Emily Michael, Paul Michael's wife and the mother of the youngest generation.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 99
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille reveals notes of citrus blossom, Mandarin oranges, tangerine oil, white peach, pineapple and a wet rock-like minerality. This full-bodied, opulent, exotic, stunningly classic Chardonnay should drink well for a decade or more. The good news is that there are 2,105 cases.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
Captivating, sleek, elegant and graceful, this is rich without weight, offering a mix of ripe pear, fig, apricot and melon flavors, with subtle touches of nutmeg, hazelnut and toasted almond. For all its flavor and depth, this displays wonderful lift on the finish. Drink now through 2020.
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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.

WER137530_2012 Item# 137530