Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: 95 points
Peter Michaels Bordeaux program is built around their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine, Les Pavots. The 2008 Les Pavots, a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Cabernet Franc and 11% Merlot, offers up notes of roasted coffee, cocoa, chocolate fudge, black currants, licorice and a hint of truffles. This full-bodied, beautifully rich red boasts an opulent texture, impressive purity and a long finish. Impressively made with impeccable attention to detail (it is sorted berry by berry rather than grape bunch by grape bunch), this 3,500-case cuvee should drink well for two decades or more. Quality-wise, the 2008 is just a notch behind the stratospheric 2007. This is another winery where the stylistic differences between the 2009s (lower in alcohol, lighter-bodied, yet still intense) and the 2008s (powerful, rich, concentrated and deep because of tiny yields) are dramatic. I tended to rate the 2008s slightly higher because there is more to them and they will undoubtedly last longer, but the cool harvest 2009's larger crop size has produced wines with stunning elegance and finesse without the luxurious tactile impressions possessed by the 2008s. The Peter Michael Winery is the California outpost of British-born Sir Peter Michael who has shown a Midas touch for selecting brilliant winemakers, including Helen Turley, Mark Aubert, Luc Morlet and more recently Lucs brother, Nicolas. The consistency of these offerings from the cool climate hillside vineyards in Knights Valley and the Sonoma Coast has been respected and cherished by each of these winemakers. I hope readers took advantage of my notes last year on the 2008 Chardonnays because this is Peter Michaels greatest vintage for that varietal since 2002. Readers should also keep an eye out for their Pinot Noirs from their Sonoma Coast holdings as well as their brilliant Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon/Sauvignon blends. All things considered, Peter Michael is one of the reference point wineries in California. The three Pinot Noir offerings from Peter Michaels extensive holdings on the Sonoma Coast include Le Caprice (their steepest vineyard), Ma Danseuse and Clos du Ciel. Production ranges from 370 cases of the Clos du Ciel to just over 500 cases for Le Caprice. These are all fabulous entries into the California Pinot Noir sweepstakes and are fashioned from suitcase clones from Burgundys most famous vineyard in Vosne-Romanee.Tel. (707) 942-3200; Fax (707) 942-0209
Review date: February 2011
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: 94 points
Glass-staining ruby. Alluring aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cherry compote, incense and pipe tobacco. Lush and creamy on entry, then firmer in the middle, offering sweet dark fruit flavors complicated by notes of candied rose, licorice and smoky herbs. Supple and palate-staining wine with superb finishing clarity and lingering sweetness.
Review date: May 2011