ITEM 63406

2009 Peter Michael Winery L'Esprit des Pavots Sonoma County


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bordeaux blend

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peter michael winery


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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: 94 points

As good as Les Pavots is in 2009, the real surprise is the 2009 L'Esprit des Pavots, which costs about half the price and delivers nearly as much pleasure. To be sure, $95 a bottle isn't cheap, but the Esprit delivers the goods and then some. The 2009 is a huge, mouthfilling wine bursting with dark fruit. It doesn't have the textural finesse or sophistication of Les Pavots (especially in the tannins), but it is nevertheless incredibly pleasing right now. I loved it. The Esprit is made from vineyards that are 10-15 years old. The blend is 47% Cabernet Franc, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. I tasted a large number of wines at Peter Michael. Overall, the 2009 reds made the most positive impression on this visit. The 2009 Chardonnays are very strong. I am less enamored with the 2010 Chardonnays, as they clearly show the ill-effects of a challenging growing season, which at Peter Michael yielded very concentrated whites with slightly higher than normal alcohol levels and an element of heaviness that is out of character. Winemaker Nick Morlet describes 2010 as a difficult year. Bud break was a full month late. High winds and rain during the flowering resulted in high amounts of shatter and yields that are dramatically lower than normal. Morlet describes 2009 as a vintage where everything ripened quickly and at the same time. This lineup includes several wines that are being released for the first time, including a trio of Pinot Noirs from estate-owned coastal vineyards planted in 2006 and 2007. It will be fascinating to see how those wines develop as the vines acquire age. The newest wine in the ever-expanding Peter Michael stable is a new Cabernet Sauvignon from the former Showket vineyard that will make its debut with the 2011 vintage and that will be called Le Chevalier. I hope to taste it soon. I tasted the 2010 Chardonnays and Pinots from barrel. Those wines were scheduled to be bottled in February 2012. The 2009 Chardonnays and Pinots were bottled in late January/early February 2011.Tel. (800) 354-4459;

Review Date: February 2012