Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cuvée Indigène 2007 and 2008 from Peter Michael Winery

At Peter Michael Winery in Knights Valley, six chardonnays are made. One of them, Point Rouge, is a top selection, another one, Mon Plaisir, is sourced from Jess Jacksons vineyards in Alexander Mountain further up north, and three wines are vineyard selections from the steep vineyards above the winery of Peter Michael. Then there is a chardonnay called Cuvée Indigène, introduced as an experimental wine by the former winemaker Helen Turley to discover if and how wild fermentation could add a greater sense of terroir in the wines.
Today, when all wines are fermented with the indigenous yeast and the winemaking team knows more about the terroir in the different vineyard blocks, this cuvée has become a wine of its own. The intention is to make a powerful, yet elegant chardonnay. Grapes are predominately sourced from the Upper Barn Block in Jackson’s vineyard in Alexander Mountain. It is wild fermented in brand new French oak barrels, it undergoes full malolactic fermentation and stays in the oak for a year, with bâtonnage once a week. Production reaches around 500 cases per year.

2007 Cuvée Indigène / 93 p
Golden straw color indicates a rich and barrel aged wine with the first signs of maturity, yet the nose is youthful and fruit driven with notes of pineapple and lemon peals, and there’s also a fine buttery and creamy quality that adds intensity, plus a slightly roasted note of nutmeg from the oak barrels. On the palate, the wine is rich and ripe, again with a creamy texture and sweet notes of lemons, but there is enough acidity and mineral notes to make a fine balance. The oak adds a certain nutty complexity to the taste, and the alcohol (14.5 percent) gives warmth in the end of the taste. Even if the first sip gives a slightly sweet sensation, the finish is dry, very long and elegant. Wines like this should be served at 10-12 degrees Celsius.
Drink it 2010-2012.

2008 Cuvée Indigène / 92-93 p
The overall characteristics are quite alike those of the 2007 vintage, but the color in this wine is paler and the structure more firm and marked by acidity. Although the body is almost as rich and silky, the taste is drier and the notes of minerals are much more evident, which adds a greater complexity in this vintage. Still, there are lovely notes of nutmeg, hazel nuts, honey, sweet lemons and acacia. I have a slight preference for the 2008 vintage, just because of the mineral notes and the finer texture. It should be served at 10-12 degrees.
Drink it 2010-2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment