Sunday, September 19, 2010

The new Le Caprice from Peter Michael Winery

Pinot Noir is just a small part of the Peter Michael Winery portfolio. Of their on average 14 000 cases annual production the pinots counts for only 500 to 700 cases. Yet, the two pinot wines stands for almost 90 percent of the request, reports the sales manager of Peter Michael Winery.
Peter Michael Winery is famous for their great chardonnays as well as the rich Bordeaux blend Les Pavots, and besides a tiny fraction of the latter and the grapes for the chardonnay Mon Plaisir, that are bought from Jess Jacksons vineyards, the grapes are estate grown on the upper slopes in Knights Valley. Then, there are two pinots, since 1997 the Le Moulin Rouge from grapes bought from the famous Pisoni Vineyard in Santa Lucia Highlands and now also a new pinot bought from a highly reputed vineyard in the cool Sonoma Coast.
This is the inaugural vintage of Peter Michael Winery from their new lease of a part of the famous Reuling Vineyard near Forestville, only 25 kilometers from the ocean in the cooler part of Russian River that belongs to Sonoma Coast appellation.

2007 Le Caprice / 92-94 p
The Reuling Vineyard is planted with the Calera Clone, which is said to have been taken from a vineyard in Vosne-Romanée four decades ago. The soil is dominated by goldridge, which adds a fine mineral note even in this rich and lush wine. Grapes are fully destemmed but not crushed and then the winemaker Nick Morlet gave the must a four day long cold soak in the small square open top fermentation tanks of steel. Fermentation was carried out with the indigenous yeast at around 27-31 degrees Celsius, with pigeage twice a day. Then the wine was transferred into French oak barrels from Damy and Louis Latour, around half new, for malolactic fermentation and a 15 months long ageing. The label state 14.4 percent alcohol and that may well be true – at least alcohol is only slightly present in the finish of the long aftertaste.
Color is dark cherry red, quite typical for cool grown pinots in Sonoma Coast. On the nose, it shows a great intensity and depths, loads of sweet raspberries and cherries, and just a small note of the sweet and not too spicy or toasty oak. The oak is a bit more present on the palate, especially in the end of the taste (just a dash of bitterness due to the youth). Acidity is fresh, which makes the silky, sweet scented and lovely taste very elegant. I just love the seductive, aromatic, silky texture – and compared to the much more structured Le Moulin Rouge pinot, this is good to drink already! During the tasting, the wine evolved beautifully in the glass over 30 minutes, which indicates a good potential for the coming years. It’s a great first release!
Drink it 2010-2017.