• WS: 93

    Wine Spectator Score

    93

    Close
  • WA: 93

    Wine Advocate Score

    93

    Close

Peter Michael Chardonnay Knights Valley Ma Belle-Fille 1997

Winemaker's Notes:

This is our third vintage from Belle Cote Vineyard, Peter Michael Winery's first in a series of estate Chardonnay vineyards. In 1989 we discovered the potential of this high mountain site when our research revealed cool maritime breezes, rocky, well-drained soils of low fertility and an ideal exposure to the morning sun. The vineyard was planted in 1990 using a classical vertical trellis system and relatively close spacing of 1 200 vines per acre. The clones selected for this vineyard were "Rued", the famous "Old Wente" and "See"—selected from exceptional Chardonnay vineyards. Sir Peter named Belle Cote, which means "beautiful slope", after the famous ski run in Courcheval, France.

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Peter Michael Winery:
In 1982 Sir Peter Michael established the Peter Michael winery on a square mile of rocky volcanic ridges that form the western face of Mount St. Helena in Sonoma County. From the beginning, the wine growing philosophy was modeled on the French tradition infused with a few modern influences: One, the vineyard terroir would be the single most important feature. Two, the wines would be elegant ... Read more
In 1982 Sir Peter Michael established the Peter Michael winery on a square mile of rocky volcanic ridges that form the western face of Mount St. Helena in Sonoma County. From the beginning, the wine growing philosophy was modeled on the French tradition infused with a few modern influences: One, the vineyard terroir would be the single most important feature. Two, the wines would be elegant rather than overstated. Three, there would be a hundred-year commitment to the development of a great estate. Read less

External Reviews for Peter Michael Chardonnay Knights Valley Ma Belle-Fille

External Review
Source: Shop Wine Direct
01/17/2009

Wine Advocate ReviewRated 93There are 3,000 cases made of the exquisite 1997 Chardonnay Belle Cote, which is made primarily from such old California Chardonnay clones as Wente, fermented with indigenous yeasts, aged in French barrels (50% new), and bottled unfiltered. The light straw/gold color is followed by sumptuous leesy, toasty, and honeyed pineapple scents with a touch of mineral. The wine is medium to full-bodied, with exquisite texture, a sexy, rich after-taste, and superb purity - a hallmark of every Peter Michael wine.Wine Tasting NotesDistinctly intense and powerfully hedonistic aromas of lychee nuts, citrus and rose petals come to mind with a background of mineral, candied orange, yellow peach, nutmeg and a final touch of cedar. Weighty in the mouth and creamy, the palate is rich and seamless. High natural acidity and notes of brioche and pain grille complete the mouth feel. The Belle Cote is enjoyable now and will continue to develop its unique character for more than a decade.



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Tasting Notes:

Clonal selections greatly influence the wine's bouquet and multi-dimensional character. Aromas of dried apricot, smoked pears and apple fill the nose; sweet apple blossoms, concentrated dried fruits, fresh red apple and citrus oils expand on the palate and are evident from start to finish. Refined notes of oak are expressed as roasted nuts and spice. New oak tones of vanilla enhanced by the toast level of the barrel balance a mineral-toned acid finish. This is a medium to full-bodied Chardonnay with exquisite texture and a rich aftertaste. The 1997 will age very well for six years or more.

This is our third vintage from Belle Cote Vineyard, Peter Michael Winery's first in a series of estate Chardonnay vineyards. In 1989 we discovered the potential of this high mountain site when our research revealed cool maritime breezes, rocky, well-drained soils of low fertility and an ideal exposure to the morning sun. The vineyard was planted in 1990 using a classical vertical trellis system and relatively close spacing of 1 200 vines per acre. The clones selected for this vineyard were "Rued", the famous "Old Wente" and "See"—selected from exceptional Chardonnay vineyards. Sir Peter named Belle Cote, which means "beautiful slope", after the famous ski run in Courcheval, France.

3,098 cases 750 ml bottles, 240 1.5L bottles produced.

Aged 11 months.

Notes: 70% of the cuvee was fermented using native yeasts 100% barrel fermented from the cooperages Francois Tonncllcrics clc Bourgognc

Wine Specs:

Alcohol: 14.1% pH: 3.45
Total Acidity: 5.8 grams per liter

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