Peter Michael Sonoma California Chardonnay Pinot Cabernet Sauvignon

peter michael

Everything about Peter Michael Winery, Sonoma Coast California, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon wine producer profile, wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, history of the property, information on their wine making techniques, terroir and soil. You can also read about the Grapes used for California wine and learn about the extensive History of Napa Valley, California Wines

Peter Michael History, Overview

The self named, Peter Michael winery was founded in 1982 with the purchase of 630 acres of volcanic ridges in the Knights Valley appellation. Peter Michael did not start out in the wine business. He earned his money from owning and selling a massive electronics company in England. The following year after starting Peter Michael, they began planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in their Sonoma vineyards.

At the time of the purchase, Peter Michael became the first major winery in the Knights Valley area. In 1987, they hired Helen Turley as their winemaker. She was soon replaced by Mark Aubert, who eventually formed his own, self named winery. The debut Chardonnay wine from Peter Michael is still in production today, Mon Plaisir.

Peter Michael Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking

The family has continued to increase their holdings for the Peter Michael Winery. In 1998 they obtained an additional 400 acres in the Sonoma Coast. This was followed by another acquisition in 2009 of a 41-acre parcel overlooking the east side of Napa’s Oakville appellation. The hillside vineyard, located off the Silverado trail was planted in 1988 by Kal and Dorothy Showket. Prior to the purchase by Peter Michael, the grapes were sold to Shafer, Dalla Valle and Caymus. These new holdings are planted to Bordeaux varietals. The wine is called Peter Michael Au Paradis, which made its debut with the 2010 vintage.

For the production of Peter Michael white wines, all the wines from the Peter Michael winery are fermented using only indigenous yeast. Malolactic fermentation is only aided by native yeasts as well  For the white wines, the fruit is hand sorted at the whole cluster level before pressing. Peter Michael white wines are barrel fermented and aged on their lees.

For the Peter Michael Winery red wines, the berries are sorted 3 three times, first by hand at the cluster level and twice after being destemmed. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in tanks before being transferred to French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wines are aged in French oak. The amount of new oak varies from vintage to vintage.

The Peter Michael Winery produces several different Chardonnay wines as well as a plethora of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon based wines. Of their vast Chardonnay portfolio, Point Rouge is their top wine, which shows and interesting sense of humor, as that is a white wine. Adding to the mix, for a few vintages during the early 1990’s, the estate made a red wine from Bordeaux varietals and called it Point Blanc! With over 150 acres under vine, the Peter Michael winery is quite large. Their average annual production is more than 15,000 cases per vintage.

Serving and Decanting Peter Michael Wines with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Peter Michael Wine wines are best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages of their red wine can be decanted for 1-2 hours, depending on the character of the vintage. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

The red Peter Michael Wine is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, ribs, hamburgers, barbecue, roasted, braised, grilled dishes and stews. Peter Michael Wine is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms and pasta.

The white wine of Peter Michael is best served with all types of seafood and shellfish, sushi, sashimi, chicken, veal, pork and cheese.

Peter Michael Wine Tasting Notes

26 Vintages 115,308 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2015 Peter Michael Sauvignon Blanc L'Apres-Midi  (Knights Valley) 92

On the bright, juicy, crisp, energetic side, the refreshing notes of grapefruit and lemongrass, are fresh and refreshing. This is a nice zippy wine with good purity of citrus fruit. 92 Points

3,417 Views   Tasted
2014 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 93

Fresh, soft, polished, silky and lush, there is ample, juicy, dark red fruits, cedar and cherry to keep things going. Balanced, polished and fresh, this should drink well young, yet age in the cellar quite well. 93 Points

5,053 Views   Tasted
2013 Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière  (Knights Valley) 97

What a great style of wine. With the perfect blend of citrus notes, a dab of tropical fruit, flowers and rocks, the silky, lush, fresh, energetic wine leaves with sweet, ripe, lemons, apple and pear, with a dab of vanilla bean to finish things off. 97 Points

3,410 Views   Tasted
2013 Peter Michael Chardonnay Cuvée Indigene  (Knights Valley) 95

There is a tropical accent to all the sweet, ripe, juicy, fresh citrus, pear, vanilla bean and apple that shines through here. Rich and fresh, sweet and stony, this is such a nice style of California Chardonnay, it is hard not to finish the bottle too quickly. 95 Points

2,914 Views   Tasted
2012 Peter Michael Chardonnay Belle Côte  (Knights Valley) 97

Rich without being overdone, the wine is packed with fresh, ripe, sweet citrus fruits, candied lemon peel, orange, floral and vanilla notes. Concentrated, yet fresh, the wine is long, finishing with a plush, polished, sweet lemon sensation that lingers. Perfect with grilled summer seafood. 97 Points

4,539 Views   Tasted
2012 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 95

There are those nights when a steak grilled rare calls out for a young, powerful Cabernet Sauvignon and this was one of those nights. Deep in color, after the initial espresso and vanilla oak notes subside, a range of black of fruit appears, along with licorice, smoke and wet earth. Full bodied, rich, fat, round and long, the savory, sweet fruits in the end pack a punch. The wine was made from a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. i still have some early vintages of Les Pavots from 1994 in my cellar, based on how well those have aged, I suspect this will last even longer. 95 Points

5,003 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Chardonnay Belle Côte  (Knights Valley) 94

A pronounced nose with fresh lime, minerals, lemon grass, flowers and spice bring you to a full bodied, rich, sweet, ripe wine with body, balance and persistence this combines plush character with plush textures. 94 Points

3,817 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille  (Knights Valley) 94

Powerful scents of minerals, vanilla, lemon, lime and smoke get you interested to know more about the wine. Plush, silky and concentrated. The flavors build in intensity. 94 Points

3,472 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 94

From the best terroir in the Knights Valley Appellation, this is usually produced from a typical Left Bank, Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend that also includes Cabernet Franc, Merlot and a tiny bit of Petit Verdot. The attention seeking perfume is packed with blackberries, truffle, smoke, licorice and a hint of blueberry. Full bodied, rich, silky and mouth filling, this delicious Cabernet Sauvignon should age well for at least 2 decades. It should be better after a few years of bottle age which will allow the tannins to soften. 94 Points

9,412 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Chardonnay Mon Plaisir  (Knights Valley) 93

Complicated notes of citrus oil, spice box, stone, floral and lemon zest lead to a rich, concentrated wine with a fleshy, nut and fresh, citrus finish. 93 Points

2,628 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Pinot Noir Le Caprice  (Sonoma Coast) 93

Cherry cola, fennel, coffee, black cherry and spice open to a rich, intense, long, spicy, ripe, red and black fruit filled finish. 93 Points

3,282 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière  (Knights Valley) 92

Cloudy, straw colored, with grapefruit, lemon and lime notes in the perfume, this fleshy, fresh, Chardonnay ends with plush, citrus, minermal and lychee nut notes. 92 Points

2,693 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Pinot Noir Le Moulin Rouge  (Santa Lucia Highlands) 92

Deeply colored, with ripe, black plums, coffee and spcie box aromatics. Rich, big and spicy, the wine ends with a layer of sweet, peppery, ripe, black cherries. 92 Points

3,480 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael Pinot Noir Ma Danseuse  (Sonoma Coast) 91

The second vintage for this Pinot Noir produced a large scaled, powerful, smoky, licorice, coffee and black cherry intensive wine. Rich and plush, but it does not offer the same level of complexities or finesse found in the other 2010 Peter Michael Pinot Noirs. 91 Points

4,788 Views   Tasted
2010 Peter Michael L'Esprit des Pavots  (Knights Valley) 89

Smoke, coffee, licorice, blackberry and black cherries make up the nice perfume. But the tannins are a little drying and the oak is noticeable. Perhaps a few years of bottle will add more development to the wine. 89 Points

4,575 Views   Tasted
2009 Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière  (Knights Valley) 94

With its mineral, citrus, earth and grapefruit scented perfume, this rich, oily, powerful wine ends with a long, concentrated, honeyed, citrus and tropical flavored finish. 94 Points

5,932 Views   Tasted
2009 Peter Michael Chardonnay Mon Plaisir  (Knights Valley) 93

Honey, smoke, citrus and stone open to a medium/full bodied wine that ends with a fresh, floral, citrus. 93 Points

3,697 Views   Tasted
2009 Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille  (Knights Valley) 93

This wine opens with tropical fruit aromas, citrus and stone. Full bodied, intense, and stuffed with gobs of ripe fruit, the wine ends with a long, juicy, sweet lemon, lime filled finish. 93 Points

5,088 Views   Tasted
2008 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 94

Smoke, coffee, cassis, spice box and tobacco scents are found with a little coaxing. Soft, polished, elegant textures, round tannins and a big mouthful of sweet, chocolate black cherry flavors are the hallmarks of this wine. 94 Points

8,720 Views   Tasted
2005 Peter Michael Chardonnay Point Rouge  (Knights Valley) 95

Deep yellow in hue, with a strong, oaky, vanilla, butter, coconut, popcorn, lemon and pear character. The wine is full bodied, round and fat, with a generous blast of sweet, albeit oaky, fruity finish. 95 Points

2,565 Views   Tasted
2002 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 96

This extremely concentrated, opulent wine offered a perfume of sweet chocolate, ripe dark fruit, black cherry and a hint of licorice. Full bodied, richly textured and intense, this is already showing well. 96 Points

2,560 Views   Tasted
2000 Peter Michael Chardonnay Cuvée Indigene  (Knights Valley) 90

Deep yellow in color, the wine could pass for a 20 year old Chardonnay. With scents of lemon lime, vanilla and nut oil, your palate experiences rich textures, ending in a spicy, citrus rind finish with a hint of bitter at the end. This is more than fully mature and is already dropping its fruit. I'd drink this sooner than later. 90 Points

2,576 Views   Tasted
1997 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 93

Full bodied, intense, elegant and fresh, the licorice, blackberry and smoke filled personality really shine through. 93 Points

4,007 Views   Tasted

Drinking perfectly today, there is ample fresh, blackberry, tobacco, earth and black plum flavors that mesh just right with the soft textures and flesh found in a mature California Cabernet Sauvignon. 94 Points

3,913 Views   Tasted

Fully mature, from a Left Bank Bordeaux blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot the rest made from 9% Cabernet Franc, tobacco, smoke, cassis, earth and forest aromas open to a polished California wine that is clearly in prime time drinking today. This is not quite as rich as I remember it. I'd opt for drinking it over the next 3-5 years. 93 Points

4,059 Views   Tasted
1996 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 95

Flowers, truffle, herb and sweet cherry blossoms, with a fresh, sweet, silky texture and a blast of dark chocolate in the elegant finish. This is fully mature. 95 Points

4,016 Views   Tasted
1996 Peter Michael Chardonnay Cuvée Indigene  (Knights Valley) 92

The nose smelled of lemon, flowers, orange rind and honey. Full bodied with a waxy fruit filled finish. 92 Points

1,909 Views   Tasted
1994 Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley) 90

Better on the nose than the palate with its intriguing notes of espresso bean, truffle, smoke, tobacco, plum and cassis. On the palate, the wine delivers sharp red berries, herbs and olive in the finish which is starting to slowly dry out. 90 Points

3,783 Views   Tasted