Peter Michael Sonoma California Chardonnay Pinot Cabernet Sauvignon

peter michael Peter Michael Sonoma California Chardonnay Pinot Cabernet Sauvignon

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

25 Vintages 92169 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

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

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 - Tasted
2014Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)93 pts

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 - Tasted
2013Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière  (Knights Valley)97 pts

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 - Tasted
2013Peter Michael Chardonnay Cuvée Indigene  (Knights Valley)95 pts

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 - Tasted
2012Peter Michael Chardonnay Belle Côte  (Knights Valley)97 pts

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 - Tasted
2012Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)95 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)94 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille  (Knights Valley)94 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Chardonnay Belle Côte  (Knights Valley)94 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Pinot Noir Le Caprice  (Sonoma Coast)93 pts

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

93 points - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Chardonnay Mon Plaisir  (Knights Valley)93 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Pinot Noir Le Moulin Rouge  (Santa Lucia Highlands)92 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière  (Knights Valley)92 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael Pinot Noir Ma Danseuse  (Sonoma Coast)91 pts

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 - Tasted
2010Peter Michael L'Esprit des Pavots  (Knights Valley)89 pts

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 - Tasted
2009Peter Michael Chardonnay La Carrière  (Knights Valley)94 pts

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 - Tasted
2009Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille  (Knights Valley)93 pts

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 - Tasted
2009Peter Michael Chardonnay Mon Plaisir  (Knights Valley)93 pts

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

93 points - Tasted
2008Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)94 pts

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 - Tasted
2002Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)96 pts

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 - Tasted
2000Peter Michael Chardonnay Cuvée Indigene  (Knights Valley)90 pts

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 - Tasted
1997Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)94 pts

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

93 points - 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 - 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 - Tasted
1996Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)95 pts

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 - Tasted
1996Peter Michael Chardonnay Cuvée Indigene  (Knights Valley)92 pts

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

92 points - Tasted
1994Peter Michael Les Pavots  (Knights Valley)90 pts

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 - Tasted