Peter Michael "L&

Peter Michael "L'Esprit des Pavots" Red 2020
(Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California) - [JD 94] [WA 94] [JS 93] [VM 91]


Regular price $146.97
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JD94 WA94 JS93 VM91
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About the Winery:
Founded by Sir Peter Michael in 1983 with a singular vision: to make wine in the terroir-driven tradition of Burgundy and Bordeaux, yet under the California sun and in California soil.

Peter Michael Winery owns three estates: Knights Valley, Seaview (Sonoma Coast), and Oakville (Napa Valley). All rest on steep hillsides ranging in elevation from 500 to nearly 2000 feet and are the only sources for Peter Michael's wines.

Winemaker Notes:

L'Esprit des Pavots literally means ˜The Spirit of the Poppies." First produced in the 2001 vintage, the wine was sourced in our Les Pavots vineyard and affectionately referred to as the ˜little brother" The blend for L'Esprit has always been more free-form than Les Pavots, varying more from vintage to vintage. Starting in the 2016 vintage we introduced selected lots from our Au Paradis vineyard in Oakville, Napa Valley. The wine is typically more fruit forward and early-drinking than Les Pavots or Au Paradis, but remains a true expression of the Peter Michael style, balanced, elegant and age worthy.

Hand harvested: October 4–October 24
Blend: 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc, 29% Merlot
Apellations: 72% Sonoma & 28% Napa Valley
Aged: Eighteen months in 100% French oak barrels from select artisan coopers
Bottled unfined: May 10, 2022
Alcohol: 16.1%

Vintage Notes:

2020 saw the first February with no rainfall in recorded history. The rains eventually arrived, with some particularly late storms into May and even the very beginning of June, which resulted in a good water profile in the soil at the beginning of the growing season.

The weather during bloom was temperate and resulted in good fruit set and fairly normal yields. During most of the growing season, 2020 was fairly cool, punctuated by a series of heat spikes in late August and early September, then fairly warm temperatures through harvest.

Winegrowing Notes:

‘L’Esprit des Pavots’ is French for “the spirit of the poppies.” First produced in the 2001 vintage, the wine was sourced solely from our Les Pavots vineyard and affectionately referred to as the “little brother” of our flagship wine. With the 2016 vintage, select lots from our Oakville Estate (Au Paradis Vineyard) were introduced to the blend. The wine is typically more fruit-forward and early-drinking than ‘Les Pavots’ or ‘Au Paradis’ but remains a true expression of the Peter Michael Winery style: balanced, elegant, and age-worthy.

Tasting Notes:

The vibrant 2020 ‘L’Esprit des Pavots’ leaps from the glass with a bright fanfare of ripe cherry, cinnamon, cassis, and red currant with supporting notes of black licorice, dark chocolate, and toffee. This beautifully balanced wine features silky tannins and a juicy, plush mouthfeel, with black fruit, black pepper, and black tea elements on the palate and a soft finish. The 2020 ‘L’Esprit des Pavots’ is approachable in its youth but will continue to develop for several years.

Ratings & Reviews
94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"Inky red with a purple tinge, the 2020 L'Esprit Des Pavots is brooding with spice, black cherry preserve, forest earth, and black licorice. It’s full-bodied, rounded, and gushing with boysenberry, with a balance of sweet fruit and savory Sonoma character in its notes of tea leaf, wildflowers, and lightly toasted spices. Long on the palate, with ripe tannins and a good finish, it’s attractive now and will drink well over the next 10 years." (Jul 2023)

94 Points - Wine Advocate:
"The 2020 L'Esprit des Pavots is a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc and 29% Merlot, with 72% Knights Valley fruit and 28% Oakville fruit. Opaque ruby in color, it has pure, layered scents of red plum and cherry, mint chocolate, rose petals, soy sauce and cedar. The full-bodied palate features restrained, mineral-driven fruit and loads of floral character. It has abundant, finely grained tannins, energetic acidity and a long, perfumed finish. Drinkable straight from the bottle, enjoy it over the next 5-7 years. 1,161 cases were made. This will be released in July of 2023." - EB (Feb 2023)

93 Points - James Suckling:
"A fleshy and rich red with crushed berries, green pine needles, bark, orange peel and bark. Hints of walnuts, too. Full-bodied with round and polished tannins that are integrated and solid. Second wine. Drinkable now, but I would give it another two to three years of bottle age." (Sep 2022)
 
91 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2020 L'Esprit des Pavits is mostly Knights Valley in this vintage. Bright and punchy, the 2020 offers movely forward red-toned fruit followed by touches of mocha, dried flowers, mint, tobacco and cedar. This is a terrific second wine, especially considering the year." - Antonio Galloni (Aug 2023)