1996 Peter Michael - Belle Cote 750ml

USA - California - Sonoma - Knights Valley/ White / Chardonnay   |     Watch

IWC 89   WA 93   WS 93  
1996 Peter Michael - Belle Cote  Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


International Wine Cellar | Rating: 89

Complex aroma of beeswax, roasted hazelnut, lemon zest and tangerine. Thick, broad and tactile in the mouth; conveys a fat impression but could use more depth of flavor. Chewy but quite dry.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 78

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Wine Advocate | Rating: 93

1996 was a much hotter year than 1997, 1995, and 1994. While the 1996s are outstanding wines, in some cases the aromatics are more muted because of 1996's high heat. As the tasting notes and ratings evidence, the Chardonnays are slightly more bunched in scores and quality than in vintages such as 1995 and 1994. Two-thousand cases were produced of the 1996 Chardonnay Belle Cote from Peter Michael's 15-acre vineyard in Knight's Valley. This is the finest example of Belle Cote I have yet tasted. A beautifully aromatic wine, with leesy, Burgundian-like aromas, in addition to those of white peaches, citrus, and honey, this full-bodied, well-endowed Chardonnay possesses low acidity, a lush, open-knit, expansive texture, and mouthfilling levels of extract. This is an opulent, flamboyant, exceptionally complex Chardonnay that should drink well for 1-3 years. All of Peter Michael's top wines, including the Chardonnays, are bottled without filtration. Readers should make it a point to visit this winery situated in Knights Valley, not far from the Napa/Sonoma county line. The quality is extraordinary, and the commitment and talent of the winery staff laudatory. Moreover, the winery seems committed to achieving even greater quality.

Drink Dates: 1997-2000
Author: Robert Parker
Issue: 114

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Wine Spectator | Rating: 93

Elegant and understated at first, with delicate pear, tangerine and vanilla flavors that build into a more complex and concentrated wine, with hazelnut, citrus and fig.

Drink Dates: 1998-2002
Author: James Laube


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About This Producer


Peter Michael's estate vineyards (founded in 1982) are what make his wines truly exceptional. Sugarloaf Ranch sits high above Knights Valley in eastern Sonoma County, and from its rocky volcanic soil come Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Alexander Mountain Estate Vineyard, above Alexander Valley, provides additional Chardonnay. All Peter Michael wines are site-driven single vineyard bottlings, whether from the estate or the limited sourced appellations. The line-up of estate wines is supplemented by a Pinot Noir from Pisoni Vineyard called "Le Moulin Rouge."

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See other similar producers: Martinelli Winery, Flowers Vineyard and Winery, Dierberg Vineyard

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