2002 Peter Michael - Belle Cote 750ml

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

IWC 93(+?)   Collector 95
2002 Peter Michael - Belle Cote  Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine

International Wine Cellar | Rating: 93(+?)

($65) Bright yellow color with a slight haze. Highly complex nose melds fresh pineapple, grapefruit, lemon and crushed stone, all lifted by a strong citrus rind element. Very dense, rich and bright; uncompromisingly dry but superconcentrated and wonderfully nuanced from the start. Offers a superb range of flavors, including grapefruit, stone, lichee, and a delicate suggestion of rose petal, plus hints of exotic fruits. Finishes with youthful austerity and superb grip. Shows the typical viscosity of this bottling, but seems more backward than the 2001 at a similar stage.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 114

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Collector Reviews For This Wine

Author: Stephen G41
Trust Rating: 96
Tasted On: 03/19/2011
Excellent Cali chard, ready to drink, for sure.

Rating: 97
Author: TMac
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 12/24/2009
See previous tasting note.

Rating: 93
Author: Daniel B
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 09/01/2004
Drink Dates: 2004-2006
From a vineyard planted to three different Chardonnay clones (Rued, Old Wente, and See), the 2002 Belle Cote is an extremely big Chardonnay. Sadly, it lacks sufficient acidity to counter its impressive girth. Medium gold colored wine with a bright and airy nose with tons of butterscotch, lemon liqueur, and vanilla spice. Heavy on the palate but with loads of sweet fruit, graham crackers, and oak. Very viscous and intense with excellent length. A heavyweight but perhaps too much of a good thing.

Average rating: 94, based on 4 reviews

VinCellar Collectors Who Own This Wine Also Own

Collector Data For This Wine

752 bottles owned by 166 collectors.

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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."

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

Wine Varietal: Chardonnay

Arguably the best dry white wine grape out there, Chardonnay is grown all over the globe. In addition to being the backbone of fine white Burgundies, Chardonnay is also one of the three major grape varieties used in producing Champagne. Susceptible to a myriad of complications, Chardonnay berries are relatively small, thin-skinned, fragile, and oxidize easily. Chardonnay grapes can be sensitive to winemaking techniques and more difficult to handle from harvest to bottling than many other varieties. Some producers will use malolactic fermentation (where harsher malic acid is turned into softer lactic acid and carbon dioxide) to reduce crispness and acidity and add a creamy, buttery texture to wines. The "oaky" character of some Chardonnays comes from fermenting or aging which takes place in oak barrels. Once barrel-aged, Chardonnay may take on notes of vanilla or toast. While Chardonnay is produced worldwide, the best can be found in France, the United States, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. Typical descriptors for Chardonnay include mineral, green apple, citrus, tropical fruits, vanilla, butter and smokiness.

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