Pinot Noir, ‘Le Caprice’, Peter Michael
Le Caprice is easily identifiable by its deep ruby color and bright crimson tinge. It shows intense aromas of raspberry liqueur, red cherry and blackberry mixed with Russian leather, violet and graphite. The palate is expressive and delivers Grillottes cherry, sandalwood, raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor, hazelnut, mussels and leather, with a background of black truffle and raspberry liqueur. The texture is round, tactile and mineral driven. Approachable now, the wine will handsomely reward two years of patience, and will continue to develop for a decade or more.
The name “Le Caprice,” as in capricious, is an ode to the fickle nature of the Pinot Noir grape. Situated between 1,025 and 1,450 feet above sea level on steep mountain slopes, some exceeding fifty percent in grade, the vineyard faces East and North-East. It benefits from both the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean and the mild sunny mountain climate. The soil of the vineyard is a composite of clay, silt and volcanic gravels, which help the wine display polished tannins, body and a hint of graphite-minerality. Le Caprice is the fruitiest of our trio of estate Pinot Noir vineyards.
The near perfect 2016 growing season started with a warm February and early bud break. While California’s drought continued, rains were sufficient to meet the vineyard’s needs. Cool damp conditions at blooming resulted in a well formed, but smaller than average clusters. After veraison, a single pass of thinning brought the crop into optimal balance. Overall, the vintage gave us ideal ripening conditions, maintaining excellent balance between sugar, acidity and the tannin development. Moderate temperatures at harvest allowed gradual picking as each block achieved perfection, providing excellent flavor development. The vintage produced classically styled Pinot Noirs with great intensity and uncommon ageability.
Planted: 1984 and 2007
Clone selection: Finest field selection from a Grand Cru of Burgundy