Pinot Noir, ‘Ma Danseuse’, Peter Michael
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.
Ma Danseuse, French for “My Dancer,” is named in honor of Lady Michael by Sir Peter, who fondly remembers how they first met. Situated between 1,200 and 1,400 feet above sea level on steep mountain slopes, the vineyard faces east and north-east. It benefits from both the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean over the ridges to the west and the mild sunny mountain climate. The soil of the vineyard is a composite of clay, silt and volcanic gravels, which gives polished tannins, body and a hint of graphite-mineral. The Ma Danseuse is the most feminine of our trio of Pinot Noir vineyards.
The 2016 Ma Danseuse charms the eye with its distinctively deep red ruby hue. The nose exhibits a bouquet of roses, raspberry, Griotte cherry, strawberry, leather with a subtle note of violet. The palate shows balance and refinement, with subtle notes of delicate red fruits, red rose petal, cloves, vanilla, hazelnut and a mineral driven finish. The tannins are well integrated and the texture silky. The 2016 vintage reward two years of cellaring and will continue to develop for two decades or more.
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