Red Bordeaux Blend 'L'Esprit des Pavots'
The 2017 growing season began with abundant rainfall, ending California’s long drought. Spring weather was cool, delaying bud-break slightly and avoiding any damage from frost. Warmer weather in mid-May insured even blooming and an average-sized fruit set. Vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains. Meticulous canopy management and fruit thinning brought the crop into optimal balance. Warmer than normal conditions after veraison accelerated ripening and required judicious irrigation to mitigate dehydration of the fruit and stress on the vines. As harvest approached, the return of cooler conditions allowed the fruit to gradually reach perfect ripeness.
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.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes
Generously rich and intense, 2017 L’Esprit des Pavots greets the eye with a near-black color and highlights of crimson ruby. The wine displays blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, hallmarks of the Les Pavots terroir, along with plum, with hints of mocha and vanilla bean. The Au Paradis terroir brings notes of currant and crème de cassis with meaty nuances. The palate is full-bodied and concentrated, exhibiting savory of leather, tobacco, and white pepper and accents of chestnut, black truffle, cedar, and supple tannins with a lingering finish. Fruit forward and enjoyable at release, this wine should age gracefully for ten years or more.
- Appellation: 73% Sonoma County, 27% Napa County
- Harvested: September 6 – October 26, 2017
- Blend: 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
- Aged 18 months in 100% French oak barrels from select artisan coopers
- Bottled unfined and unfiltered May 15, 2019
- Alcohol: 14.8%
- Release Date: September 1, 2020