Peter Michael, Au Paradis, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, 2014
| ABV 15.3%
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Located in the heart of the Oakville AVA’s famed red dirt in Napa Valley, Au Paradis is situated exactly where its name translates, “In Heaven.” Planted in the foothills on the east side of the valley on a raised gently sloping plateau, the Bordeaux varietals develop into a classic style with silky tannins and deep red fruit. The slope and hillside location provide ideal sun exposure during the day and help develop the lush, intense fruit one would expect from such a magnificent property. Always a Cabernet Sauvignon-led blend, Au Paradis is raised in a classically Bordeaux style, spending 18 months in French oak before being bottled without finining or filtration.
A dry winter followed by unseasonably warm temperatures in early spring accelerated bud break by four weeks, and meant that careful vineyard management was critical for the health of the vines. However ideal conditions at harvest allowed each block to be calmly picked as it achieved optimal ripeness. Yields were higher than average, but due to dehydration the skins and pulps of the berries were thicker than normal, resulting in low yields of exceptionally concentrated fruit. This wine offers elegant notes of cassis, black cherry, chocolate, licorice, cloves, cinnamon and an exotic touch of orange. In the mouth, the texture is velvety and loaded with blackcurrant, cassis, game, blackberry, black olives, coconut, plum eau-de-vie, and an iron-like minerality. The mouth feel is round, refined, complex and meaty with an incredible length of finish. The 2014 Au Paradis will continue to age gracefully for three decades or more.