Peter Michael, Le Caprice, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2014
| ABV 14.2%
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The name “Le Caprice,”, meaning capricious, is an ode to the fickle nature of the Pinot Noir grape and this wine is the fruitiest of the trio of estate Pinot Noir vineyards. 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 Oceanand 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. Native yeast fermentation and 16 months in French oak adds toasty complexity and structure to this wonderful wine.
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. The wine shows intense aromas of raspberry liqueur, red cherry and blackberry mixed with leather and graphite. The palate is expressive and delivers Grillottes cherry, sandalwood, raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor, hazelnut, mussels and leather, with a background of raspberry liqueur. The texture is round, tactile and mineral driven. The wine is already expressive and will continue to develop for at least a decade.