Red Blend, Knights Valley, 'L'Esprit des Pavots,' Peter Michael 2019

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30% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot. 18 months in 100% French oak barrels from select artisan coopers.

Peter Michael's property in the Knights Valley AVA is at a much higher altitude than many others in the area, with vineyards reaching as high as 2000 feet (610m) above sea level. The result is cooler growing temperatures, which allows for wines in the more restrained old world style.

Vintage Notes: "Ample rainfall in the winter of 2019 ensured a full soil-moisture profile to begin the growing season. Variable weather from budbreak to veraison resulted in less fruit setting than normal and one of the smallest crops in the last twenty years for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot at the Knights Valley Estate. The summer was mild, with a long ripening period and moderate heat, which helped deliver wines of extraordinary elegance and suppleness."

Winemaking Team Notes: "'L'Esprit des Pavots' is French for the 'Spirit of the Poppies.' First produced in the 2001 vintage, the wine was sourced solely from our Les Pavots vineyard and affectionately referred to as the 'little brother' of our flagship wine. With the 2016 vintage, select lots from our Oakville Estate were introduced to the blend. 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.

The deep garnet red 2019 'L'Esprit des Pavots' bursts from the glass with a volley of blackberry pie, cassis, plum, and blueberry, supported by floral violet and rose petal notes. Clove, black olive, and garrigue accents round out the complex nose. Silky, supple tannins on the entry are followed by an explosive-yet refined midpalate, with black tea, leather, anise, and cinnamon highlights. The sleek, polished finish lingers on the palate. Although approachable now, this wine will continue to develop beautifully in the bottle over the next ten years."

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