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February 201293 The 2009 Chardonnay La Carriere emerges from the glass with layers of mineral-infused fruit. There is a saline note woven throughout the fruit that adds considerable freshness, verve and cut. White flowers, lemon and spices frame the long finish. I very much like the energy here. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021. I tasted a large number of wines at Peter Michael. Overall, the 2009 reds made the most positive impression on this visit. The 2009 Chardonnays are very strong. I am less enamored with the 2010 Chardonnays, as they clearly show the ill-effects of a challenging growing season, which at Peter Michael yielded very concentrated whites with slightly higher than normal alcohol levels and an element of heaviness that is out of character. Winemaker Nick Morlet describes 2010 as a difficult year. Bud break was a full month late. High winds and rain during the flowering resulted in high amounts of shatter and yields that are dramatically lower than normal. Morlet describes 2009 as a vintage where everything ripened quickly and at the same time. This lineup includes several wines that are being released for the first time, including a trio of Pinot Noirs from estate-owned coastal vineyards planted in 2006 and 2007. It will be fascinating to see how those wines develop as the vines acquire age. The newest wine in the ever-expanding Peter Michael stable is a new Cabernet Sauvignon from the former Showket vineyard that will make its debut with the 2011 vintage and that will be called Le Chevalier. I hope to taste it soon. I tasted the 2010 Chardonnays and Pinots from barrel. Those wines were scheduled to be bottled in February 2012. The 2009 Chardonnays and Pinots were bottled in late January/early February 2011.
International Wine Cellar
June 201193 Hazy greenish gold. Spicy, leesy, smoky aromas of lemon pith, melon and hazelnut. Velvety and concentrated, with emphatic lemony cut to the flavors of pit fruits and honeydew. Silky and seamless, with excellent finishing clarity and mineral-driven persistence. This elegant wine will be even better in a couple of years.
June 30, 201193 A much more restrained La Carrière, yet rich, detailed and complex, offering a mix of melon, fig, apricot and hazelnut flavors that are elegant, detailed and persistent on the finish. Drink now through 2016. 2,900 cases made.