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Professional Ratings: 94 The Wine Advocate
Region: Sonoma County, California
Varietal: Bordeaux Red Blends
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Item no. 26961
Aromas of cassis, blueberry, lavender and coffee interspersed with oak nuances of cedar and tobacco. Rich, ripe fruit impressions on the palate accentuated by silky, yet assertive tannins. It possesses a unique balance, full body, concentrated extract and a fine finish. Les Pavots is a fusion of traditional French and neoclassical Californian winemaking techniques. The wine is ready for near term enjoyment and has the richness, extract and structure for five to seven more years of aging.
1996 was a much hotter year than 1997, 1995, and 1994. While the 1996s are outstanding wines, in some cases the aromatics are more muted because of 1996's high heat. The Chardonnays from Peter Michael are easy to understand, but I am not sure Les Pavots is as fathomable. First of all, Les Pavots is made in a backward, Bordeaux-like style that does not offer the gush of jammy fruit so noticeable in many California Cabernets. However, this is an authoritatively rich wine overlaid with a structural profile that suggests the wine needs 4-5 years of cellaring - at least in top vintages such as California has experienced in the nineties. The superb 1994 Les Pavots is, to my palate, the finest example of this wine Peter Michael has yet made. Since its bottling, this deep, saturated purple-colored wine has taken on a gorgeous nose of cassis intermixed with violets, licorice, and attractive spicy oak. Sweet, rich, and surprisingly showy for a Les Pavots, this medium to full-bodied wine possesses a luscious, multi-layered texture, outstanding depth, and attractively integrated tannin and acidity. When I tasted it, it was more evolved and delicious than I had anticipated given its recent bottling.