The 2010 growing season was exceptionally cool. A mild, wet spring resulted in late bud break, and the fruit set was lighter than normal. Balancing the vines to one cluster per shoot further reduced the yields to about one ton per acre. From veraison until harvest, the vineyard enjoyed sunny and mostly mild conditions. A few hot days in August accelerated maturation, giving them an ideal ripening season. The high altitude microclimate of the vineyard prevented the fog from further slowing ripening. Harvest occurred a few weeks later than normal, and the grapes from the Seaview estate were beautiful, compact clusters with petite concentrated tasty berries. Low yields resulted in intense densely flavored wines.
Le Caprice, French for “The Freak,” as in “of nature,” aptly describes this rough vineyard terroir, and is also an ode to the fickle nature of the Pinot Noir grape. Situated between 1,025 and 1,450 feet above sea level on steep mountain slopes, the vineyard faces east and northeast, benefiting from both the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean and the mild sunny mountain climate. The soil is a composite of clay, silt and volcanic gravels, which help the wine display polished tannin, body and a hint of graphite. Le Caprice is the most fruit forward of Peter Michael Winery's trio of Pinot Noir vineyards.
Deep red ruby color and bright crimson tinge is the clear identifier for Le Caprice. The vineyard shows its signature characteristics of red forest fruit coupled with aromas of red cherry liqueur, currant, raspberry, strawberry, fresh leather and graphite. The 2010 vintage is refined and expressive with intense concentration in the mouth. The finish lingers both aromatically and subtly on the palate. The wine will age gracefully for a decade.
Harvested: September 28, 2010 to October 5, 2010
100% naturally fermented using native yeasts
Aged 16 months in 33% new French oak barrels from select
Bottled unfined and unfiltered February 1, 2012
Alcohol 15.7 %; Release Date: September 1, 2012