Spring of 2010 was unusually cold. These unseasonable temperatures delayed bud break by a full month and slowed canopy development. Late spring winds added to these early season challenges, leading to uneven fruit set. In response, Peter Michael Winery's vineyard crew conducted extensive green harvesting leaving only a small crop of the most perfect fruit on the vines. Ripening took place in mild conditions with a late burst of heat just before harvest allowing the flavors to fully develop. Though challenging, the 2010 vintage allowed them to dry-farm creating a wine with massive structure, length and elegance. Grown on the slopes of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley, the distinctive aromas and flavors of their proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot clearly display their hillside origins. Rocky, rhyolitic soils created through volcanic activity millennia ago, contribute a mineral richness and add to the wine’s complexity. Spanning 49 acres, Les Pavots ascends to an elevation of nearly 1,400 feet. Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot grow on the cool upper slopes and Cabernet Sauvignon grows just below.
Saturated ruby color with a nuance of vermillion, 2010 Les Pavots reveals a deep bouquet of strawberry, black cherry, black currant, blueberry and blackberry, with nuances of cedar, cacao, cigar box,
black tea, graphite, a stylish ‘garrigue’ touch, forest floor, sweet vanilla and cloves. Extremely full-bodied, this wine offers the same rich, ripe fruit impressions on the palate. The mouth feel is dense and round, with elegant tannins, which lead to a long finish. Complex, the 2010 Les Pavots will benefit from another year of cellaring for near term enjoyment and will age gracefully for a decade or more.
Harvested: October 8 – October 21, 2010
Blend: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
Aged 18 months in 100% French oak barrels from artisan coopers
Bottled unfined and unfiltered May 16, 2012
Release: April 1, 2013