The Peter Michael Winery Dinner June 2012 – Raiding the Library

On Saturday June 16th, I was asked to host and preside over something really special. For those who know the Peter Michael Winery and Vineyard Cellars, we spend more time than anything else saying “I’m sorry. We have no wine to sell”. This year is no exception, with a 2-year wait on the winery mailing list and only minimal stocks left here in the UK. “Raiding the Library” was therefore a chance to sample the unobtainable, paired with Daniel Galmiche’s bespoke tasting menu.

First up, Coeur a Coeur. A new wine for the winery made from 50% each Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Crisp, refreshing, but with the weight one would expect from Laville Haut-Brion or equivalent top Graves. A pair of Chardonnays followed to demonstrate the differences that terroir and micro climate in a single area can bring. Richness and ripeness versus minerality and steeliness, all within a couple of miles of each other!  On to the reds. Le Moulin Rouge is the opulent, blockbusting Pinot Noir from Gary Pisoni’s ranch down in Santa Lucia, South of San Francisco. Often the rarest wine made by the winery, this was the first time we opened this at any event in Europe. The flagship Les Pavots followed, exuding those classic left-bank Bordeaux characteristics of graphite, mineral, and dark fruit notes, lifted by a touch of cinnamon and other spice notes. The evening was complete…

But not quite. I had collected many old bottles of “PMW” as we call them over the past fifteen years,  and opened a few late-night bottles for our more hardened tasters. Clos du Ciel (long-since departed Chardonnay from Howell Mountain), Crète d’Or (Russian River Valley Chardonnay made once!), and older vintages of Belle Côte Chardonnay and Les Pavots Proprietary Red made up the list. We were done!

A very special evening, in the presence of Paul & Emily Michael and around forty ardent Peter Michael Winery fans. We’ll do it again some time…

James Hocking
Director of Wine
The Vineyard Group