peter michael belle cote chardonnay 2020 750ml
$139.99 SPECIAL $119.99
The grapes for Belle Côte are grown at 1,700 to 1,800 feet above sea level. The high elevation, in combination with a more sheltered site, create conditions for a long and slow ripening. The resulting wine offers the broadest, fattest fruit profile of our four single vineyard Chardonnays, with clean citrus notes, exotic lychee and our signature wet stone-like minerality.
The year 2020 saw the first February with no rainfall in recorded history. The rains eventually arrived, with some particularly late storms—into May and even the very beginning of June. The late spring rainfall produced a good water profile in the soil at the beginning of the growing season. As a result, the fruit set was variable in our Chardonnay vineyards, bringing lower yields but high-quality fruit.
For our Knights Valley Estate Chardonnay vineyards, 2020 was overall a cooler growing season punctuated with a series of heat spikes in August and September. The Chardonnay harvest spanned six weeks, with the first Ma Belle-Fille block harvested on August 19 and the last Belle Côte block coming in on September 30.
As the oldest of the four Peter Michael Winery estate Chardonnay blocks, Belle Côte exemplifies the consistent quality of Chardonnay these mountain vineyards produce. Due to the naturally cool climate of the site’s high elevation, mitigation of exposure to the hot afternoon sun from its southeastern exposure, and a stand of trees on the western border, the vines are allowed to ripen slowly. The growing season for Belle Côte typically extends into October two to three weeks longer than most Chardonnay vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties.
WINEMAKER'S TASTING NOTES
Intense aromas of orange blossom, nectarine, peach, and rose petals showcase the marriage of remarkable old-vine Chardonnay with an exceptionally unique terroir in the 2020 ‘Belle Côte.’ The rich, beautifully creamy entry with mouthfeel is followed by a broad, powerful yet balanced mid-palate and an extraordinarily long finish. Hints of toasted almond and pain d’épices embrace an expressive core of marmalade, custard, and nougat. A wonderfully balanced wine, the 2020 ‘Belle Côte’ is approachable in its youth but will continue to blossom for more than a decade.
JD97, Jeb Dunnuck
"The aromas of the 2020 Chardonnay Belle-Côte are more herbaceous and move into bright green apple and a very pleasant smokiness. The texture is silky, with Corton-like richness, yet it has levity."
JS97, James Suckling
"This is an open and thoroughly satisfying young chardonnay, with sliced dried apple, pineapple, lemon zest and honey suckle. Full-bodied with plenty of chardonnay character that evolves on the palate to white-spice and gunpowder undertones. Pine needles, too. A fantastic Belle-Cote for the vintage."
WS93, Wine Spectator
"Shows salted butterscotch, peach and tangerine flavors that are polished and focused, with lemon blossom, poached pear and candied ginger notes on a plush, elegant frame. Features a fresh edge of acidity. Drink now "