Sauvignon blanc l'Après-Midi
AVA, Peter Michael Winery, 2015
Pale golden yellow with bright green tinge. Very expressive nose of exotic fresh fruit: papaya, mango, blackcurrant bud, lemon and quince that is carried through to palate. Fresh, aromatic, elegant and a great length: a big Sauvignon Blanc, perfect for Asian cuisine.
|Origin:||USA / Kalifornien / Napa Valley|
|Site / vineyard:||Südost/Südwest in 300- 360m Höhe|
|Grape variety:||Sauvignon Blanc|
|Ripening potential:||2 to 10 years|
|Serving temperature:||10 to 12 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Bouillabaisse, Fresh water fish with cream sauce, Goat's cheese, Hearty stew with pulses|
|Vinification:||fermentation of entire grape, fermentation in wooden barrel|
|Harvest:||hand-picking with simultaneous grape sel|
|Maturation:||in partly new and used barriques/ Pièces, on the yeast, bâtonnage|
|Maturation duration:||9 months|
USA - Yes, they can!
The United States is the third-largest nation on the planet in terms of both land area (after Russia and Canada) and population (after China and India). Every conceivable climate zone can be found in the US, from hot deserts to arctic frost. Thanks to immigration from all over the world, the US is probably the most multicultural country on the planet. Thus it has the ideal conditions for producing internationally recognized wine.
California: Lots of fruit and ripe tannins
Around 90 percent of the wine produced in the USA comes from California. The Napa Valley, situated roughly 100 kilometers north of San Francisco, is the most prominent wine region in the western hemisphere. California vintners first caused an international sensation with Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, however, superior wines are also produced from Pinot Noir, Syrah and other varieties. California’s wine country shows more variety today than ever before.
Peter Michael Estate
In the 1970s, Sir Peter Michael came to California as a young engineer and discovered the emerging wine world of California, with some excellent names already drawing international attention.
This awakened his desire to try something new. The search for a suitable piece of land ended in the secluded Knights Valley on the western slope of Mount St. Helena, in the east of Sonoma County, north of Napa Valley. The first vines were planted in 1983. His son Paul was helping out at the time and was full of enthusiasm, although the rows of vines were extremely difficult to set up on the very steep (inclines of up to 40%), stony layers of primarily volcanic rock. Later, Sir Peter was able to buy more plots of land on the coast and in Oakville, in Napa: Fort Ross-Seaview, with perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir, and Au Paradis, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
The winery is not easy to find. If you're not careful, you can easily drive past it and continue up the hill, where you will be rewarded with a fantastic view over the vineyards and two lakes. It seldom rains, which is why the artificial lakes were built for irrigation. The dry climate promotes sustainable and natural resource management.
In the Les Pavots area, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot ripen to produce the eponymous cult wine. In the vineyards of Belle Côte and La Carrière they grow Chardonnay and in L’Après-Midi Sauvignon Blanc. The Ma Belle-Fille and Ma Danseuse vineyards are planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and have been named in honour of Sir Peter’s daughter-in-law and of Lady Michael, who as a young woman was an enthusiastic dancer.
In the cellar, Frenchman Nicolas Morlet has been in charge since 2005, producing successful wines year after year, many of which feature in the top League of California. With a cool glass of wine, resting on the terrace of the winery in a deck chair, you will feel like a king in California. You could almost forget that you are in the United States, because the wines are reminiscent of their counterparts in France. Sir Peter has achieved his goal: to produce wines which combine the best of California and France.
The Sauvignon blanc can be recognized with your eyes closed. Its typical bouquet is marked by green notes: freshly cut grass, tomato bunches, gooseberry. Citrus fruits, cassis and flint join into the mix. In warmer latitudes it also shows exotic aromas, such as passion fruit. Its acidity is decidedly lively. In all likelihood, it comes from the Loire Valley, where it is vinified in Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre in its purest form: varietally, and without timber. In the 18th century, it found its way to Bordeaux. Ambitious producers assemble it there with Sémillon into substantial whites, which are aged in oak barrels. The Sauvignon blanc has been a sensational success in the past 20 years in New Zealand. With its refreshing sweet-and-sour style, winemakers from down under have conquered the world. The rich Sauvignons from Styria and crisp examples of South Tyrol and Friuli are worth mentioning as well. It pairs with anything from the sea. Or do it like they do on the Loire, and enjoy it with goat cheese.