The 20th vintage of Peter Michael Winery’s L’Après-Midi – a Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend sourced from high-altitude vineyards in Sonoma County – has been released in the UK.
The estate-grown wine is sourced from the Les Pavots vineyard in the Knights Valley, Eastern Sonoma County, with an elevation of 1,000-1,200ft above sea level.
L’Après-Midi was named by winery owner Sir Peter Michael, as he considered it perfectly suited to afternoon drinking.
Imbibe tasted it at 4pm (when else?) and found it a wine as big as its price-tag, but worth the effort: the oak never overwhelms the aromas of greengage, grapefruit and orchard flowers, and punches back on the silky palate of lemon meringue pie dusted with cinnamon. It’ll come together even more with time.
The 2016 vintage is the result of a ‘near-perfect’ growing season, with sufficient rainfall and slightly cooler than average temperatures. Conditions were warm and sunny, with a prolonged Indian summer and only one heat spike.
The 88% Sauvignon Blanc/12% Sémillon blend was whole cluster-pressed and naturally fermented in French oak, with no malolactic fermentation ‘to preserve vibrancy’.
The wine was aged separately by lot, on the lees, for eight months with gentle bâtonnage before final blending and bottling in May last year.
£44.10 (dpd); £63.99 (RRSP); The Vineyard Cellars, [email protected].