2003 Peter Michael "Belle Côte" Knights Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
From a north-facing vineyard, the 2003 Chardonnay Belle Cote (2,500 cases available) possesses loads of tropical fruit characteristics along with hints of tangerines and lemon butter backed up by zesty acidity and a full-bodied, persistent finish. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium green-tinged yellow. Compelling aromas of peach, rose petal, lichee and essen tial oils. Dense, rich and chewy, with compelling peachy sweetness thanks to an impression of lowish acidity. Wonderfully seamless Chardonnay with strong extract. Finishes very long and subtle.
A flashy, flamboyant style, loaded with ripe, rich pear and golden apple flavors and layers of spice and toasty oak. Yet for all its richness and depth, it turns elegant and restrained on the finish.
**Two Stars** As carefully constructed as it is wonderfully complex and so very deep in incisive Chardonnay fruit, this beautifully crafted young wine hits the mark smartly in every regard. Rich and full-bodied, yet keenly balanced with integral acids lending brightness to its very ripe style, it is long and layered in flavor with a fascinating interplay of apples, citrus, stones and sweet oak. There is still a slight angular edge to its finish, but its scant coarseness is only the failing of youth, and another year in the bottle should make for an even more remarkable wine.