2011 Peter Michael "Ma Belle-Fille" Knights Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1139704 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Typically, there is much less of the 2011 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille (1,390 cases), which displays good acidity for this vintage. There is a greenish hue to its light gold color and the nose exhibits notes of wet stones, quince, white currants and pineapple. There is a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel, but the floweriness and forwardness of this vintage suggest drinking it over the next 3-4 years. (RP)  (12/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright yellow. Smoky pear and tangerine aromas gain power with air, taking on a richer yellow plum quality. Chewy, densely packed poached pear and peach pit flavors coat the palate, with dusty minerality providing shape. Finishes lush, creamy and long, with a repeating pear note and a hint of floral honey. (ST)  (5/2014)

92 points Vinous

 The 2011 Chardonnay Ma Belle Fille is the most polished and refined of these four Chardonnays. Here the flavors are lifted and bright. Lemon, grapefruit, white flowers, slate and sweet spices are all woven together nicely in the glass. I very much like the sense of energy here. This is also the Chardonnay that is most clearly reflective of the year. The finish is long, voluptuous and nicely layered. (AG)  (2/2014)

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Price: $99.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).