2006 Peter Michael, Le Moulin Rouge, Santa Lucia Highlands, Magnum (1.5L)

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Rating:RP96 i Wine Critics: RP = Robert Parker
AG = Antonio Galloni
BH = BurgHound
JD = Jeb Dunnuck
LP = Lisa Perrotti-Brown
VM = Vinous Media
WS = Wine Spectator
JS = James Suckling
DR = Decanter
NYR = Not Yet Rated

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2006 Peter Michael - The 2006 Pinot Noir Le Moulin Rouge is awkward following bottling. It seems austere and not nearly as impressive as I was hoping it would turn out to be. This is certainly a very good wine, but angular, and it clearly reflects the challenging aspects of this vintage for Pinot Noir. This winery continues to go from strength to strength despite a succession of winemakers over the last decade. Their consistency seems to come from their access to top vineyards and the carte blanche given by the proprietor to the talented winemakers who have come through, such as Mark Aubert, more recently Luc Morlet, and now his brother, Nicolas Morlet. They seem to do whatever is necessary (keeping yields low, having the best barrels, sorters, and vats) to produce the wines of extraordinary quality that have made Peter Michael a true world-class producer of unbelievable Chardonnays as well as Pinot Noirs and a Bordeaux-blend proprietary red wine. Nearly every Chardonnay here is of grand cru quality, and all are based on specific vineyard sites sprinkled in Knights Valley and the Sonoma appellation. Currently, there are six Chardonnays, two cuvees of Pinot Noir (and this is before their Sonoma Coast plantings of Pinot Noir come into production), two Bordeaux blends, and of course, their brilliant Sauvignon Blanc. Readers will find that the production in 2006 was slightly higher almost across the board for all the cuvees than the 2007, which was a year of moderate yields and approximately 20% less in quantity. The Point Rouge is always a selection of the best barrels from all the different lots, and bottled as an homage to Helen Turley, who first worked here and suggested to the owner in the late 1980s that the wine would be better unfiltered, which led to some experiments and a dramatic improvement in quality when the wine was finally bottled naturally. Sir Peter Michael has invested heavily on the Sonoma Coast, but those vineyards wont come into production until next year. It is often difficult for a winery that achieves such brilliance with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir to also do well with Bordeaux varietals, but Les Pavots has been a brilliant success for 15+ years.
Peter Michael, Le Moulin Rouge, Santa Lucia Highlands

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