Skip to main content

Buy any 6 Bottles and get Free Ground Shipping

Peter Michael Pinot Noir Clos du Ciel Fort-Ross Seaview 2012  - First Bottle


93-95+ Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
The 2012 Pinot Noir Clos de Ciel was cropped at a rather high 3+ tons of fruit per acre and totaled 670 cases because of such a large crop. It offers plenty of blue and red fruits intermixed with notes of spring flowers, full body, and a layered mouthfeel. This should turn out to be a beauty, but like most of the 2012s I tasted with Luc and Nick Morlet, it is so primary and grapy, it is hard to see the nuances that are expressed in the other vintages. It should drink well for 10+ years. (Not yet released) The Peter Michael estate has grown considerably with their vineyards in the Fort Ross-Seaview region of the Sonoma Coast region producing some remarkable Pinot Noirs, and their Chardonnay vineyards in Knights Valley having been at the top of the qualitative hierarchy for many years. Add to that their proprietary Bordeaux blend called Les Pavots, their remarkable Sauvignon Blanc and their Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend. Additionally, they have purchased a great parcel of vines in the Oakville Corridor near the well-known Dalla Valle property. Owned by Sir Peter Michael, this estate has employed a bevy of brilliant winemakers over the years, the current being the two Morlet brothers from the Champagne district in France. Nick Morlet is employed full-time as the main winemaker, and his brother, Luc, consults at Peter Michael. Both have brought French savoir-faire and applied it to extraordinary vineyard sites to produce world-class wines of extraordinary richness, intensity and complexity. Readers looking for some of the best Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Sauvignon Blancs, Sauvignon/Semillon blends, and Bordeaux proprietary red blends can do no better than the wines from the Peter Michael Winery. Since I had not visited this estate in several years, I asked to do a complete retrospective of the last three vintages of Chardonnay and the last four vintages of Pinot Noir. The result was one of the most remarkable tastings I experienced over the last several years. First, Nick and Luc Morlet gave me a summary of their vintages. They were staggered by the quality of 2013 after what was clearly a great vintage in 2012. The three previous years were among the most challenging in recent years. Following one of the hottest years they had ever experienced, 2008, 2009 produced a small crop because of a cool year, 2010 was another small crop because of some rain issues, and 2011 was the most difficult vintage since 1998. Extremely cool, with no heat spikes, the 2011's microscopic crop had to be harvested extremely late, with many vineyards not finished with their harvest until the end of October or early November. The brilliance and flexibility exhibited by the winemaking team at Peter Michael has brought in a treasure trove of wines that readers will adore. All of the following Chardonnays are bottled without fining or filtration. From the hillside stony soils of La Carriere, the three Chardonnay vintages I tasted have a kinship to a great Burgundy grand cru from Chevalier-Montrachet or Corton-Charlemagne because of the wines- minerality. I hope these notes persuade a lot of readers of just what an extraordinary winery owned by the visionary Englishman, Sir Peter Michael, sits up in Knights Valley. From the beginning, Peter Michael has made Pinot Noir from grapes purchased from the Pisoni Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, south of San Francisco. They also planted three manually cultivated parcels on incredibly steep sites on the second ridge in from the Pacific Ocean in the Fort Ross-Seaview area. These were planted with clonal material taken from famous vineyards in Vosne-Romanee as well as with the Calera clone from California-s Central Coast. Peter Michael has invested millions of dollars in this Pinot Noir project, and it appears to have finally reached pay dirt as these are some of not only California's, but the world-s greatest Pinot Noirs. Tasting through four vintages of the Pisoni Vineyard proves that this site seems to have far more irregularity and crop size variations than the Sonoma Coast sites.
93 Vinous -
Brilliant ruby-red. High-pitched red fruit aromas are complicated by blood orange, Asian spices, tea rose and smoky minerals. Lively, sharply focused raspberry and floral pastille flavors gain intensity with aeration and pick up a deeper cherry pit quality. Leaves suave notes of black raspberry and musky herbs behind on the spicy, impressively persistent, focused finish, which barely hints at tannins.
91 Wine Spectator -
Marked by firm, gripping tannins and a core of savory herb, cola-laced dried berry, black tea and truffle flavors that fan out on the finish, this picks up a mocha note while remaining dry and savory. Drink now through 2022. 670 cases made.

Technical Details

  • BlendPinot Noir
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia North Coast
  • AppellationSonoma Coast
  • VineyardClos du Ciel

Peter Michael Pinot Noir Clos du Ciel Fort-Ross Seaview 2012

Pinot Noir  |  US
WA93-95+, VN93, WS91

Too late, we are SOLD OUT!

About the Producer

In 1982, after a six year search, Sir Peter Michael and Lady Michael purchased 630 acres of volcanic ridges on the western face of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley. Drawing inspiration from the great wineries of Burgundy and Bordeaux, the family hired like-minded viticulturists and winemakers to help them create terroir-driven wines that would stand the test of time.