The 2013 Pinot Noir Clos de Ciel is beautiful. Offering sweet bluish/black fruits, forest floor, a touch of graphite, violets and slight underbrush, it's magnificent and probably close in quality to their incredible 2012. All of Peter Michael's estate Pinot Noirs come from their relatively new plantings on that high ridge line above the fog line in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. Everything is 100% destemmed, goes through 5 to 7+-day cold pre-maceration, and is aged in about 50% new French oak. They are bottled without fining or filtration, and are all vinified with indigenous or selected yeasts. The clonal material is from a famous vineyard in Vosne-Romanée. (We can all assume it's probably from one or two of the great grand crus of the domaine, Romanée-Conti, but they're not confirming.) The wines spend their time in François or Gautier cooperage and the early vintages are among the greatest New World Pinot Noirs I have ever tasted. (RP)
Firm and rich, with a dense, chewy, tannic core of blackberry, wild berry, black tea, dried herb and black licorice. Tightens on the finish. Drink now through 2022. (JL)
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