LIMITED QUANTITY. In 1982, after six years of searching for land to serve as both vineyard and family retreat, Sir Peter Michael and Lady Michael purchased 630 acres of volcanic ridges on the western face of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley. As an avid collector of the wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, he set out to create his vision of a mountain-grown, California Cabernet Sauvignon wine that would show authentic terroir, and rival even his favorite wines from home.
In pursuit of Sir Peter’s "100 by 100" vision : 100% family ownership for at least 100 years, the family hired like-minded viticulturists and winemakers to help them create terroir-driven wines that would stand the test of time.
In 1988, the first harvest of ‘Les Pavots’ (“The Poppies” - named in honor of the Golden State’s California flower) was released, showcasing a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot from the Knights Valley Estate Les Pavots Vineyard, which is rooted in the volcanic rich soils of Mount St Helena and reaches elevations of 1,400’.
Les Pavots remains the winery's most storied and iconic wine. It is the wine Sir Peter had in his mind’s eye when he started his search for a vineyard site in 1976.
Today, with the support of son, Paul, and Paul's wife Emily, the Peter Michael winery still adheres to its original founding principles of mountain vineyards, classical winemaking, and limited production.
• 53% - Cabernet Sauvignon
• 36% - Cabernet Franc
• 7% - Merlot
• 4% - Petit Verdot
More minerality, graphite, and scorched earth notes emerge from the 2018 Les Pavots. Full-bodied and uber-concentrated, it reveals building tannins, awesome mid-palate depth, and one heck of a great finish. It's a serious, powerful, blockbuster beauty that also holds onto perfect balance and a beautiful sense of elegance. It will keep for two decades or more. 97/100, Jeb Dunnuck
Love the sweet berries, black olives, tile and fresh herbs on the nose with floral undertones. Oyster shell, too. Full-bodied with round, creamy tannins that are beautifully polished and refined. Very long finish. All about finesse and wonderful length. 68% cabernet sauvignon, 19% cabernet franc, 10% merlot and 3% petit verdot. Drink after 2023. 97/100, James Suckling
Bright and energetic, with soaring aromatics, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Les Pavots is utterly captivating from the first taste. A rush of blackberry, crushed rocks, graphite, rose petal, mint, lavender and blue/purplish fruit builds in the glass. All the pedigree of Knights Valley is on display. The 2017 is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot. It spent 18 months in Taransaud and Darnajou barrels. The team opted to bulk out 40% of the wine, so production is down sharply. The wine that was bottled, well, it's pretty special. 97/100, Antonio Galloni
Located in Knights Valley, Sonoma, the Les Pavots vineyard is located in the oldest of the estate-owned sites, planted in 1989. It is situated at 1,000-1,400 feet and is quite steep in areas. Composed of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Les Pavots is medium to deep garnet-purple in color. It needs a fair bit of coaxing to unlock the intense scents of blackcurrant preserves, ripe black plums and boysenberries with touches of wild sage, tobacco leaf and pencil shavings. The full-bodied palate is densely packed and tightly wound with loads of black fruits, dried herbs and earthy layers, supported by firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing long and energetic. 3,255 cases were made. 96/100, Lisa Perrotti-Brown