I was not familiar with the wines of Peter Michael when a friend gave us two bottles as a birthday gift. He had come into posession of the bottles as the result of a curious battle of wills between the Peter Michael winery and the wine buyer at a notable area restaurant.
Some cursory research revealed that these wines have a cult-like following among a certain crowd, that this Peter Michael fellow operates in that rareified financial strata where money is no object, and that his Knight's Valley winery is apparently cooler than all get out.
I tend to reserve my cultish impulses for Sean Thackery and David Rafanelli. Thackery as I understand it makes his wine under a tin roof in some shack out in Bolinas. That said, I fell hard for Clos Pegase the first time I visited, and I can certainly appreciate a well made wine in --for lack of a better descriptor-- the classic style.
The 2002 Les Pavots certainly feels classic. It was served to Prince Charles during his recent visit to the White House for instance. Velvet mouth feel and dark berry fruit, with the moist earth and decay scents that I appreciate in Cabernet. The most prominent fruit for me was blueberry. Very tasty.
I can't really discuss this wine in terms of relative value. I believe it to fetch well over a hundred dollars a bottle, provided you can find it. For the same price, I can say that I prefer the acidic complexity of the various La Spinetta barbarescos or the murky depths of S.Thackery's Orion.
Oh, that battle of wills... several cases of this wine were delivered to the notable restaurant I mentioned. The Peter Michael folks appear to be waiting for the restaurant to pay for it, the restaurant is waiting for them to come get it.