Michael Michaud

Harvest Dates


Clonal Content

115, 667, 777, Swan Selection

Alcohol / pH

13.9 % / 3.68

Titratable Acidity

0.62 gms / 100mL

Barrel Aging

17 months in French Oak

(50% new)

Cases Produced


Suggested Retail Price



Michaud Vineyard

Pinot Noir

The Michaud Vineyard is an extraordinary location for cultivating Pinot Noir.  Lying at 1600’ above the Salinas Valley floor and at the front door of Pinnacles National Monument, the vineyard is extreme by typical Pinot Noir standards.  2009 was a typical growing season for the Chalone AVA, with rain finished by May and long stretches of high amplitude day time heat and chilly nights.  The clones 115, 667, 777, and Swan selection were perfect, with small tight clusters and uniform berry sizes.  In the glass, the wine has a poised bouquet, offering delicate raspberry aromas with fennel and lavender notes.  The structure is superb, with a center of bright red fruit and hints of soy and minerals.  On the finish, the signature tannins emerge with high notes of pomegranate and anise.  Our Michaud Vineyard Pinot Noir is a delightfully subtle wine which will benefit from cellaring 3-5 years.

Winemaker Notes

The Michaud vineyard was picked in the pre-dawn hours in mid-September.  Upon arrival at the winery, the clusters were hand-sorted to remove damaged or under-ripe fruit.  Grapes were de-stemmed without crushing into small open top fermenters, and chilled with dry ice.  The must was cold-soaked for three days, until fermentation with natural yeasts commenced and then augmented with a yeast strain selected to build aromatics.  After fermentation, the wine macerated on the skins to build aromatics and tame the tannins.  We pressed the wine off into French oak cooperage chosen for elements of spice and earthiness.  The wine was racked once before bottling in March 2011 after spending 17 months in barrel.


  1. Prince of Pinot - “Very Good (+)”
    “Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely endowed perfume of blackberries, plum reduction sauce and Herbs de Provence. Delicious black raspberry and blackberry core that is intense on the attack, finding every nook and cranny in the mouth, and persisting on the earth-kissed, chocolaty finish. Clean and pure, with bold tannins that are typical for this vineyard. Very good (+).”
    - Rusty Gaffney 11/1/11

  2. Wine Enthusiast - 91 points “Cellar Selection” status
    “A dry, tannic young Pinot Noir. It’s not a big, gushy wine, but comes down more on the elegant side, with low alcohol and an earthiness to the cherry and cola fruit. You want to age it for at least five years, to let it show its stuff.”
    - Steve Heimoff 5/1/12

  3. PinotReport - 92 points - subscription required
    “Deep ruby color; complex, deep earthy and berry aromas with a touch of anise; rich, deep berry and earthy flavors with complex herbal notes; some tannin and toasty oak; good structure and balance; long finish. A deep, earthy Pinot that needs time to open.”
    - Greg Walters - 2/15/12