A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from a small, excellently located vineyard in Oakville has been selected as Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year for 2015, the highest ranking in the magazine's annual Top 100 list of the most exciting wines. The Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Au Paradis 2012 (96 points, $195) epitomizes the modern style of California Cabernet and validates the excitement surrounding the 2012 vintage.
Wine Spectator's editors chose the Top 100 from more than 18,000 wines reviewed in the magazine’s independent blind tastings in 2015. Selections are based on quality (score), value (release price), availability (the number of cases made or imported into the U.S.) and what Wine Spectator calls the “X-factor”—the excitement generated by the wine.
The Cabernet Sauvignon from Au Paradis vineyard is Sir Peter Michael’s newest offering, and his first from Napa Valley. The Britain-born, self-made tech tycoon has already established his winery as a benchmark in Sonoma County for his Bordeaux blend Les Pavots, along with stellar Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. With his purchase and upgrades of the rocky Au Paradis site, he now takes his place in the top rank of Napa producers. In only its second vintage, the wine speaks of its site, farmed and vinified to perfection by an experienced team capturing the brilliance of a bountiful vintage.
As a textbook example of the way passionate investment, technical skill and an outstanding vineyard can create compelling wines, the Peter Michael Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Au Paradis 2012 is Wine Spectator's 2015 Wine of the Year.
Details on all Top 100 wines can be found in Wine Spectator’s special Top 100 issue, on newsstands Dec. 1.