The Return of The Report; and Peter Michael "Les Pavots" 1994

It’s been a while since my last post here. Between finding out my wife is pregnant, moving out of the city, hosting a ton of events, and spending more time on airplanes than I ever have before, I thought it would be smart to take the summer off from The Food, Drink & Travel Report to regroup.

So here we are, with a brand new look and approximately a million and three bottles and restaurants and destinations to cover. From now on, then, expect two or three posts each week--everything from reviews of wines, beers, and spirits; to restaurant, hotel, and airline coverage; to reports from the road (wherever I might be) and more.

And I can’t think of a better way to kick things off than with a review of the first wine I opened up after moving into our new house in the suburbs of Philadelphia: The Peter Michael “Les Pavots” 1994, a gift from my supremely generous friend Scot “Zippy” Ziskind, president of My Cellar and ZipCo Wine Cellar Services, Inc.

I was given this bottle in the middle of our last day of packing up the old apartment, and it was one of the very few items I didn’t trust to the movers. Come to think of it, I don’t think I let the bottle out of my sight until it was time to pop the cork.

Turns out it was a smart move to keep such good care of it, because this was a miraculous bottle of wine, not just delicious in its own right, but also shimmeringly indicative of how beautifully many of these 1994s have aged.

I was actually kind of sad when the bottle was emptied. Which is always a good sign.

Peter Michael “Les Pavots” 1994
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc
A deep, rich garnet color, turning brickish at the edges, is a prelude to a swirlingly complex nose of sage and grilled mint, forest floor, scorched earth and smoke, mineral, red currant, dried red raspberry, and mushrooms. On the palate, this is silky and savory, with leather and cured tobacco leaf, a hint of Sicilian black olives, dried currant, black cherry liqueur, licorice, a hint of dried flowers, and a touch of warm graphite and dried fig. What a complete, thoroughly astounding wine, and a true testament to the greatness of the vintage and the bottling.