Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2007
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
The 2007 Freestone Chardonnay has all the minerality and terroir characteristics that the 2006 Chardonnay possessed, but with an added weight and purity that expresses all that we are trying to achieve at Freestone. The long, dry growing season yielded smaller than typical clusters and grapes, so juice yields were lower than expected overall for the 2007 vintage, resulting in wines with great concentration and precision. Steely, yet unctuous, this wine generously offers up aromas of smoked cedar, wet earth, honeysuckle and fresh tangerine, while on the palate it provides mineral-driven citrus, nectar, honey, and an acid structure that contributes power and persistence.
Connoisseurs' Guide - "These two Chardonnays, from the new Phelps-developed effort out near the Pacific Ocean in an area that seems certain to gain great fame for its deep yet tight and complex wines, are nothing short of stellar accomplishments. They have succeeded in being deep and layered without resorting to high ripeness, and they possess the enlivening acidity that has become part and parcel of the new Chardonnay paradigm in California. This wine comes with a slight haze in its appearance and, like the best efforts of that genre, its fruit is sweet and pulpy, deep and vital all at the same time. Long, fruity, tart, tight and promising to gain greater range over time, this wine is about as good as it gets and joins a very select list of our favorite wines."
Wine Enthusiast - "Quite a good Chardonnay, made from Freestone’s vineyards in the chilly southwestern part of the appellation, where coastal winds sweep in. Acidity and minerality give structure to the pineapple, honeysuckle, crème brûlée and buttered toast flavors. Drink this elegant wine now with upscale fare."
Wine Spectator - "Sleek and spicy, with a mix of tangerine, citrus and orange zest that's intense, vibrant, complex and earthy. Full-bodied, offering floral scents and a hint of mineral. Drink now through 2016."
The Wine Advocate - "The light gold-colored 2007 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast (from Goldridge soils) exhibits plenty of buttery citrus, orange rind and honeysuckle characteristics intermixed with hints of smoky oak and hazelnuts. This Burgundian-styled, medium to full-bodied Chardonnay possesses enough acidity to balance its bold, concentrated style. It should age nicely for 5-7 years.
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Joseph Phelps Vineyards
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps now grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking. View all Joseph Phelps Vineyards Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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