Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2011
Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
Bright cherry, cranberry, currant and sweet baking spice aromas leap from the glass followed by notes of blackberry, white pepper, cassis and rose petals. A rich, full mouth feel paves the way for concentrated raspberry, Bing cherry, allspice and vanilla flavors along with Freestone's characteristic tangerine peel. Balanced acidity and tannins create an alluring Pinot Noir with a long, lush finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "The parts haven’t fully come together yet in this ageable wine. It has mouthwatering acidity and vastly complex flavors, ranging from ripe heirloom tomatoes, cola, pomegranates and cranberries, to ripe cherries and red currants. With flavors of oak and some hard tannins, it’s a natural for the cellar."
The Wine Advocate - "Gorgeous dark red cherries, savory herbs, licorice and mint are woven together in the 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Freestone Vineyard. Intense and rich, the 2011 is surprisingly rich for the year. Wilder, gamier notes appear later, adding complexity on the inviting finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021.
Decanter - "Fresh, vibrant, cherry nose. Good attack, intense and lively, quite oaky but lacy, poised and long. "
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Freestone Vineyard has shut down in bottle considerably. Today the tannins are quite firm and clenched. The flavors are bright and expressive, while the savory notes typical of the cool year are very much evident, particularly some of the gamier nuances that have always been a part of this wine. I would give the 2011 at least another few months in bottle to allow some of the structural components to integrate further."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright medium red. Red berries, pungent brown spices, black tea and flowers on the nose, accented by peppery herbs. At once ripe and dry, offering moderate depth and complexity but excellent energy to the red fruit and spice flavors. There are more than 3,300 cases of this very good entry-level pinot."
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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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Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold