Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017
The 2017 Pinot Noir opens with jammy red fruit and freshly picked strawberries followed by tangy Bing cherry, raspberry and baking spice notes. A balanced, youthfully focused wine that finishes with white pepper spice and hints of tangerine peel.
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Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2017 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards comes from a handful of sites and spent 13 months in one-third new French oak. Mostly destemmed (80%), its ruby hue is followed by a beautiful bouquet of cranberries, caramelized cherries, orange rind, and spicy aromas and flavors. It's nicely textured, balanced, has good acidity, and a great finish.
This wine’s clean lines shepherd translucent red-berry fruit toward darker tart cherry-skin flavors. It gains floral notes as it opens with air, a lush and gentle pinot for seared duck breast.
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.
The Sonoma Coast AVA is large in area but, not counting overlapping regions like Russian River Valley, only has a few thousand acres of grapevines—and it’s no wonder. Much of the region is rugged and not easily accessible. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean’s fog and cool breezes limits the varieties that can be cultivated, but it proves to be an ideal environment for high quality Pinot Noir.
Since fog is a frequent fact of life here, as are heavy marine layers that sometimes bring rain, the best vineyards are wisely planted above the fog line, on picturesque ridges that capture enough sun to provide even ripening. That, with the overnight drop in temperature that reliably preserves acidity, results in fine expressions of Pinot Noir that often receive tremendous critic and consumer praise alike, and are often in high demand.