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Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2007

Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
  • CG96
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • WE95
  • RP93
  • WE93
  • W&S92
  • WW92
  • WE95
  • W&S92
  • TP92
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 96
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.
WE 93
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.
WS 91
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.
RP 91
Robert Parker's 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.
91+ points.
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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, , California
Joseph Phelps
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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

JSVFREESNCHARD_2007 Item# 107695

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