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Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WE94
  • JS94
  • RP94
14.1% ABV
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3.7 9 Ratings
14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2016 Chardonnay has a fragrant bouquet mix of honeysuckle, green apple and lemon peel with richly layered baked apple, stone fruit and a light toasty oak influence. A bright and focused wine with a pleasing mouthfeel and a delicate tropical touch to the finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Year after year, this wine from a spectacularly coolclimate site impresses and intrigues. A crisp greenapple note is followed by high-toned acidity etched in Meyer lemon and wild lime flavors. The fresh, fruity core is well balanced and melds with a grip of oak on the finish, adding ample body and weight.
JS 94
James Suckling
Love the salty and mineral character to this wine with lime and lemon undertones. Zest and creamy undertones, too. Full body and tangy acidity. Intensely long and flavorful.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard features delicate lemon juice, orange blossoms and baking bread notes with hints of white grapefruit, chalk dust, yuzu and lemongrass. The palate is medium to full-bodied, very refreshing and tightly wound at this youthful stage, with super intense citrus flavors and gorgeous mineral sparks, finishing long and savory.
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Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

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Joseph Phelps Vineyards, California
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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.

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Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

PIN903931_2016 Item# 409097