Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label

Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2006

  • WE94
  • BH91
  • WS90
  • CG90
750ML / 0% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WE96
  • RP94
  • WW92
  • CG91
  • WE96
  • JS94
  • JD93
  • RP92
  • W&S90
  • RP93
  • W&S93
  • JS93
  • WE95
  • JS94
  • RP92
  • JS94
  • W&S92
  • RP92
  • WW91
  • WE93
  • W&S91
  • RP92
  • WE90
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • D91
  • RP94
  • WE93
  • JS95
  • WE92
  • BH91
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Winemaker Notes

The long growing season in 2006 provided the winery with Pinot Noir grapes that were in nearly immaculate condition, with crunchy skins, lots of perfume and excellent tannin development. The winemaking team took every opportunity to utilize these beautiful grapes most effectively. We maximized the use of whole berries in each tank and also experimented with some whole cluster additions to the fermentations. Both of these techniques add to the silky texture and accentuate the spicy characteristics that are native to the cool Freestone region. This Pinot Noir is a selection of the best wines produced during the 2006 harvest. We selected the groups with the best balance of tannin, flavor concentration, aroma and acidity. The resulting blend offers hints of sandalwood, wild blackberry and balsamic reduction, dried tea leaves, and a mélange of Indian spices. This wine is serious, yet restrained, and has a backbone of natural acidity, tannin and minerality to provide the structure necessary for aging.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
A very fine, ageable Pinot that shows a feral, exotic quality that is rare, but always welcome. Grown on the true, cool coastal strip of the appellation, it’s dry and crisp in citrusy acids, with intricate flavors of wild cherries, balsam, maple syrup, teriyaki-grilled beef, licorice, cola and Asian spices. Such is the tannic structure that it should evolve over the next 8–10 years.
BH 91
A moderately high-toned nose of red pinot fruit, violet, menthol and spice hints introduces delicious, intense, round and sappy medium-bodied flavors that possess good depth and length. This is a generous yet stylish effort that offers good depth and about the only nit is a trace of backend warmth. Adding to the appeal is that with 20 to 30 minutes of air, this can be enjoyed now though it clearly has the stuffing to improve over the next 4 to 7 years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Firm and intense. Spicy wild berry, loamy earth, dusty herb, sage and mineral notes fan out nicely, gaining depth and dimension on the long, complex finish. Drink now through 2012. 2,700 cases made.
CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
There is no dearth of richness, muscle or mass about this very ripe and solidly fruity young wine. It never gives in to softness at any point, and, to the contrary, it is nicely balanced and shows a slight spine of firming acid and tannin that bodes exceptionally well for its future. All it needs to age into better is to be allowed to rest in the cellar a bit.
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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 Wine

Sonoma County, California

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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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Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”

MRE106252_2006 Item# 106252

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