Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Pinot Noir 2019
The 2019 Pinot Noir opens with intensely floral aromatics of red fruit, dried savory herbs and violets. A viscous, layered wine with balanced acid and tannin structure, jammy boysenberry, baking spice, and sour cherry notes linger to a complex finish.
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The 2019 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards takes time to open, metamorphosing from iron and woodsmoke to raspberries, dried flowers, dark spices and aniseed. The medium-bodied palate is silky and seamlessly fresh, loaded with perfectly ripe, earth-laced fruits whose flavors linger for a very long time in the mouth. This has the fruit intensity and structure to age very well in bottle.
Blueberry and spice with lightly toasted notes and some nuts. Full, yet very tight, with refined tannins and polish. Linear and long. Intense and vivid. A beauty. This needs time to open. Try after 2022.
Lastly, the 2019 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards reveals a medium ruby, semi-opaque hue to go with stunning notes of ripe black cherries, black tea, spice, and a distinct, racy, reductive, mineral nuance that builds with time in the glass. Beautifully textured, nicely structured, and balanced, it's going to cruise for 5-7 years, if not over a decade, in cold cellars.
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.