2011 Joseph Phelps "Freestone Vineyards" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (Previously $45)
*A Top 100 Cellar Selection of 2013* What a roll Phelps has been on these past few cool vintages in this, its far Sonoma Coast vinyard. The wine is bright in mouthwatering acidity, and tantalizing, with a subtle vein of lime, golden mango, orange zest and honeysuckle. Firm minerals are enriched by toasty oak. The alcohol is moderate. As delicious as this wine is, it should develop nicely over the next 5-6 years.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Like all the Phelps Chardonnays and Pinots, the 2011 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard went through a complete malolactic fermentation, and was aged in 40% new French oak for 13 months. It offers a steely minerality as well as abundant white currant, quince and citrus oil characteristics, medium body, wonderful intensity, and a complete, satisfying texture and mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 2-3 years. Joseph Phelps has a whopping 102 acres on the Sonoma Coast called the Freestone Vineyard, 82 acres of which is planted in Pinot Noir and the balance Chardonnay.
The 2011 Chardonnay Estate Freestone Vineyard is bright, focused and highly articulate. Lemon, crushed rocks, pastry and white flowers take shape in a layered, vibrant Chardonnay that impresses for its intensity and persistence. The 2011 Freestone is shaping up to be a winner. It is impeccably polished for such a young wine.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(half aged in 50% new 500-liter oak puncheons, the other half in 35% new barriques): Bright yellow. Sappy aromas of peach, fresh apricot, tangerine and honey. Sappy, juicy and dry, offering considerable early appeal to its savory flavors of citrus and stone fruits and spices. Not a particularly fleshy wine but finishes with tactile minerality and a suggestion of exotic fruits. The alcohol is a reasonable 13.5%.
Sleek and elegant, with modest but well-focused notes of lemon, citrus, green apple and peach, ending fresh and lively. Drink now through 2017
Quoting Robert Parker: "I came away deeply impressed with the wines I tasted from Joseph Phelps and their Freestone Vineyards range. These are without question some of the most polished wines being made in the Sonoma Coast today. The 2011s, all of which I tasted from barrel, are also highly promising. The Pinots are quite savory and Syrah-like in this vintage. It will be interesting to see how they develop over the coming year." (04/2013)