2011 Joseph Phelps "Freestone Vineyards" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (Previously $45)

SKU #1135449 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *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.

91-93 points Antonio Galloni

 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.  (6/ 2013)

93 points 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.  (12/ 2013)

90 points 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%.  (6/ 2013)

Wine Spectator

 Sleek and elegant, with modest but well-focused notes of lemon, citrus, green apple and peach, ending fresh and lively. Drink now through 2017  (7/ 2013)

K&L Notes

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)

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mācon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5