2011 Joseph Phelps "Freestone Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Previously $50)
The parts haven’t fully come together yet in this ageable wine. It has mouthwatering acidity and vastly complex flavors, ranging from ripe heirloom tomatoes, cola, pomegranates and cranberries, to ripe cherries and red currants. With flavors of oak and some hard tannins, it’s a natural for the cellar. Hold for at least six years.
The 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Freestone Vineyard has shut down in bottle considerably. Today the tannins are quite firm and clenched. The flavors are bright and expressive, while the savory notes typical of the cool year are very much evident, particularly some of the gamier nuances that have always been a part of this wine. I would give the 2011 at least another few months in bottle to allow some of the structural components to integrate further.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
vinified with 35% whole clusters; aged for 13 months in 40% new French oak): Bright medium red. Red berries, pungent brown spices, black tea and flowers on the nose, accented by peppery herbs. At once ripe and dry, offering moderate depth and complexity but excellent energy to the red fruit and spice flavors. There are more than 3,300 cases of this very good entry-level pinot.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyard is a 3,400-case cuvee aged 13 months in 40% new French oak. The alcohol achieved a modest 13.5%. Made totally from Dijon clonal material, it exhibits notes of strawberries, raspberries, tobacco leaf and lavender. Nicely structured and medium-bodied with good density and fruit as well as a slightly compact finish, it can be consumed over the next 4-5 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.