2010 Freestone (Joseph Phelps) "Quarter Moon" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1159424 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright deep red with ruby highlights. Musky aromas of dark fruits, spices and peppery herbs, with a violet nuance emerging with aeration. Drier and more penetrating than the basic Sonoma Coast bottling, showing terrific energy and grip to the dark fruit and pepper flavors. Finishes with dusty, firm tannins and excellent rising length. With 48 hours in the recorked bottle, this displayed an almost Syrah-like perfume without any loss of freshness. (ST)  (5/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 A huge wine, bright and bold in raspberry and cherry flavors, this has a jammy directness that makes it drinkable now, but such is the acid and tannin structure that it should develop bottle complexity over the next 6–8 years. The alcohol is a refreshingly low 13.5% by volume, a testament to the coolness of the 2010 vintage. *Cellar Selection*  (12/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2010 Pinot Noir Estate Quarter Moon Vineyard comes across as having a bit of the qualities of both the Pastorale and the Freestone. The savory aromatics resemble those of the Pastorale, while the richness of the fruit has more similarities with the Freestone. It all adds up to another beautifully expressive, layered Pinot. My impression is that the Quarter Moon will be the fastest to mature among these three 2010 Pinots. (AG)  (4/2013)

90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 Here the ripe nose features lovely spice nuances to the moderately-pitched aromas of plum and dark cherry that display top notes of cranberry and raspberry. There is good punch and solid mid-palate density to the dusty, intense and mouth coating finish. Again, this is not super complex but this is clearly built to reward extended cellaring if desired.  (1/2013)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Quite possibly the last of this very tight group of Pinots to come around, the Quarter Moon bottling shows a lot more in the nose than it does on the palate. It is rich, admittedly tight but nicely focused on well-ripened cherries in its first nose, and while that fruit is less than forthcoming on the palate, it is demonstrably there and waiting to emerge. Latter palate acidity does interrupt the flow at this point, and we would set this one aside for further aging.  (2/2013)

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Price: $59.99

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
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.
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.
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).