2011 Freestone (Joseph Phelps) "Pastorale Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1165745 93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good dark, bright red. Sexy nose combines crushed cherry, cranberry, brown spices and earthy undertones, plus some smoky oak. Sweeter, deeper and lusher than the regular Sonoma Coast bottling, with the bracing cherry and raspberry fruit flavors accented by pepper, cola and dusty herbs. At once sappy and generous, boasting excellent mid-palate lift. Finishes dry and broad, with terrific peppery persistence.  (6/2013)

93 points Vinous

 Just as beautiful in bottle as it was from barrel, the 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Pastorale has developed beautifully over the last year. Silky on the palate yet wonderfully exotic in its flavors, the 2011 impresses for its balance and class. Orange peel, star anise and spices add nuance to the bright, cranberry-inflected fruit. This gracious, utterly impeccable Pinot is simply striking today.  (2/2014)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* The vineyard is located in the western part of Sonoma County, near the little town of Freestone. The cool 2011 vintage lends mouthwatering acidity to the wine, brightening flavors of red apples, pomegranates and persimmons. Right now, it’s juvenile and tight, with primary fruits that are unintegrated with oak. Give it at least eight years in the cellar, and it could be going strong at the age of fifteen.  (3/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Pastorale (1,000 cases produced) was made from Dijon clones and was aged in 60% new French oak. It offers lots of floral, sweet and sour cherry, pomegranate, plum and a hint of bouquet garni. A meaty, rich and elegant Pinot, it can be drunk over the next 4-5 years.  (12/2013)

K&L Notes

Winemaker Notes: "Opening aromas of blackberry, blueberry, dried herbs and sweet tangerine peel give this Pinot Noir a distinctive Freestone characteristic. Lush and round with silky texture and considerable weight, an impressive effort boasting dark fruit, plum and white pepper with hints of mushroom and dark chocolate throughout to the long finish."

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Price: $64.99
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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.

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.


- 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).