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