2009 Pinot Noir, Pastorale Vineyard
The 2009 Pinot Noir Pastorale Vineyard is all about focus and length. The Pastorale doesn’t quite have the richness of the Quarter Moon, nor the suppleness of the straight Pinot, but it nevertheless impresses for its fabulous overall balance. Bright acidity provides a lively counter to the wine’s highly expressive dark cherries, plums, licorice, mint, tar and sweet herbs. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019.
It will be fascinating to taste this wine in six, eight, ten years. Right now, it’s big, thick, dry and powerful. So sweet is the cherry fruit and so silky is the texture that the wine could almost be a young Grenache. Seems to have what it takes to age, so try after 2015.
Joseph Phelps Pinot project takes a heavier bent at times, but winemaker Teresa Heredia got free rein with this forthcoming, rare single-vineyard blockbuster, sourced from two Calera-selection blocks on Freestone's estate. With a heavy dose of whole grape clusters, it bursts with forest floor and matsutake mushroom aromas. Supple huckleberry and watermelon rind mark a fruit presence that's ethereal, marked by heady spice and weightlessness. This is Pinot mastery of the highest order.