2012 Chardonnay, Freestone Vineyards
The 2012 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyards impresses for its cut, energy and tension. Lemon, white flowers, mint and crushed rocks are all very much alive in a wine that impresses for its vivid flavors and pure sense of mineral drive. I tasted the 2012 from tank just prior to bottling.
More tropical in nature, it is a juicy white displaying notes of pineapples, apricot marmalade, wet gravel and a hint of honeyed citrus. With crisp acids, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel and a long finish, it can be drunk over the next 5-6 years.
Inviting aromas of musky orange oil and hazelnutty, sulfidey lees. Savory and aromatic in the mouth, with vibrant acidity giving shape to the viscous mid-palate. Peach and spice flavors are complicated by minerals and earth. Finishes strong and perfumed. An excellent showing.
Light golden yellow color in the glass. A knockout nose features bright, fresh aromas of apple, yellow grapefruit, lemon zest and ocean air. Delicious and refreshing, with flavors of lemon curd, grapefruit, gooseberry and a hint of toasty oak. The finish is alive with lemon-driven, stony acidity and lasts and lasts. Bring on the oysters.
This is a gorgeous Chardonnay with great complexity. Rich, with aromas and flavors of stone fruit, lemon, crème brûlée and brioche. Lingering finish. A standout.
Medium-light golden yellow; attractive, earthy, citrussy, pear and apple aroma; medium-full body; crisp, lemony, pear and apple flavors with complimenting, well integrated oak; lingering aftertaste. Well balanced and deserving a few more years of bottle aging. Very highly recommended.
It has plenty of tactile presence, and both its aromas and flavors smack of citrus, toast, green apples and roasted nuts without being overtly fruity.
The purchase of Freestone Vineyards some years ago was a stroke of genius by Phelps, allowing the Napa Valley winery to stretch itself with a serious peek into the world of Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Almost since its inception the Phelps Chardonnays from the Freestone Vineyards have ranked among the finest in California, and this 2012 is no exception. It possesses that rare combination of power and elegance, with layered complexity, mouth-filling texture and, most important, backbone. This vintage exhibits aromas of lemon oil and spice, with mouth-watering acidity and a long, persistent finish.
Made from estate-grown fruit near the chilly Sonoma Coast town of Freestone, this is a fully layered wine, expertly balanced in acidity yet offering plenty of full-figured mouthfeel and viscous pleasure. It delivers an electric mix of Meyer lemon, minerals and brioche, and will please a diverse range of palates. –V.B.