News & Press

News & Press


October 4th, 2021

Introducing Joseph Phelps Proem Pinot Noir

Introducing Joseph Phelps Proem Pinot Noir

Proem: A preamble to a story.

Singular expression wines from the Joseph Phelps Freestone Estate, where site and clonal selection are the beginning of a new and distinctive winemaking story.

We are pleased to introduce Joseph Phelps Proem No. 1 and Proem No. 2 from our Freestone Estate on the western Sonoma Coast. Each bottling represents a sense of place, the purest expression of our Freestone Estate. We invite you to join us on this journey.

Sonoma Coast Winemaker Justin Ennis identified our first clonal block selection in 2014. During the initial tasting of young Pinot Noirs from this vintage, a block stood out and begged to remain separate during aging. Justin decided in the end to bottle the winery's first ever block designated Pinot Noir. The 2014 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir, Pastorale Vineyard, Block 212 wine was richer in texture, depth, and concentration when singled out on its own. The seed was planted. In select years, the winery would highlight distinctive blocks that offer a pure expression of our Freestone Estate.

Winemakers have their favorites and Justin has a great affinity for Swan, Calera, and clone 777 Pinot Noir. In our Pastorale Vineyard, he especially likes fruit from block 212, a section of the vineyard lovingly called Old Oak due to the ancient old oak tree growing at the base of this vineyard. The same can be said for our Quarter Moon Vineyard. The vineyard is planted in a crescent moon shape and each block was given a planetary name. Block 225 was named after Jupiter.

During the 2018 harvest, two very distinctive lots were held separate, each to be fermented with a larger percentage of whole cluster fruit, and a longer barrel aging regime. At blending, it was determined to bottle the wines separately. These two wines had a different story to tell.

A proem is defined as a preamble to a book or speech. Each wine’s narrative was used as an elegant introduction to Freestone, presented through introductory vignettes as a profound place. The texts are a creative interpretation of a Proem. In each story, the Ateliers Saint-Lazare team painted a picture of the land and rustic spirit that is this place.


2018 Joseph Phelps Proem No. 1 Pinot Noir
Freestone Estate, Sonoma Coast
Jupiter - Block 225

This Pinot Noir is from Jupiter. No, really.
In the wild region of Freestone along the Sonoma Coast, there is a hilltop by that name that seemingly touches the clouds. Take the steep climb up the edge of the forest. The air will gently cool and the world with gradually fade. This is a place where time stands still. And, it’s where the story of this wine begins.

Winemaker Notes: A wine of serious distinction and refinement with tantalizing aromas of ripe dark fruit, savory dried herbs and hints of forest floor. An expansive, layered palate of blackberry and black cherry with an effortless tannin structure to create a complex, balanced wine with equal parts grace and power. A pure illustration of the Quarter Moon Vineyard’s complexity and refinement on display to the seamless finish.

Winemaking Data: 75% clone 90, 25% clone 96 (both are same source material as Calera), 36% whole cluster inclusion. Aged for 15 months in 53% New French oak and 47% used French oak barrels.

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2018 Joseph Phelps Proem No. 2 Pinot Noir
Freestone Estate, Sonoma Coast
Old Oak - Block 212

This Pinot Noir is from beyond the old oak.
In the wild region of Freestone along the Sonoma Coast, the morning sun reaches out through the shifting fog and clouds. A light breeze will coast through in the afternoon with the loamy Goldridge trials laying far below. This is a place where the sunsets are so quiet; beautiful and lingering. And, it’s where the story of this wine begins.

Winemaker Notes: A wine of distinction and opulence with opening perfumed aromatics of fresh strawberries, candied red cherry and dried rose petals. Expansive in the mouth with layers of red fruit, baking spice and earthy notes. This wine represents a pure expression of the Pastorale Vineyard, highlighting its delicate floral character, strong acid backbone, and deliberate tannin structure that culminates in a complex, elegant offering with a lingering finish.

Winemaking Data: 100% Swan clone, 35% whole cluster inclusion. Aged for 15 months in 55% new French oak and 45% used French oak barrels.

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The inaugural bottlings of Proem No. 1 and No. 2 Pinot Noir are being offered from the winery with release price of $225 per bottle, Phelps Preferred members $180. Collect both wines to begin your own proem story.

Joseph Phelps Proem wines have been aged in bottle for over a year prior to their release. A one hour decanting is suggested before enjoyment, or add to your cellar for 10-15 years.

Tag your Proem wine stories using hashtag: #proemstories

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Introducing Joseph Phelps Proem Pinot Noir