2009 Pinot Noir, Freestone Vineyards
Winemaker Notes This complex and lively Pinot Noir exhibits aromas of juicy black cherry and balsamic reduction, hints of anise, cassis, dried tea leaves, sweet tobacco and savory, simmering curry spices all enveloped within Freestone’s characteristic essence of tangerine zest. The offerings on the palate are both generous and lingering, with flavors of freshly ground allspice, sautêed Chanterelles and plump, red cherries. The earthiness is subtle yet captivating, and the finish is long and seamless. This Pinot Noir is rich, vibrant and has an energy that will keep it alive for many years.
Attentive farming practices and modest yields paired with a cool growing season created a beautiful, naturally produced Pinot Noir with incredible balance, depth and expression of terroir. Because the weather was cool, the grapes were harvested with low sugars and good acid retention. The small to medium cluster size, the use of a low percentage of whole
clusters combined with minimal punch downs per day produced a Pinot Noir that is polished, fresh and expressive with spice characteristics and minerality that are typical of Freestone’s cool climate.
Vintage Notes The 2009 growing season was slow and cool, producing wines with impeccable balance. The year started with good rains lasting into the beginning of May. Budbreak was normal in mid-March and temperatures were moderate to cold throughout spring. Vines did not endure frost damage in 2009 and bloom took place between May 23 - June 8. Temperatures through August were quite normal, with cool nights and foggy days, helping the vines to mature and develop flavor, color and tannin slowly and evenly. Pinot Noir veraison took place early to mid-August and once the warmer temperatures of September arrived, ripening kicked into high gear. Pinot Noir generally has a short harvest window, but 2009 was special; the harvest continued for a slow and steady 3 - 4 weeks, finishing well before the mid-October rains.
92 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted from Joseph Phelps's Freestone property on the Sonoma Coast. The 2009 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards bursts from the glass with an exciting array of black cherries, herbs, dried flowers, licorice and tar, all supported by lively minerality. This focused, beautifully delineated Pinot is first-class all the way. (Feb. 2012)
95 Points - James Suckling
Intense purity of fruit with blackberries and dried lemon skin. Dark chocolate and coffee. Full body, with a juicy, chewy and ripe palate with green pepper and jalapeno. Lovely fruit too. This with pulled pork would be mind-blowing. Drink and hold. (June 2012)
94 Points - Wine & Spirits
It's a dramatic wine in 2009, with layers of flavor immediately implied in the scent - ripe cherries, the iodine of kelp and oak softening the minerality of tannin. The wine's delicious richness becomes explosive with air, the potent structure bringing waves of salty tannins and blasts of red fruit. (Apr. 2012)
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Enormously ripe in cherries, raspberries, cranberries and dates, almost sweet, except that it's totally dry and the acidity is fresh and bright. A big, big wine that dazzles for sheer power... (Dec. 2011)
Blend and Grape Sources 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir from our Freestone Vineyards (53% Pastorale Vineyard and 47% Quarter Moon Vineyard).
Appellation Sonoma Coast
Harvest Dates September 2-25, 2009
Aging/Cooperage 15 months in 55% new and 45% two-year-old French oak barrels before bottling in April 2011.