2010 Pinot Noir, Freestone Vineyards
Winemaker Notes This wine fills the senses with pleasing aromas of cassis, dark plum, dried herbs and earthy notes of cedar and forest floor. A silky mouthfeel and lingering flavors of black cherry, allspice, wild mushrooms and black tea mingle with hints of toasty vanilla bean and Freestone’s characteristic tangerine peel. Bright acidity and balanced tannins create a captivating Pinot Noir with a long, rich finish.
Winemaking Data With the small to medium-sized Pinot Noir clusters, fewer whole clusters were used in this year’s fermentations. Regular punch downs produced a finished wine that is fresh and lively with spice and mineral characteristics of the western Sonoma Coast’s cool climate.
The 2010 season started with modest rainfall and cool to moderate daytime temperatures. Budbreak was nearly complete in the Pinot Noir vineyards by the middle of March. The unusually extended frost season lasted from April into late May but caused little damage throughout the Pinot Noir vineyards, due to the elevation and hillside slope. Cold air naturally continued its journey to the valley below. Bloom was completed by early June.
Veraison began the second week of August and the majority of all blocks were completed by August 25th. The quality of the grapes looked excellent leading up to harvest and a warming trend in the latter half of September completed the ripening needed throughout the vineyards. Picking began on September 28th and finished well before the late October heavy rains descended on the region.
The 2010 Pinot Noir growing season was slow and cool, producing exceptional fruit with uniform sugar and acid levels, making for ideal natural winemaking conditions. The finished wines are balanced and fresh with a distinctly Freestone spice element.
94 Points - Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
The 2010 Pinot Noir Estate Freestone Vineyard is more fruit driven than the Pastorale. Immediate and juicy, the 2010 jumps from the glass with layers of radiant red fruit. I would prefer to drink the 2010 while the fruit remains front and center. This supple, resonant Pinot is another gorgeous wine from Phelps. The 2010 is a blend of roughly equal parts Pastorale and Quarter Moon. (Apr. 2013)
93 Points - Stephen Brook, Decanter Magazine
Sweet, poised, elegant nose. Lean and refined, quite oaky but lifted and elegant; understated but packed with flavor. Good length. (Sept. 2013)
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
This shows the power and purity of he winery's coastal Pastorale and Quarter Moon vineyards, in this cool vintage that allowed for long hang time. Although some coastal Pinots were plagued by rot, this one was not, resulting in a wine with delicious raspberry and cherry notes, accented by new French oak. It's very fine, complex and enjoyable now. (Dec. 2012)
Tasting Notes Download Tasting Notes (pdf)
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Blend and Grape Sources 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir from our Freestone Vineyards (49% Pastorale Vineyard and 51% Quarter Moon Vineyard).
Appellation Sonoma Coast
Harvest Dates September 28 - October 12, 2010
Aging/Cooperage 14 months in 55% new and 45% two-year-old French oak barrels before bottling in February 2012.