2012 Pinot Noir, Freestone Vineyards
Winemaker Notes A bright bouquet of red cherries and summer berries, black pepper, cassis and sweet vanilla open this latest Pinot Noir offering from our Freestone Vineyards. An exceptionally fruit expressive wine with a core of black cherries and blackberries, linger-ing Freestone spice and notes of forest floor and tangerine peel. A creamy mouthfeel and silky texture paired with balanced tannins and acidity lead to a long, pleasing finish.
Winemaking Data To preserve the best fruit conditions possible, grapes were picked in the pre-dawn hours under lights, followed by hand-sorting before being gravity fed to tank for a long natural fermentation using an overall average of 27% whole clusters in the final blend. Regular punch downs produced a richly layered wine brimming with fruit, spice and mineral characteristics distinctive to Freestone’s cool western Sonoma Coast climate.
The 2012 Sonoma Coast growing season began with normal winter and early spring rains. The 2012 weather pattern more closely aligned with the 2008 growing season, with bud break and veraison occurring earlier than in 2010 and 2011. Coastal morning fog gave way to warm afternoon sunshine during the important summer months for a long, moderate growing season. Grapes were given ample time for even, full maturity with uniform sugar and acid levels.
2012 produced exceptional quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from our estate vineyards in Freestone. The Pinot Noirs are balanced and concentrated with luscious fruit elements.
91+ Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
The 2012 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir, Freestone Vineyards offers up beautiful aromas of red stone fruits, crushed rocks, plums, black cherries and a floral component reminiscent of a premiere cru or grand cru offering from Chambolle-Musigny. Medium to full-bodied with great acidity, purity, freshness and nobility, it should evolve and add layers of complexity over the next decade, (Dec. 2014)
93 Points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Dark cherries, tobacco and new leather wrap around the palate in the 2012 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards. A wine of presence and nuance, the 2012 stands out for its symmetry and overall sense of balance. I very much like the delineation and energy here. This is the hidden jewel in the range, there is little doubt about that. (Feb. 2014)
90 Points - Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast
Crafted from grapes grown in two estate vineyards, Pastorale and Quarter Moon, this wine deftly provides a taste of wild strawberry and feral forest floor, offering concentration within a lean frame. The finish memorably imprints lasting cardamom spice. (Feb. 2015)
Tasting Notes Download Tasting Notes (pdf)
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Blend and Grape Sources 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir from our Freestone Vineyards (40% Pastorale Vineyard and 60% Quarter Moon Vineyard).
Appellation Sonoma Coast
Harvest Dates September 13 - October 14, 2012
Aging/Cooperage 13 months in 35% new and 65% two-year-old French oak barrels before bottling in December 2013.