The 2014 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards is a good introduction to the Joseph Phelps Pinots. There is plenty of the trademark intensity readers will find in the vineyard designates, but with a bit more perfume and more approachable structure, all of which make the 2014 a strong choice for drinking over the next few years. Shades of dark red/purplish fruit and sweet floral notes continue to open up effortlessly over time. The 2014 could very well turn out to be an overachiever. (AG)
The Phelps family was one of the first to bring pinot noir to the cool hills around Freestone, when they planted on the site of an old dairy farm in 1999. Those vines grew a 2014 that smells delicious, like bay leaves and crushed wild blackberries. The fruit has a spicy verve that holds out against the constricting grip of the oak—it’s a powerful coastal Pinot Noir to age for five years or more.
The 2014 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyard is a blend from Phelps’ Pastorale and Quarter Moon sites. Aged 14 months in 35% new French oak, and made from a bevy of Dijon clones as well as the Mt. Eden (believed to be from the Musigny vineyard), this is a big production cuvée of 11,600 cases. The wine has a dark ruby color and a big, sweet kiss of strawberries, raspberries, tart cherries and pomegranate as well as some loamy soil notes, followed by a juicy, medium-bodied mouthfeel and crisp, zesty finish. (RP)
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