From a majority of estate-grown grapes and percentage of grower fruit, this impressive wine is juicy, textured, layered and lengthy. With a cool-climate crispness at its foundation, it unfurls lovely flavors of dark plum, wild strawberry and orange peel, finishing in a touch of nutmeg. (VB)
Pale ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards has alluring aromas of dried lavender and bergamot, aniseed, blood orange and amaro-like accents with a core of perfectly ripe red and black berry fruits. The palate is light-bodied, silky, soft and juicy but packed with nuanced flavor layers, and it finishes incredibly long. What an elegant, layered expression this vintage! This was aged 13 months in 39% new French oak. (EB)
Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2018 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards saw just a touch of stems (16%) and 13 months in 39% new French oak. Lots of mulled red and black fruits, flowery incense, a kiss of cola, and earth all emerge from this medium-bodied, rounded, brilliantly put together Pinot Noir. As seamless and gulpable as they come, it has light tannins, outstanding length, and is going to evolve for 7-8 years or more.
Vitality, brightness and very keen fruity precision rather than heady ripeness have for long been the hallmarks of Phelps’s Freestone Pinots, and, if those virtues are once again on display in this outing, the 2018 edition ups the ante a touch in terms of juicy, optimally ripened fruit. It displays an extra bit of richness and range that, combined with its typically firm and lively balance, guarantee many years of positive growth ahead. Enjoy it while still young for its vigor and verve, but know that appreciably more complexity awaits.
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