2010 Joseph Phelps Chardonnay Freestone

Year: 2010
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 90
Connoisseurs' Guide: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 94
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"Pure, clean and focused on snappy green apple, floral, honeysuckle and mineral flavors. The sheer vibrancy gives this a unique personality, ending with a long, mineral-laced finish. Drink now through 2020. 2,910 cases made." (WS)

"A bit more layered than the Pastorale, the 2010 Chardonnay Estate Freestone Vineyard caresses the palate from beginning to end. Lemon, pastry, white flowers, crushed rocks and a whisper of French oak all emerge from the glass in the seamless, totally polished Chardonnay. The aromas and flavors remain bright, focused and beautifully articulated from start to finish. This is another fabulous wine from Joseph Phelps. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.

Once again, I came away deeply impressed with the wines I tasted from Joseph Phelps and their Freestone Vineyards range. These are without question some of the most polished wines being made in the Sonoma Coast today. The 2011s, all of which I tasted from barrel, are also highly promising. The Pinots are quite savory and Syrah-like in this vintage. It will be interesting to see how they develop over the coming year." (WA)

"Bright green-yellow. Vibrant aromas of lime, orange oil and flowers, plus a whiff of brioche. Tactile, juicy and crisp, with strong fruit-driven flavors of green tropical fruits, lemon and pineapple. Very good density and freshness here, but in a cooler style than the 2009 bottling." (IWC)

"Those who doubt that California Chardonnay can rival those from Burgundy when it comes to structure and balance are bound rethink their views when tasting this vibrant, deeply filled bottling. Tight but so very deep and keenly focused on minerals, wonderfully fresh, green-apple fruit and lovely oak spice, the wine is as long on finesse as it is on richness, and it is far from reaching its best. It is, in fact, too young to drink any time soon, and great dividends lie ahead for those who exercise a few years of patience. Reviewed: August 2012" (CG)

"Bone dry, minerally and brisk in mouthwatering acidity, this has subtle yet rich flavors of tropical fruit, citrus, green apple and honey. It shows real elegance and complexity; drink now–2016. — S.H. (10/1/2012) " (WE)

Winery Notes:
The 2010 season started with modest rainfall and cool to moderate daytime temperatures. Budbreak was nearly complete in the Chardonnay vineyards by the middle of March. The unusually extended frost season lasted from April into late May but caused little to no damage throughout the Chardonnay vineyards, due to delayed vine development. Bloom was completed by early June. Veraison began the second week of August and the majority of all blocks were complete by August 25th. Picking began on October 1st and continued through the 21st, finishing just before the late October heavy rains descended on the region. The 2010 Chardonnay growing season was slow and cool, producing excellent fruit quality with uniform sugar and acid levels, despite the late season weather challenges, making for ideal natural winemaking conditions. The finished wines are balanced and fresh with a distinctly Freestone spice element.