2016 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Freestone

Year: 2016
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 92
James Suckling: 93
Jeb Dunnuck: 94
Red Wine
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"Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyard leaps from the glass with an intense perfume of violets, redcurrants and black cherries with hints of black pepper, lavender, cinnamon stick and black tea. The palate is medium-bodied and very elegant yet wonderfully intense with a firm frame of fine-grained tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing long and fragrant. 3,015 cases produced." (WA)

"Succulent red cherry, plum, cola and spice notes are pushed forward in the 2016 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards. The 2016 is an undeniably beautiful and well made wine, but it is very much done in a somewhat bombastic style, especially within the context of the appellation. The dense fruit and powerful tannins might come as a surprise to readers who expect this to be an entry-level wine in the range. The Freestone Pinot is approximately equal parts Pastorale and Quarter Moon." (VM)

"Very attractive baking spices and gently toasty oak across ripe raspberries and strawberries with light savory baking spices and bergamot. The palate has a bright crunchy red cherry-berry core. Tannins are succulent and the freshness is alluring. Drink or hold." (JS)

"I was also able to taste a number of releases from Sonoma, all of which are more than noteworthy. Starting with the 2016 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards, this fragrant, nuanced red offers lots of darker cherry, macerated strawberries, forest floor, and sweet spice-laced aromatics. It’s medium-bodied, supple, and straight-up delicious on the palate, with tons to love. Drink it any time over the coming 7-8 years." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Winemaking Notes:
Grapes are picked during the cool pre-dawn hours under lights and sorted before being gravity fed to tank for a long natural fermentation using an overall average of 17% whole clusters in the final blend. Regular punch downs produced a wine with silky texture, elegant structure and a distinctive Freestone spice character prevalent throughout the western edge of the Sonoma Coast. This latest vintage of Pinot Noir has a pleasing bouquet of plum, black currant, baking spices and sweet vanilla. Fresh and focused with silky, textural layers of ripe raspberry, black cherry, dried herbs and tangerine peel culminating in a long, elegant finish.

Growing Season:
The 2016 Sonoma Coast growing season began with a warm, mild winter resulting in an early bud break at the beginning of March. A normal period of bloom and veraison took place in early May and mid-July, respectively. The 2016 growing season was cooler compared to the previous three vintages, especially in August and September, allowing for delicate aromas and flavors to develop slowly in the Pinot Noir blocks.