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Joseph Phelps 2011 Freestone Pinot Noir

Price: $45.00
RETAIL: $55.00

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This deal ended 3442 days ago

Balanced acidity & tannins with a long & lush finish.

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The Season
The 2011 growing season was marked by cool weather and rain that lasted until June  Bud break and bloom was later than usual, but by the summer months, moderate temperatures and afternoon sunshine kicked the growing season into gear.  A warming trend in September helped the grapes ripen to maturity.

The 2011 Pinot Noir growning season was slow and cool, producing exceptional fruit with uniform sugar and acid levels, making for ideal natural winemaing conditions.  The finished wines are nicely balanced and concentrated, with a lingering Freestone spice element.  Pinot Noir Blocks were picked before the October rains.

The Vineyard
Freestone area of the Sonoma Coast on the east side of the Bohemian Highway on the fringe of the Russian River Valley. The Pastorale Vineyard surrounds the winery and lies eight miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. This location benefits from the long, cool growing season which is strongly influenced by fog and other maritime influences.

The Process
Grapes were picked early each morning and sorted to tanks for fermentation using an overall average of 17% whole clusters in the final blend.  Regular punch downs produced a finished wine that is fresh and lively with spice and mineral characteristic of western Sonoma Coast's cool climate.

The Experience
Bright cherry, cranberry, currant, and sweet baking spice aromas leap fromt he glass followed by notes of blackberry, white pepper, cassis, and rose petals.  A rich, full mouth feel paves the way for concentrated raspberry, Bing cherry, allspice, and vanilla flavors along with Freestone's characteristic tangerine peel.  Balanced acidity and tannins create an alluring Pinot Noir with a long, lush finish.

The Facts
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Harvest Date: September 28 to October 12, 2011
Bottling Date: February 11 to 12, 2013
Barreling: 14 months in 40% new French oak, 60% two-to-three-year-old French oak

The Story Behind Joseph Phelps Vineyard
In the late 60s, Joseph Phelps was running one of the largest construction companies in the U.S. when he won the bid to build Souverain Winery (now Rutherford Hill) located a few miles outside of St. Helena. Enamored with the beautiful Napa Valley and contemplating a career change, in 1973 he bought the 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in Spring Valley, and began planting vineyards. The winery was completed in 1974 and that same year the first Syrah was made, the first grapes were crushed at the new facility and the first Insignia was produced. It was a period of unparalleled activity, creativity, ingenuity, entrepreneurship and risk-taking and it put Joe Phelps on the map of top Napa Valley wine producers.

Four decades later, the flagship wine, Insignia, is recognized as one of the world’s great wines. Thirty-one of thirty-six vintages have been rated ninety or more points by various wine publications. The 2002 vintage was awarded “Wine of the Year” by Wine Spectator Magazine. Over the years, the goal of becoming 100% estate grown resulted in carefully planned acquisitions of prime vineyards in the Napa Valley. Today, the Phelps estate consists of the Spring Valley Home Ranch outside of St. Helena, Banca Dorada in Rutherford, Las Rocas and Barboza vineyards in Stags Leap, Yountville Vineyard in Oak Knoll, Suscol Vineyard in South Napa, Backus Vineyard in Oakville and Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard in Carneros.

Beginning with the 2009 vintage, estate-grown wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Insignia, Cabernet Sauvignon Backus Vineyard (the single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville) and Eisrébe, a dessert wine made from the Scheurebe grape. In addition, Syrah is produced from the Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard in Carneros.

Though the main focus is on Bordeaux varietals, Joe Phelps has had a life-long love affair with the wines of Burgundy and a desire to craft wines in that style. Originally Chardonnay was sourced from St. Helena, later from Yountville and then from Carneros. Through the years, however, Joe continued to search for the ideal spot to grow both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and his search ended when the perfect combination of climate, soil and location was found in Freestone, located in the Sonoma Coast AVA, a mere five miles from the Pacific Ocean. In 1999, Joseph Phelps Vineyards began developing 100 acres of vineyards just outside of Freestone. In 2005, construction began on a new winery which was completed in time for the 2007 harvest. Today, 80 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 acres of Chardonnay produce remarkable estate-grown wines bearing the Joseph Phelps name.

When Joe Phelps founded his estate winery and vineyards in 1973, he did so with a clear vision for the work and commitment that would be required to create the best wines possible. Essential to his goal was assembling a winemaking team who would embrace his dedication, attention to detail, and tremendous passion for the craft of winemaking itself. Today, the talented winemaking team of Ashley Hepworth, Napa Winemaker, Damian Parker, Director of Winemaking, Philippe Pessereau, Director of Vineyard Operations, Kelly Fields, Napa Assistant Winemaker and Justin Ennis, Freestone Assistant Winemaker, have taken Joe’s vision to heights even he could never have imagined.

Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate - 90-92 pts
"Gorgeous dark red cherries, savory herbs, licorice and mint are woven together in the 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Freestone Vineyard.  Intense and rich, the 2011 is surprisingly rich for the year."

Wine Enthusiast - 93 pts
"The parts haven't fully come together yet in this age able wine. It has mouthwatering acidity and vastly complex flavors, ranging from ripe heirloom tomatoes, cola, pomegranates and cranberries, to ripe cherries and red currants. With flavors of oak and some hard tannins, it’s a natural for the cellar. Hold for at least six years." - Steve Heimoff
Aging Potential: 5-10 Years
Appellation: Sonoma, California
Barrel Type: French Oak
Body: Medium
Color: Garnet
Flavor Pairing: Spicy Asian, Herb Roast, Grill, Barbecue
Food Pairing: Steak, Pork
On the Nose: Rose, Pepper, Cassis, Blackberry
On the Palate: Vanilla, Tangerine, Bing Cherry, Allspice
Serving Recommendation: Room Temperature
Texture: Rich
Varietal: Pinot Noir

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