Joseph Phelps Freestone 2009 ~$40
Beautiful to drink and affordable.
SE Michigan readers can seek it at Nectars in Orchard Lake, MI
100% estate-grown Pinot Noir. This complex and lively Pinot Noir exhibits aromas of juicy black cherry and balsamic reduction, hints of anise, cassis, dried tea leaves, sweet tobacco and savory, simmering curry spices all enveloped within Freestone’s characteristic essence of tangerine zest. The offerings on the palate are both generous and lingering, with flavors of freshly ground allspice, sautêed Chanterelles and plump, red cherries. The earthiness is subtle yet captivating, and the finish is long and seamless. This Pinot Noir is rich, vibrant and has an energy that will keep it alive for many years.
Enormously ripe in cherries, raspberries, cranberries and dates, almost sweet, except that it’s totally dry, and the acidity is fresh and bright. A big, big wine that dazzles for sheer power, although it’s not especially subtle right now. That could change in the cellar. Give it a few years, and then a good decanting before service.
Score: 92. —Steve Heimoff, December 31, 2011.
The 2009 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards bursts from the glass with an exciting array of sweet black cherries, herbs, dried flowers, licorice and tar, all supported by lively minerality. This focused, beautifully delineated Pinot is first-class all the way. The Freestone bottling is 53% Pastorale Vineyard and 47% Quarter Moon Vineyard. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019.
Score: 92. —Antonio Galloni, February 2012.