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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...
Fragrant orange blossom, citrus peel and ripe green apple scents are a hallmark of this wine. Bright and fresh with firm acidity and balanced minerality, the 2014 Chardonnay is overflowing with Gravenstein apple, vanilla bean and Kaffir lime notes followed by a long lemon crème finish.
The 2014 Sonoma Coast growing season began with dry, mild winter conditions until much needed rain arrived in February and March. Bud break and bloom were again early, as in 2012 and 2013. Consistent temperatures during the summer growing months created ideal ripening conditions for an early harvest. Grapes achieved phenomenal fruit character early and their maturation occurred at a steady, even pace for overall consistency. This created intense and concentrated flavors at harvest.
The estates vineyards in Freestone were picked under lights to preserve fruit integrity and freshness before whole cluster pressing cold directly to barrel for fermentation. Barrels were stirred to suspend the lees during malolactic fermentation and the wines were racked once before bottling.
- 93 Points -
This viscous wine offers an underlay of toasty oak notes that round out its gravelly texture. Light-bodied and filigreed with acidity, its lemon, quince and fig flavors remain fresh and vibrant on the palate.See detailed press review
- 92 Points -
The 2014 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyards is rich, deeply-colored and intense, with plenty of orange peel, crème brulée and vanilla scents that add complexity. This is a decidedly ample, broad Chardonnay endowed with a real sense of phenolic richness and resonance that carries through to the deep, powerful finish.See detailed press review
- 91 Points -
The 2014 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard is 100% Chardonnay aged 13 months in one-third new French oak puncheons and barrels. They make a considerable amount of this wine (4,000 cases), which exhibits orange marmalade, honeysuckle, a floral underpinning and some gravelly minerality. It is fresh, crisp, medium to full-bodied, and comes from a blend of different clonal material.See detailed press review