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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...
The 2015 Pinot Noir opens with concentrated red fruit, floral notes and citrus peel followed by tangy spice, Bing cherry, juicy dark raspberry and dried herbs. A rich, opulent wine with sumptuous layers of blackberry jam, lavender and earthy forest floor throughout the palate to a lingering finish.
The 2015 Sonoma Coast growing season experienced dry, mild winter and spring temperatures similar to the prior three growing seasons. Bud break was 3-4 weeks earlier than normal, followed by an early period of bloom. May temperatures were cool, but August and September were consistently warm, creating conditions for one of the earliest harvests on record. The early growing season resulted in extremely small clusters and berries with intense flavor and tannin structure. The early harvest allowed our winemaking team the ability to capture the natural acidity in the fruit with ideal sugar accumulation.
Grapes were picked during the cool pre-dawn hours and sorted before being gravity fed to tank for a long natural fermentation using an overall average of 19% whole clusters in the final blend. Regular punch downs produced a finely textured wine with elegant structure and a distinctive Freestone spice character prevalent throughout this area of the western Sonoma Coast.
- 92 Points -
Having seen 19% whole cluster, the 2015 Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyard has a medium ruby-purple color and nose of red cherries and black raspberries with hints of wild thyme, forest floor, lavender and moss. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and finely grained, with intense earth and red berry flavors, as well as a long finish.See detailed press review