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Freestone Vineyards

Owner(s) Joseph Phelps
Web site www.freestonevineyards.com
 
Link to this site

In 1999, Joe Phelps (known for the Napa Valley meritage, Insignia), his son Bill, and the Joseph Phelps Vineyards management team purchased a former dairy farm of 89 acres in Freestone located in the true Sonoma Coast ostensibly to grow Chardonnay. It turned out the site was equally suited to Pinot Noir. Planting began in 2000 with staged replanting until 2007. Freestone Vineyard Estate consists of three distinct properties. The Pastorale Vineyard was planted to 34 acres of Pinot Noir and 21.7 acres of Chardonnay at the end of Freestone Flat Road. The Pastorale Vineyard was then joined by two other nearby vineyards following the acquisition of additional property: Quarter Moon Vineyard (41 acres of Pinot Noir), and Ferguson Vineyard (6 acres of Pinot Noir) which is farmed under a long-term lease.

A 40,000 square foot winery in the center of Pastorale Vineyard was built into the hillside and employs gravity-flow via its three level construction. No tastings or tours will be done at the winery due to environmental concerns, but the Freestone Vineyards Guest Center is now open Friday through Monday, from 11-6, at the corner of Bohemian Highway and Highway 12 (Bodega Highway) in the old Pastorale Building.

Ripening grapes properly in this chilly climate has been a challenge and yields can be ridiculously low due to poor berry set in the cool days of the spring growing season. It is not unusual to have 45 degree temperature swings in a single day here!

The Director of Winemaking is Phelps veteran Damien Parker. The Winemaker was Theresa Heredia until early 2012 when she left to become Winemaker at Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery. The Consulting Winemaker is noted Burgundian Pascal Marchand.

The first vintage of Pinot Noir produced from Sonoma Coast grapes was released as the 2004 Fogdog Pinot Noir. Fogdog is a bright or clear spot that appears in a breaking fog. This wine contained grapes from three estate-grown vineyards: 70% Freestone, 26% Quarter Moon, and 4% Ferguson. In 2005, 600 cases of Freestone Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($75) were produced and in 2006, 2,700 cases ($75). The value label, Fogdog, was retained for both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Beginning in 2007, the high-end Chardonnays are Ovation, Freestone Sonoma Coast, and Freestone Pastorale Vineyard. The premium Pinot Noirs are Freestone Sonoma Coast, and vineyard-designates from Quarter Moon Vineyard and Pastorale Vineyard.

The top blocks in the cellar are chosen for the Quarter Moon and Pastorale vineyard-designate bottlings and the remaining wine that is the more complex and structured is chosen for the Freestone bottling. The most fruit-forward blocks go into the Fogdog.

The wines are distributed to fine restaurants and sold through the tasting room, website and the winery's wine club, the Freestone Private Collection.

With the 2010 vintage, the brand was changed to Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards

Reviewed Wines

2010 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.75, 1,470 cases, $35. Sourced from independent growers (67%) and Freestone estate vineyards (33%). Aged 8 months in 20% new and 7% two to three-year old French oak barrels. · Light yellow in color and slightly cloudy. Uplifting aromas of lemon curd, pomelo and baked apple. Delicious flavors of lemon tart, white pear and subtle oak with bright acidity driving the wine. Finishes soft and creamy. A very classy wine at this price point. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., $35. 42% Pastorale Vineyard and 58% independent growers. Aged 12-14 months in 35% new and 65% 2 to 3-year-old French oak barrels. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Classic Chardonnay aromas of pears, lemon curd, guava and buttered brioche. Tasty and moderately rich core of pear, citrus, green apple, caramel and butter flavors with a refreshing lift of acidity on the bright finish. A thoroughly pleasing drink that sings with quality. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 4,600 cases, $35. 100% estate grown that is approachable upon release. Aged 14 months in 35% new and 65% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Lovely perfume of baking-spiced pie cherries. Light and crisp red cherry and red berry flavor with a slight confected tone, complimented by a subtle savory herbal element in the background, finishing with bright citrus-driven acidity. A lighter, soft and elegant wine designed for upfront drinkability. The combination of lower alcohol and refreshing acidity makes this wine a perfect dining companion. Good (+). Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Freestone Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., 2,250 cases, $55. A mix of the best selections from the estate Pastorale Vineyard including some heirloom selections. 100% MLF. Aged 15 months in 55% new and 45% two and three-year-old French oak barrels. · Medium straw yellow color in the glass. Enticing and complex on the nose, showing aromas of spicy baked pears, toasted brioche, caramel, vanilla creme and toffee. Very tasty core of baked pears and apples with prominent notes of toast and caramel. Smooth on the palate with hi-strung acidity on the crisp finish. Plenty of oak-driven character in this wine. Good. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Freestone Estate Grown Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 4,660 cases, $55. From Pastorale and Quarter Moon Vineyards. Aged 15 months in 55% new and 45% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued nose initially, picking up intensity over time in the glass offering a fresh blend of cherries and berries with a floral element in the background. Very impressive concentration, even sappy on the mid palate, with generous and expressive flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and Hoison sauce, lifted by hi-tone acidity, and caressed by gentle, ripe tannins. An impressive hedonistic style of wine with the right touch of acidity, a creamy mouth feel and admirable balance. Good approachability now but with excellent aging potential. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.1% alc., 210 cases, $75. From the best block planted at Pastorale Vineyard and contains two heirloom selections. 100% MLF. Aged 16 months in 65% new and 35% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. · Light straw yellow color and clear in the glass. More reserved and sophisticated than the Estate Grown Chardonnay with aromas of white peaches, creme brulee, slate and parchment. Understated but alluring with layers of interest including flavors of baked apples, lemon meringue pie, and toffee with a special underpinning of minerals. Seamless, with great balance, finishing with a welcoming riff of citrusy acidity, urging on the drinker to take another sip. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 270 cases, $75. A special selection from two special blocks planted to a Calera selection, one undergoing whole berry fermentation with partial whole clusters and the other 100% whole cluster fermented in an oak open-top tank. Aged 15 months in 70% new and 30% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. Both fermentations were gently macerated. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex nose of black pie cherries, spice, earth and brioche building in intensity over time in the glass. Delicious array of shy red and black fruit flavors that are layered and polished, accompanied by notable fruit tannins, and a bright cut of acidity on the spiced fruit laden finish. Leafy notes from stem inclusion add interest. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Warrants cellaring. Very good. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Freestone Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 390 cases, $75. Two special fermentations of 100% Calera selection fruit: one wine was whole cluster fermented in a small oak open-top tank and punched down by hand, while the other was whole berry fermented with 50% whole clusters added in a stainless steel tank without macerations for the first week, followed by one or two punchdowns per day until the desired texture was achieved. · Darkly colored in the glass. Enchanting aromas of black plums, dark berry jam, and Moroccan spice which come at you in waves over time in the glass. Full-bodied and shapely, with crisp fruit flavors of plum, black cherries and raspberries, framed by vibrant acidity, and wrapped in firm, ripe tannins. Softly textured and easy to like now, but not as expressive as it will be a few years down the line. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with softer tannins and more intense extract. This wine will get noticed. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Vineyards Ovation Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Barrel sample. · A solid wine with discreet richness and appealing flavors of pear and citrus backed by bright acidity. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Vineyards Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Barrel sample. From a single 500L oak puncheon. · Strikingly nuanced with aromas of yellow stone fruits, spice and petrol. Rich and mouth filling white peaches, tropical fruits and citrus combine with subtle oak highlights to produce a beautifully composed wine that will be special when bottled. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Vineyards Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. 100% whole cluster fermented. Calera and 828 clones. · Deep, dark color. Flush with dark stone fruits and dark chocolate on the nose and palate with more extraction, ripeness and tannin than the Quarter Moon bottling or the 2007 bottling of this wine. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Vineyards Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.26% alc.. 100% whole cluster fermented in an oak open-top fermenter. · Hi-tone aromas of well-spiced red fruits. The layered fruits are vivid and juicy accented by notes of earthiness and savoriness. Despite the whole cluster fermentation, no sign of a green edge. Still has tannins to shed. The acidity is bright. More forward than the 2007 vintage. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Barrel sample. Composed of best barrels in the cellar. · A step up in complexity and expression. Pleasing mineraility. Amazing aromatic persistence on the generous finish. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. Barrel sample. · Wow! The aromatics really pop with scents of wild berries and cherry tart replete with baking spices. Rich and ripe, fruit-forward and attacking. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 2,500 cases, $35. 14% estate vineyards and 86% independent growers. · Light straw color in the glass. Appealing scents of creme brulee, butter, willow bark and honey. Moderately rich on the palate with crisp flavors of white stone fruits, apple pie, honey, melon, spice and a hint of bourbon. I like the fact that this wine is not burdened by oak as so many lesser priced Chardonnays are prone to be. This wine is very user friendly and will have widespread appeal. Buy this by the case to drink now. Good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 8,000 cases, $35. A blend of fruit from all three of the Freestone estate vineyards. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly perfumed out of the bottle with bright aromas of black cherries, berry jam, rose petals, spice, caramel and toast. Achieves more aromatic interest over time in the glass. Hi-tone and moderately intense blueberry, raspberry and cranberry fruit flavors with notes of pomegranate, framed by bright acidity. Still sporting dusty, dry tannins that will integrate over time. A solid daily drinker that will work beautifully at the dinner table for the next few years. A wine to buy by the case for the Holidays. Very good. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 800 cases, $55. Composed of 100% estate grown fruit. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Demure scents of spiced apples and white peaches. The apple, peach, citrus and pear flavors flood the mouth with flavor, but the wine has an appealing modesty. Slightly viscous in texture, there is no oak intrusion, and bright acidity brings the fruit into focus. A very classy Chardonnay with modest alcohol that adds to the appeal. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 3,900 cases, $55. 100% estate-grown from Pastorale and Quarter Moon vineyards. Aged 14 months in 60% new and 40% 2 to 3-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black cherries, exotic spice, brier and cut flowers with a slight hint of tobacco smoke, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Black cherry-driven flavors with pleasing oak and whole cluster spice, slightly dwarfed at this stage by oak. Like cherry pie day at cooking school - cherries, baking spices and very interesting results. A solid wine that will improve in the cellar due to its impeccable structure. Very good (+). Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 50 cases, $100. Before pressing, the whole grape clusters were lightly crushed by stomping on the grapes in the bins to liberate some grape solids and facilitate the extraction process during pressing. After native yeast fermentation, the wine was aged 16 months in a large oak puncheon, with bi-monthly bâtonnage. · Light golden, clear straw color in the glass. Needs some coaxing to open in the glass, but over time offers an alluring perfume of apple pandowdy, Asian pear and buttered toast. Similar in flavor profile to the Sonoma Coast bottling, but with added notes of roasted nuts, minerals and lemon zest. A sneaky wine that picks up intensity and interest with swirling in the glass and provides a full-on explosion of flavor after 30 minutes. A subtle creaminess and hi-tone acidity add to the appeal. Worth the tab for serious Chardonnay aficionados and in the same class as other top producers of Chardonnay in California such as Peter Michael, Kistler, Littorai, Hanzell and Ramey. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 143 cases, $100. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Great nose indicating something serious is to follow. A chameleon of a wine that changes constantly in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, exotic spices including cardamom, red rose petals and the slightest sweet oak. You would need to empty your entire spice cabinet into a bin of grape juice to duplicate the complex nuances and mysteries in this wine. The core is a mix of berries and stone fruits with an edgy, sauvage character from the whole cluster. Brisk and bright, satiny in the mouth, this wine is flat-out great. Tasted over the next two days from an opened and re-corked bottle, the wine held forth its allure indicating a long life ahead. A connoisseur’s Pinot Noir. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Freestone Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 120 cases, $120. For winemaker Theresa Heredia, this is one of the most naturally made wines she has produced. Picked at 23.5º brix with a minimal acid addition. The wine was 100% whole cluster fermented in an oak tank. 80% new oak. · A cornucopia of bright berry aromas is highlighted with scents of alluring exotic spice, sweet pipe tobacco and toasted oak. The purple fruit flavors are vivid and high-strung, fueled by vibrant acidity with toasted oak playing a background role. Noticeable tannins provide good structure, and the overall experience improves with time in the glass. Very impressive the next day from a previously opened bottle with more expressive fruit in the nose, and ramped-up fruit flavor. A special occasion wine. Reviewed December 14, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Vineyards Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc.. 67% whole cluster. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. I have sampled this wine on several occasions, thoroughly enjoying it each time, and this bottle was atypical. The nose offers very ripe, raisiny fruit with hints of spice, sap and dill pickle. Relatively awkward on the palate with very ripe tasting fruits and firm, aggressive tannins. Withhold judgment. Reviewed July 21, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., $35. Sourced from Dutton Ranch Mill Station and Sullivan vineyards. Aged 15 months in 60% new and 40% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. · Demure aromas of lemon meringue tart and white stone fruits. Bright and crisp on the palate featuring flavors of peaches, lemon curd and grapefruit with the faintest oak. The fruit gives a delicate impression of sweetness. Good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $35. 100% estate grown. A mixture of several Dijon clones and several heirloom selections. Aged 15 months in 40% new and 60% two to three-yearold French oak barrels. Slow fermentation with 20% whole clusters. · Dark and dense reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of intensely perfumed wild berries, raspberries, and plums with a hint of exotic spice box and oak. Remarkably rich for an entry level wine flaunting a flavor palate of macerated berries, plum and pomegranate. Restrained, slightly grainy tannins and a zippy, refreshing finish that features citrus peel and dried berries. A good food wine with the right mix of intensity and delicate balance. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Vineyards Ovation Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., $45. 61% estate grapes, 21% Dutton Ranch, 18% Bacigalupi Vineyard. Aged 15 months in 60% new and 40% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. Weekly stirring of the lees before MLF. Freestone’s node to California-styled Chardonnay. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. Demure aromas of lemon curd, pear, white peach and a steely minerality that carries over on the palate. Delicious core of citrus and pear flavors with complimentary notes of caramel, baking spices and a citrus tang that persists on the refreshingly dry finish. Very good. Reviewed May 24, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Ovation Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., $45. A mix of estate vineyard fruit (61%), Dutton Ranch (21%) and Bacigalupi (18%). Aged 15 months in 60% new and 40% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. The lees are stirred frequently during primary fermentation (once a week) but not during secondary fermentation. Meant to be a rich, full-bodied California styled Chardonnay. · Light golden yellow in color in the glass. Delicate but pleasing scents of lemon curd, pear, white peach, tropical fruits, and steely minerality. Delicious core of citrus and pear flavors with a hint of caramel and baking spice all underlain with a crushed rock minerality. A citrus tang lifts the bright finish. A highly nuanced wine that aims to please. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $55. Released January 2010. 100% estate grown from Pastorale, Quarter Moon and Ferguson Vineyards. Aged 15 months in 65% new and 35% seasoned French oak barrels. Winemakers Damian Parker and Theresa Heredia. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Remarkably enticing aromas of black cherry, berry, tea and spice box which build in intensity over time in the glass. Very tasty Moroccan spiced berry core with a saturating mid palate attack that carries over on the intense and lengthy finish. An admirable acid spine predicts longevity. A very classy wine for spice lovers. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $55. 100% estate grown fruit. Aged 15 months in 65% new and 35% two and three-year-old French oak barrels. 43% whole cluster. · Nuanced aromatics featuring scents of berry tart, sandalwood, and barnyard. Spicy, tenacious palate of wild berries and plump cherries set off by notes of savory herbs and sweet oak. Rich and generous, yet offering style and grace. Just when you are content, it wows you some more with a memorable spice box finish. Very good (+). Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 1,300 cases, $75. · Fresh scents of citrus, caramel and butter. Refreshing flavors of citrus and honey with a slight toasty edge. There is an appealing light touch to this wine which has impeccable balance. Way too easy to drink. Very good. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Vineyards Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 50 cases, $90-$100 when released. Wood tank and whole cluster fermented, aged in 60% new French oak. 98% Calera selection from the Pastorale Vineyard (formerly part of the Freestone Vineyard, this is the estate vineyard that surrounds the winery). · A confected cherry nose leads to a rich and full dark fruited wine with an earthy edge. Nicely spiced and oaked with chewy tannins and great depth. Still a puppy. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Vineyards Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 50 cases, $90-$100 when released. Wood tank fermented, 67% whole clusters. Clones 777 and 828. · This is a striking Pinot that is at once both rich and silky, featuring earth-dusted red fruits, refined tannins, lively acidity and a fresh, clean mouth feel. The finish is outrageous, struting a peacock tail of flavor of uncommon intensity. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., 108 cases, $100. · Golden yellow color. Constantly changing aromatic profile in the glass showing lemon curd, butterscotch and buttered popcorn. Discreet richness and body with bright mineral-driven lemon flavor underlain with light caramel and roasted nuts. Delicately viscous with an appealing persistence of citrus on the clean finish. I believe even more charm and complexity will come with time in the cellar. This Chardonnay will match up with any comparably priced top white Burgundy. Very good (+) Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Pastorale Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 67 cases, $100. · Very complex array of aromas including black cherries, blackberries, forest floor, flower garden and spice. The savory core of earth-dusted and spiced dark fruits is unctuous and thoroughly satisfying. Framed by supple dry tannins, the fruit lingers long and lush on the finish. Beautifully crafted and harmonious in every way. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Freestone Quarter Moon Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 60 cases, $100. · The nose is flat-out unbelievable showing crushed red cherries and berries with intoxicating exotic spices. Can you make a perfume out of this? Spicy and tenacious berry fruit core with ripe tannins and perfectly balanced acidity. Delicate, yet packed with charismatic fruit flavor. Ends in a lingering peacock finish that is orgasmic. One of the greatest California Pinot Noirs I have ever tasted. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., 1,400 cases, $40. Exclusively from estate-grown vineyards. Fogdog refers to a bright clear spot that appears in breaking fog. Fermented in stainless steel, aged 12 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Pale yellow in color. A very similar flavor profile to the winery’s Freestone Vineyards Chardonnay but with less intensity and lacking the same textural appeal. Still, it is a very good wine that woman will love. Attractive scents of butter, white fruits, citrus, vanilla and smoke are echoed in the flavors. Rich with leesy notes as well and blessed with admirable acidity on the tasty finish. Freestone Chardonnay in a skirt. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Fogdog Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 3,400 cases, $40. A blend from all three of the estate-grown vineyards. A mixture of Dijon and heirloom clones. Aged 12 months in 40% new and 60% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. Whole berries were maximized and a small number of whole clusters employed. · Aromas of well-spiced cherries with a touch of smoke. Satisfying in the mouth with impressive grip. The flavors of cranberries and sour cherries are enhanced by a bracing tang of citrus. Tannins are well integrated and the refreshing finish begs for another sip Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Ovation Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., 700 cases, $60. Sourced from Freestone and other Coast growers. 100% barrel fermented, native yeast fermentation, aged in 70% new French oak barrels for 12-15 months, unfined and unfiltered. Replaces the Joseph Phelps Vineyards Ovation Napa Carneros Chardonnay which was discontinued in 2004. · Flavors of pear, 7-Up and fig in a crisp, clean and brightly styled Chardonnay imbibed with minerality and unburdened by oak. Akin to a fine blanc de blanc Champagne without the bubbles. Excellent. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc.,700 cases, $75. 100% estategrown Chardonnay from Freestone Vineyards. Aged 15 months in 70% new and 30% one to two-yearold French oak barrels. · Pale blond in color with a touch of gold. This wine is Fogdog’s sculpted big brother. Bold aromas of buttered popcorn, yeast, toasted oak and white stone fruits lead to delicious and moderately intense flavors of white peach and pear with a charming mineral note. Slightly viscous on the palate and very clean on the finish. This has all the attraction of barrel fermented Chardonnay, yet enough sophistication to charm even the most hard core white Burgundy lover. I could drink this all night long. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 2,700 cases, $75. 100% Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir from estate Freestone and Quarter Moon Vineyards. Primarily Dijon clones with some heirloom selections. Aged 15 months in 55% new and 45% two to three-year-old French oak barrels. Whole berries were maximized and some whole clusters were included. This Pinot Noir represents a selection of the best wines produced during the 2006 harvest. · Very lovely and pure aromatics featuring dark red berries and stone fruits infused with herbs, and subtle oak toast and spice. A charming and demure wine on the palate that is silky and supple with understated but satisfying red and black fruit flavors complimented by deft use of oak progressing to a persistent and memorable finish of spiced fruit and orange peel. The wine’s balance is impeccable portending a long life ahead. This Pinot Noir drank beautifully the following day from a re-corked previously opened bottle, exhibiting more spice, mocha and coffee notes and a very sexy velvety texture. This wine may not have the levels of complexity that future vintages will flaunt as the estate vines age, but it remains an impressive wine. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 fogdog Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $30. · The wine takes a while to open as the natural carbon dioxide present dissipates. The nose is unusual featuring pepper, wet leaves, dark chocolate and even exotic wood aromas. Red fruits, particularly cherries, are noteworthy. The finish is short and clean. The big acid spine screams for food. Reviewed January 29, 2007 ARTICLE »