The Joseph Phelps name is synonymous with some of the best California offers, especially in Insignia's case. However, they make some incredible wines from many locations in the Napa Valley and the Sonoma coast, which are just as enticing and don't have the price tag that their top wines fetch. Wanting to make great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Joseph Phelps searched for a new location, landing upon Freestone on the Sonoma Coast in the 90s constructing a new facility. It was at a time when the area was unproven for grape growing, with many stating the area was too cold and wet to make great wine, but they were quickly shown otherwise, and today the estate produces some exceptional examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with an hommage to the great wines of Burgundy.
The 2019 Freestone Vineyards is an excellent example of the Sonoma Coast wines that Phelps makes, with 2019 being of the best examples of this wine of all time—sourced from 100% Estate grown Chardonnay in Freestone and shows an abundance of floral character, crushed rock, and citrus notes. At the same time, the palate is filled with lemon zest, freshly sliced pear, tangy acidity, and a layered finish rich in mineral and briny undertones. It's an excellent Chardonnay and should satisfy the Domestic and Burgundian Chardonnay fans out there. Big notes below, the 2019 Freestone Chardonnay is an excellent buy at this pricing and a bottle that can be enjoyed now and over the next ten years.
Wine Advocate (Erin Brooks) 96+ points! "The 2019 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyard is very classy this vintage, with inherent energy derived from the pairing of its goldilocks fruits with bright acidity and shimmery mineral character. The nose offers ripe quince, toasted almonds, saline and beeswax, with toasty hints and an undercurrent of crushed stone. Medium-bodied and satiny, its pure fruits are continually refreshed by all that salty, juicy character, and it has a long, ethereal finish. This deserves another 2-3 years in bottle."
Jeb Dunnuck 94+ points! "The 2019 Chardonnay Freestone Vineyards offers more Meyer lemon, honeyed toast, spice, and savory mineral aromas and flavors, yet it shows a similar purity, balance, and length on the palate. It opens up nicely with time in the glass, and this medium-bodied, racy, focused beauty has another 5-7 years of prime drinking ahead of it. (Drink between 2021 - 2028)"