2005 Joseph Phelps / Freestone Vineyards Chardonnay "Fogdog"
Sonoma Coast, California
WB Rating: 91

Alcohol by volume: 14.5%
Price at time of purchase: $40.00 (Winery)
Type: Chardonnay
Principal varietal(s):

Freestone Vineyards is a new Joseph Phelps facility focused on making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Freestone area, which is turning into one of the most promising areas in California for making the great Burgundian varietals. The vineyards used are all owned and planted by Phelps, and are all young. In fact, the Fogdog Chardonnay is the first release from these vineyards, was made in the Phelps St. Helena winery (though future releases will all be made at the new winery in Freestone), and is described as almost an "experimental" wine. But what a delicious experiment. The wine displays a beautiful, penetrating nose of lemon curd and apricot accompanied by dense clove-like spiciness. In the mouth there is a tremendous feel of freshness and clarity due to the outstanding acid balance. The long finish shows only a gentle touch of toasty oak despite the fact that this wine was aged for 12 months in 50% new French oak. It's scary to think how good these Chardonnays will become as the vines age. It's scary also to think of what they'll cost, since this opening salvo came in at $40, and it's the cheaper of the two Chardonnays currently produced. - HK 2008-08-02


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