I found a really great red from Northern California last week. One is the late release of a special selected pinot noir from Joseph Phelps: Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Sonoma County Sonoma Coast Freestone Estate Proem No.1 2018. It’s an exceptional quality single plot, single clone pinot from Joseph Phelps’ coastal Sonoma vineyards near Bodega Bay. It is made from the calera clone of pinot, which was said to have been from vine cuttings brought to the United States from France (Domaine de la Romanee Conti) in the suitcase of the winemaker/owner in the 1980s. Whether that tale is true or not, the JP Proem No. 1 Pinot from 2018 is incredible on the palate, with a fabulous combination of ripe berry and citrus and an electrifying acidity. I love the contrast and brilliance to the wine. Only 400 12-bottle cases were made. -James Suckling
This is a fantastic pinot and so intense, with orange-peel, strawberry and floral character. It’s medium-bodied with a round texture and lively acidity. Electric on the palate. Zingy. Crazy stuff. Single plot, single clone. From Clone 996 (Calera). 36% whole-cluster fermentation. 400 cases made. Give this time to come together completely, but so great. (Dec. 2021) Winery exclusive releases.
A beautifully textured pinot noir with aromas of raspberries, mushrooms, dried roses, crushed stones and licorice. Juniper berries and lemon pith too. Fantastic minerality. Medium- to full-bodied with seamless, velvety tannins. Almost melts in your mouth. Depth and character at the end of the palate. Delicacy with intensity. 35% whole cluster Single plot pinot. Swan clone. About 250 cases made. (Dec. 2021) Winery exclusive releases.