I tasted the latest project from Joseph Phelps Freestone with winemaker Justin Ennis. Called Proem, this new set of wines is composed of clonal and block-specific bottlings from their Freestone Ranch. -Erin Brooks
The 2018 Proem #1 offers exceptional purity and complexity. Its aromas undulate from pomegranate and cranberry to tones of tea leaves, saline, wood smoke and rusty iron. Medium-bodied, it has refreshing bursts of acidity and velvety tannins to balance its concentrated fruit and boasts a flourish of spicy accents on the long finish.
The 2018 Pinot Noir Freestone Estate Proem #2 comes from the Pastorale Vineyard. It’s especially expressive, with a medium ruby color and fragrant wafts of strawberry, raspberry, burnt orange peel, graham cracker and dried roses. The light-bodied palate offers a rare balance of concentrated flavors, bright acidity and refined tannins, and its full flavors are complemented by delicate new oak spices. Lovely!
The 2019 Chardonnay Freestone Estate Proem #4 was fermented in new (50%) and older (40%) 500-liter puncheons. It offers singular aromas of underripe banana and warm lemons with touches of chalk and flint. The medium-bodied palate is youthfully tangy and bright, with a gently rounded texture and a tense, mineral-driven finish. Allow it to unwind in bottle over the next 2-3 years.
The 2019 Pinot Noir Freestone Estate Proem #1 has a medium ruby color and layered scents of strawberry jam, orange peel, tobacco, conifer and wafts of cinnamon. The light-bodied palate offers exceptional concentration despite its slender, silky frame, and it finishes with tremendous length and detailed spicy accents. Let it unwind in bottle over the next 3-5 years. Member Shipment Only.
The 2019 Pinot Noir Freestone Estate Proem #3 is fragrant and concentrated, with latent spicy accents that suggest it will continue to unfold in bottle over the next decade. Medium ruby in color, it has alluring scents of raspberry, blackberry, cast iron, pipe tobacco, pepper and dried lilacs. The palate is velvety and seamless, with surprising concentration, layer after layer of earthy, spicy accents and a very long finish. Wow! Member Shipment Only
The 2020 Chardonnay Pastorale Vineyard is scented of baked apples and pears with accents of beeswax, pie spice and baker’s yeast. The medium-bodied palate is creamy and expansive with bright acidity and a long, textural finish. Drink it over the next 3-5 years.