A Kingpin’s Mesmerizing California Coast Chardonnay
One of Napa Valley’s most iconic producers — Joseph Phelps — has made an indelible mark on Cabernet lovers with their cult flagship “Insignia.” For those in-the-know, securing this 2015 Joseph Phelps Sonoma Coast Chardonnay from their estate Freestone Vineyards is a no-brainer. You’ve already hit “Buy.” But for those of you who are new to this titan of Napa Valley, consider this your overdue introduction — and what a great opportunity. With 95 points from Wine Enthusiast this “voluptuously succulent and welcoming” Chardonnay was also singled out by Vinous founder Antonio Galloni who said that the winery’s “2015s, the Chardonnays in particular, are very pretty.” Thanks to our long-standing relationship with the winery, we are able to offer 50 cases of this stunner at an incredible $39.99 per bottle — 27% off the release price. Opportunities like this don’t come around often, so when they do, don’t hesitate.
There are few places on Sonoma’s fog-laden coastline capable of challenging the best of Burgundy, and Phelps found one of them. Robert Parker has expressed amazement with the Freestone site and Phelps’ Chardonnays off it, writing, “their flavor intensity and richness make them fascinating.”
Bud break can occur as early as February among these tightly spaced vines, leading to up to 140+ days of hang-time on the vine. Goldridge soils, an ancient seabed of sandy loam that offers ample drainage, allows roots to spider deep into the substrata. The spot is cold and edgy, rarely topping 90 degrees on the hottest of summer days, before plummeting into the 50s overnight. Berry size is small. The Wente clone delivers sturdy shoulders to these cool-climate Chardonnays with a juicy core of lemon-honey opulence. This is a fabulous showing from Phelps that will continue to gather weight and richness for another five years.