James chats with Justin Ennis, the winemaker at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in St. Helena, California, about the 2021 harvest in Sonoma Coast and Napa and about the new Joseph Phelps pinot noir releases from 2018.
Justin says the harvest in Sonoma was 14 percent down overall for pinot noir. Despite this, he says, 2021 should yield very high quality. "Believe it or not, summer was fairly mild. We didn't have any significant heat spikes out here, nor did Napa, quite frankly," he said. "It was a breath of fresh air compared to 2020."
Tasting the Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Freestone Estate Proem No. 1 2018, James says: "This wine's amazing on the palate. It's like really sort of zesty, zingy [with an] electric sort of acidity, and there's so much citrus fruit." The No. 2 is interesting, James says, "because it's a little bit softer, sort of melts in your mouth. It doesn't have that really intense acid character. It's very different."
Listen in on their entire Zoom chat to learn more about Justin's winemaking strategies and what the future holds for Joseph Phelps.