Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir

Ken and Akiko bought the land for Yu-ki Estate in 2007 and planted our favorite heritage and Dijon clones of Pinot Noir there. The location is only five miles from the Pacific Ocean, 1,000 feet in elevation, above the town of Occidental. The vineyard is named after Akiko’s nephew, Yu-ki, who lives in Japan. Yu-ki can also be translated to mean courage or big tree. This is significant in that this site is surrounded by old growth redwood trees, 22 acres of which the Freemans have donated  to the Bodega Land Trust.

After Yu-ki’s large 2018 crop, things settled back down to a typical Sonoma Coast yield of under 2 tons per acre in 2019. The growing season  was actually very similar to 2018, and the winter rainfall was much more  plentiful in 2019. If there were ever two back to back years of ideal weather  for ripening Pinot Noir, these were the two. Yu-ki is a cooler climate site than all of our other vineyards, so it’s always the last Pinot to come in  for the vintage.

For the 2019 Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir, we selected 20 barrels to go into this blend out of the 64 barrels of Yu-ki we produced. The clones are 2A, 23, 114, 667 and 828, which make up almost all the selections we have  at Yu-ki. Seven Yu-ki barrels made it into the 2019 Akiko’s Cuvée, and 37 went into the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir always has a dark ruby color, due to the high skin  to juice ratio in the tiny Pinot Noir grapes that grow in this coastal site.  The 2019 Yu-ki has aromas of brambly wild huckleberries, wet earth, forest  floor, molasses, and chanterelle mushrooms. The palate is a seamless blend  of perfectly ripe fruit flavors, moderate tannins, and refreshing acidity. Each year that the Yu-ki vineyard matures, the flavors get more complex, and the palate gets more structured. As with all great vineyards, the longevity of the wines increases as the vines get older. Enjoy the 2019  Yu-ki from 2022 through 2032.

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95 points
92 points


  • 100% Yu-ki Estate, Sonoma Coast
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 10% new
  • 19% one-year-old
  • 33% two-year-old
  • 14% three-year-old
  • 24% neutral
July 2020
5 day cold soak in open top fermenters, hand punched down 1 to 3 times per day, free run sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately
  • 750 ml: 420 cases
  • 1.5 L: 22 cases


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