Gloria Estate Pinot Noir

Gloria is Freeman’s estate vineyard, planted adjacent to the winery and just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Ken and Akiko acquired this site— previously a Gravenstein apple orchard—from a neighbor in 2005 and planted it the following year. They named the vineyard for the orchard’s owner, Gloria, and especially for the fortuitous event that brought Ken and Akiko together in 1985. Ken had been on a sailboat heading south in the Atlantic when Hurricane Gloria forced him to spend the night in port. That evening he attended a friend’s party where he met Akiko, who was the best-dressed and most beautiful woman in the room. The rest, of course, is history.

The Freemans planted the 8-acre vineyard to heritage Pinot Noir clones— Swan, Calera, Martini and Pommard—along with Dijon 115. Because Gloria is a challenging site to farm, with steep hillsides and varying exposures, Akiko works closely with Freeman’s vineyard team on all decisions regarding this challenging and rewarding vineyard.

Aside from below-normal rainfall—the fourth consecutive year of such conditions— 2022 was an excellent growing season, and blessedly free from wildfires. Cool weather during spring flowering led to a smaller-than-normal crop set at Gloria. Harvest began on August 19, which was one of the earliest-ever starts for this vineyard.

With a deep ruby color and a purple rim, the 2022 Gloria Pinot Noir has a youthful appearance in the glass. The nose presents intriguing aromas of wood, strawberries, raspberry sorbet, ripe plum and subtle toast. Among Freeman wines, Gloria usually has the biggest palate presence, and this is definitely the case for 2022. The wine’s aromas carry over to the palate along with mouthwatering tannins and perfectly balanced acidity. The alcohol is on the lower side for a wine with these dimensions. The ’22 Gloria will age gracefully for years to come and should be at its best from early 2024 through 2036.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% Gloria Estate, Russian River Valley
Clones
  • 40% Pommard
  • 30% Calera
  • 17% Dijon 115
  • 10% Swan
  • 3% Martini
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 14% new
  • 24% one-year-old
  • 5% two-year-old
  • 5% three-year-old
  • 52% neutral
Bottling
August 2023
Fermentation
Five-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, hand-punched down one to three times per day. Free-run juice sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately.
Production
  • 750 ml: 450 cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases

Freeman

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