KR Ranch Pinot Noir

From 2004 through 2015, Freeman made a vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from Keefer Ranch in the Russian River Valley. When the Dutton family took over the management of this famous block in 2016, we came up with a new name for it: KR Ranch. The property sits in the center of the Green Valley, located in the southern and western parts of the Russian River Valley. This area is much cooler than those at the appellation’s northern end, so it is ideally suited to growing Pinot Noir.

Each vintage, we harvest two side-by-side blocks of KR, featuring Dijon clone 777 and the Swiss clone 23 (also known as Mariafeld). Due to variations between the clones in cluster size and vine morphology, the blocks ripen at different rates. With clusters approximately the size of a closed fist, the 777 is typically ready for harvest a week or two earlier than the 23. The 23 has a long, loose cluster, resembling Syrah more than Pinot Noir. Combining these clones has always made an excellent blend for Freeman.

The 2022 vintage was almost “back to normal” for KR Ranch following two challenging years. In the wildfire year of 2020, we did not make a KR Pinot Noir, and we had a very small crop in 2021 that brought only two-thirds of the expected tonnage. The 2022 vintage brought us back to a more typical KR harvest.

The 2022 KR Ranch Pinot Noir shows a clear, dark, ruby-red color, along with aromas of ripe cherries, herbes de Provence, nutmeg, dried roses and holiday spices. The wine introduces itself as subtle and balanced on the palate, and after a few minutes of swirling, it opens up to reveal flavors of cinnamon, cloves, black raspberries and cola. The finish is long, pleasant and refreshing. With moderate-to-high acidity and firm tannins, the 2022 KR Pinot should be at its best from late 2024 through 2034.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% KR Ranch, Russian River Valley
Clones
  • 71% Swiss clone 23 (Mariafeld)
  • 29% Dijon clone 777
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 27% new
  • 27% one-year-old
  • 46% 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: 320 cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases

Freeman

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