Freeman’s inaugural Ko-fu Riesling was born when our good friends, the Perrys, invited us to make a Riesling from their Abigail’s Vineyard, just across the street from our winery. We have always enjoyed Rieslings, especially those from Alsace, so it was fitting that Freeman’s first bottling outside the realm of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was made from this aromatic white variety.
Abigail’s Vineyard was planted entirely to Pinot Noir in the mid-1990s, and the fruit was primarily used for sparkling wine. In 2019, the Perrys —along with our friend, the talented winemaker Ross Cobb—budded over 2 acres of Pinot Noir to clone 17 Riesling. They believed that, like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Riesling would also benefit from the area’s long, cool, foggy growing seasons. When they harvested their first Riesling crop in 2021, their prediction proved correct.
Riesling is an early-ripening variety, and it lends itself to picking at lower Brix and higher acidity than most other grapes. The late summer of 2022 brought our first Riesling to ripeness quickly, at only 21 Brix with acid levels akin to what we see in our sparkling wines. We fermented it in neutral barrels, as we do with our Chardonnays. The biggest difference in winemaking was that we stopped the Riesling from going through malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the wine’s refreshing mouthfeel.
The Freeman 2022 Ko-fu Riesling has the pale, clear appearance of a very youthful wine. The nose is unmistakenly Riesling, with aromas of fresh Gravenstein apples, peach cobbler, lemongrass and spring figs. The racy acidity on the palate surrounds an abundance of bright, fruity flavors and the suggestion of sweetness, without a hint of residual sugar. This is a Trocken-style Riesling, for sure. Try the 2022 Ko-fu in 2024 and enjoy it through at least 2027.Download PDF
11 months in predominantly neutral French oak
July 31, 2023
Fermented in barrels, no malolactic fermentation