Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

We experienced another smoke-free vintage in 2022, which was our second in a row. Winter and early spring rainfall levels were just slightly below average, capping off a four-year stretch of drought conditions for most of California. Flowering during May ran into some cool and foggy weather, which resulted in a considerably smaller Pinot Noir crop for our Gloria Estate vineyard than we’ve seen in recent vintages. Summer brought a typical Russian River Valley pattern of sun, fog and wind, and the small crop ripened quickly. Harvest began on August 19, which was one of our earliest years to date for Gloria. A major heat wave occurred over Labor Day weekend, but fortunately, we had already picked most of our Pinot Noir before temperatures peaked at 110 degrees.

Gloria Estate made up almost 90% of the 2022 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. All five clones from Gloria are included in the wine: Calera,
Swan, Pommard, 115 and Martini. Planted in 2007 and 2008, Gloria is finally reaching full maturity as a vineyard and has come into its own. It is always the earliest vineyard to ripen for us, and it provides the backbone of ripeness and structure to our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Jim Pratt’s vineyard on Sexton Road in the Sebastopol Hills region made up 11% of the blend with Dijon clone 777 and Swiss clone 2A, also known as Wadenswil. The vineyard has been adding complexity and spiciness to our Russian River Valley Pinot since the 2005 vintage.

The 2022 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is reminiscent of the 2022 Gloria Estate Pinot in its appearance, aromas and palate, yet with a few important distinctions. Brilliantly clear in the glass, the ’22 Russian River has a dark and youthful color, with purple hues on the rim. The nose has all the ripe strawberries and raspberries of the Gloria Estate Pinot, with the addition of an earthy component in the form of fresh loam and mint. The palate is full-bodied with firm tannins, bright acidity and a long finish of beautifully ripe Green Valley Pinot Noir lingering for several minutes. Try the wine in 2024 and enjoy it through 2035.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 89% Gloria Estate
  • 11% Pratt
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 4% new
  • 15% one-year-old
  • 4% two-year-old
  • 77% 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: 5590 cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases

Freeman

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