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Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

This vintage marked the end of the five-year drought for the Sonoma Coast —and the rest of California’s appellations. While the winter of 2016–2017 brought mud slides and broken dams to some regions, North Coast vineyards benefitted from the deep, soaking rains. Ideal spring and summer weather led us to believe we’d be back to “normal” timing with a late September harvest—something we hadn’t seen since 2012. However, two major heat waves at the end of August changed our picking dates dramatically, and we experienced our fifth consecutive early vintage. Fortunately, Freeman was able to bring in everything within a three-week period, which enabled us to prevent the grapes from becoming overripe.

For the second year in a row, the Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is comprised of fruit from the same two vineyards: Yu-ki—Freeman’s own estate vineyard and its coolest site, set above the town of Occidental—and Campbell Ranch. Yu-ki is still a relatively young vineyard, but it is maturing beautifully. Clones from Yu-ki included in the 2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir include 2A, 23, 114, 667, Calera and Mount Eden.

Since 2010, Freeman has sourced Dijon clone 777 from the Campbell Ranch vineyard near Annapolis, in the far northwestern reaches of Sonoma County. The Valdez family farms the vineyard, and this fruit is always a highlight in the Sonoma Coast blend.

The 2017 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot is one of the darkest wines we’ve made to date, displaying purple hues right to the rim of the glass. A fragrant and youthful aroma of blackberries and tea is followed by a refreshing palate of bright, tart plums, licorice and toasty oak. This wine will be approaching its prime drinkability by late 2019 and should continue to develop until 2030.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 77% Yu-ki Estate
  • 23% Campbell Ranch
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 27% new
  • 25% one-year-old
  • 8% two-year-old
  • 21% three-year-old
  • 19% neutral
Bottling
August 2018
Fermentation
Five-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, hand-punched down one to three times per day, free-run sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately
Production
  • 750 ml: 980 cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases
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