Gloria Estate Pinot Noir

Gloria is Freeman’s estate vineyard, located adjacent to the winery. Ken and Akiko acquired this site, previously an 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 Hurricane Gloria, the fortuitous meteorological event that brought Ken and Akiko together in 1985.

Sitting just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Gloria is blessed with a steep hillside for optimal drainage, Goldridge sandy loam soils, and a climate that is sunny but unusually cool, moderated by fog. The Freemans planted the 8-acre vineyard to heritage Pinot Noir clones—Swan, Calera and Pommard—along with Dijon 115. Due to extreme weather conditions and high elevation, yields vary from 1 to 2 tons per acre. Because Gloria is a difficult site to farm, with its steep hillsides and varying exposures, Akiko works closely with Freeman’s vineyard team on all decisions regarding this challenging and rewarding vineyard.

The 2018 vintage was the most prolific we’ve ever had at Gloria. It also produced the largest crop the Russian River Valley has seen in many years— pre-dating the Freeman winery. The weather was ideal throughout the growing season, from budbreak to harvest, making 2018 a year without parallel so far this century. All five clones at Gloria ripened slowly and evenly. Because there were no heat waves to rush the picking process, we were able to make harvest decisions based on perfect ripeness.

The 2018 Gloria Pinot Noir greets the nose with an intense blackberry aroma and a hint of wild herbs, including the slightest hint of mint. The wine has an almost chewy, crunchy texture, and the palate is bursting with tart berry flavors. The finish, lasting for minutes, forecasts a long life for the 2018 Gloria. This is probably the most well-rounded Gloria Pinot Noir to date, and the wine really shows off the stellar quality of the 2018 vintage. Drink this from late 2020 through 2028.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% Gloria Estate, Russian River Valley
Clones
  • 27% Dijon 115
  • 25% Swan
  • 20% Calera
  • 16% Pommard
  • 12% Martini
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 25% new
  • 27% one-year-old
  • 12% two-year-old
  • 12% three-year-old
  • 24% neutral
Bottling
August 2019
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: 484 cases
  • 1.5 L: 30 cases