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Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

This was a magical vintage for the Russian River Valley and for all California appellations. We had near-perfect weather for the entire year, with adequate rainfall and an ideal mixture of warm, sunny days and cool, foggy mornings and evenings. Flowering in May allowed an above-average crop size to form on the vines, and clusters ripened slowly through the summer and early fall. We harvested all of the Pinot Noir in September when it was perfectly ripe, rather than rushing to pick it before it became overripe as we did during our five-year run of early vintages from 2013 through 2017.

Freeman’s own Gloria Estate Vineyard contributed the largest share of grapes to the 2018 Russian River Valley blend, and all five of Gloria’s Pinot Noir clones—including Calera, Swan, Pommard, 115 and Martini— are represented in the 2018 vintage. The blend also includes fruit from Jim Pratt’s vineyard on Sexton Road and KR Ranch, formerly known as Keefer. We’ve been enjoying grapes from Pratt since 2005 and Keefer since 2004, so these two sites are very much a part of Freeman’s history.

The 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was similar in character to our Gloria Estate, but the 2018 wine is quite different. The 2018 is a much more subtle wine, with an easy drinking style that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. With a medium dark ruby color and pleasant aromas of ripe plums and earth, with wine is soft and rich on the palate. It has just the right amount of balanced acidity, along with flavors of spicy Pinot berries and watermelon. The wine’s finish is long, with prominent acidity. It should be at its best now through 2026.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 45% Gloria Estate
  • 28% Pratt
  • 27% KR Ranch
Barrel Aging
10 months in French oak:
  • 20% new
  • 14% one-year-old
  • 20% two-year-old
  • 11% three-year-old
  • 35% neutral
Bottling
July 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: 1,012 cases
  • 1.5 L: 30 cases
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