Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

With an ideal growing season from budbreak right through harvest, 2018 was the vintage that 2017 tried to be but couldn’t. Most years include a month or two of questionable weather—perhaps a cold May that leaves us with a tiny crop, or incredibly hot temperatures in August and September that forced us to harvest early to avoid overripe grapes. That didn’t happen in 2018. Instead, we were blessed with the rare combination of a large, healthy crop and the highest quality fruit. This was the best year we’ve seen in our 17 vintages at Freeman—even better than the great 2012.

Our 2018 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is comprised of fruit from two unique vineyards—one in the southwest corner of the appellation, and one from the northwest corner. One of Freeman’s two estate vineyards, Yu-ki came into its own in 2018 and gave us more than 40 tons of gorgeous Pinot Noir. The site lies just above the town of Occidental and is our coolest site, planted to clones 2A, 23, 114, 667, Calera and Mount Eden—all represented in this blend.

Since 2010, Freeman has sourced Dijon clone 777 from Campbell Ranch near Annapolis, in the far northwestern reaches of Sonoma County. The Valdez family farms the vineyard (the longtime vineyard manager, Ulises Valdez, sadly passed away during the 2018 vintage), and this fruit is always a highlight in the Sonoma Coast blend.

The 2018 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot has a clear, deep ruby color. On the nose, there’s a beautiful meeting of fresh, wild blackberries and savory herbs such as sage, thyme and fresh mint. A lively palate entry is followed by zesty acidity, plums, rhubarb and cola. Finishing with a pleasant texture, the wine showcases the strength of the 2018 vintage. Drink this from 2020 through 2029.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 79% Yu-ki Estate
  • 21% Campbell Ranch
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 18% new
  • 19% one-year-old
  • 17% two-year-old
  • 12% three-year-old
  • 34% neutral
Bottling
July 2019
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: 1,250 cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases

Scores

94 points/Cellar Selection