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 2019 vintage was a mirror image of the spectacular 2018, with a slightly smaller crop. After a cold, windy May that reduced fruit set, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect growing season. Ripeness progressed slowly and evenly throughout the summer, and our home vineyard was ready to harvest in early September. The Calera and Swan clones came in on Sept. 3, and less than a week later, on Sept. 9, we brought in the 115, Pommard and Martini. Everything was perfectly ripe, and the fruit tasted very similar to the 2018 crop.
Gloria is most voluptuous wine of the vintage year in and year out, and the 2019 is another example. With a dense purple color, the wine enters with a nose of raspberry compote, allspice and youthful Russian River Pinot. On the palate, there’s a richness that only comes with the best vintages—and 2019 was deﬁnitely one of them. Well-balanced oak, fruit and acidity marry perfectly on the palate, leading to a never-ending ﬁnish. Enjoy this right away in 2021, or hold it in the cellar until 2032.Download PDF
11 months in French oak:
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.