Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

After the spectacular 2018 vintage, we had no idea what to expect in 2019. The weather during May flowering was hit-and-miss, with its share of cool, foggy and windy days. As soon as June arrived, everything changed for the better; for the second summer in a row, we experienced a perfect growing season. Mild heat spells were followed by predictable foggy evenings and mornings, along with bright, sunny and mild afternoons. We harvested all of the fruit in September under ideal conditions, with nothing coming in too early, and nothing overripe. This is how Pinot in the Russian River Valley was meant to be!

Freeman’s Gloria Estate Vineyard contributed the largest share of fruit to the  2019 Russian River Valley blend. Four of the vineyard’s main Pinot blocks are represented in the wine, including Calera, Swan, Pommard and 115. This  was Gloria’s 9th vintage, and the vineyard is now approaching full maturity.

Swiss clone 23 and Dijon 777 from the KR Ranch—formerly known  as Keefer Ranch—made up 31% of the 2019 blend. The wine also includes Dijon 777 and Swiss clone 2A fruit from Jim Pratt’s vineyard on Sexton Road. We’ve been sourcing grapes from Pratt since 2005 and Keefer since 2004, so these two sites are very much a part of Freeman’s history.

The 2019 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir shows a youthful, bright, deep black cherry color in the glass. With an intriguing nose of rhubarb, blackberries, wild mushrooms, and wet earth, this wine holds a lot in store  for the future. The enticing palate of full fruit flavors and a hint of reduction also predict a long life, with berries and high acidity rounding out the long finish. The RRV Pinot should be approaching maturity by the end of 2021 and last through 2030.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 57% Gloria Estate
  • 31% KR Ranch
  • 12% Pratt
Barrel Aging
11 months in French oak:
  • 28% new
  • 18% one-year-old
  • 8% two-year-old
  • 17% three-year-old
  • 29% neutral
Bottling
August 2020
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: 880 cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases

Scores

92 points

Freeman

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