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Elegant, balanced wines find their essence at the intersection of provenance, inspiration and artistry. Though a wine will only ever be as good as the vineyards it comes from, the wisdom of nature can be nurtured and gently accentuated. At Freeman, every wine is intimately made by hand in small lots. As many as 50 individual clonal fermentations are managed each vintage to make just six Pinot Noirs. The focus is exclusively on cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and total production is kept below 5,000 cases to ensure that every bottling receives the love and attention it deserves.

2018 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.

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2018 Hawk Hill Chardonnay

When the opportunity arose for Freeman to start working with Hawk Hill’s Chardonnay, we jumped at the chance. Owners Margaret and Bill Yarak do a brilliant job of farming the vineyard with the help of Arturo Robledo and Greg Adams, and their care shines through in the fruit.

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2018 KR Ranch Pinot Noir

From 2004 through 2015, Freeman made a vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from Keefer Ranch in the Russian River Valley. When the Dutton family took over the management of this famous block in 2016, we came up with a new name for it: KR Ranch. The property sits in the center of the Green Valley, located in the southern and western parts of the Russian River Valley. This area is much cooler than those at the appellation’s northern end, so it is ideally suited to growing Pinot Noir.

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2018 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.

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2018 Ryo-fu Chardonnay

Ryo-fu is Japanese for “cool breeze,” a fitting name for this Russian River Valley Chardonnay shaped by the chilly winds that blow in from the Pacific Ocean. Our local Ryo-fu, along with the region’s famous fog and sandy soils, create ideal growing conditions for this Chardonnay.

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2017 Akiko’s Cuvée Pinot Noir

Each year since our inaugural 2002 vintage, Freeman has released an Akiko’s Cuvée. To make this special wine, Akiko Freeman and her winemaking staff taste every barrel of our Pinot Noir from the current vintage and everyone chooses their favorites. Next, each person’s top barrels are blended together to create a cuvée. The sample blends are then tasted blind, and a friendly competition ensues. Whose blend will be the team favorite? The resulting wine is called Akiko’s Cuvée, because Akiko’s blend almost always wins.

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2017 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

This vintage marked the end of the five-year drought for the Sonoma Coast —and the rest of California’s appellations. While the winter of 2016–2017 brought mud slides and broken dams to some regions, North Coast vineyards benefitted from the deep, soaking rains. Ideal spring and summer weather led us to believe we’d be back to “normal” timing with a late September harvest—something we hadn’t seen since 2012. However, two major heat waves at the end of August changed our picking dates dramatically, and we experienced our fifth consecutive early vintage. Fortunately, Freeman was able to bring in everything within a three-week period, which enabled us to prevent the grapes from becoming overripe.

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2017 Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir

Set above the town of Occidental, Yu-ki Estate is located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 1,000 feet. We purchased this remarkable site in 2007 and named it for Akiko’s nephew in Japan. One translation of Yu-ki is “big tree,” which is a fitting name for a property surrounded by old-growth redwoods. We planted the estate with our favorite heritage and Dijon Pinot Noir clones, and to preserve the property’s majestic redwoods, we donated 22 acres to the Bodega Land Trust.

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