2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Freeman Vineyard & Winery purchases grapes from some of the Sonoma Coast’s finest vineyards, and our version of the 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is the perfect example of how great those farmers are. All three of the sites which comprise this blend are found close to the towns of Freestone and Occidental, and are true expressions of the cool Sonoma Coast appellation.

William and Renée Rayhill’s 8 acre vineyard on Falstaff Road was planted in 2000 and Freeman started receiving all of the fruit from here in 2004. Whether the vintage is a hot, early one like 2004, or a long, cool one like 2005 and 2006, we are almost guaranteed that the Rayhill Pinot will be harvested in early to late October. The site is on top of a windy hill with a 360 degree view around western Sonoma County. Those cooling winds not only keep the fruit on the vine longer, but in a high botrytis pressure year like 2006, they also protect the clusters by drying off excess moisture almost instantly.

Just down the road from Rayhill is Jim Pratt’s Sexton Road property. 2006 was our first year working with Jim who is widely regarded as one of Sonoma County’s best growers. We chose to start with two clones of Pinot Noir at Pratt: 2A, which is a Swiss clone, and Pommard, a French clone.

High above the town of Occidental is Leonard and Geri Guidici’s vineyard, and this makes up the final part of the 2006 Sonoma Coast Pinot. Expertly farmed by Charlie Chenoweth, this is Freeman’s most secluded and peaceful Pinot site. Freeman receives all 8 acres of the Pinot Noir from Guidici, and 2006 was our first significant harvest with almost 10 tons picked.

The 2006 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir shows off blackberry, roasted tea and fennel scents from its subtle nose. The palate is probably the fullest on a Freeman Sonoma Coast since the 2003. There are plenty of chewy tannins which surround a mouthful of rich fruit and a long finish, and we predict this will be drinking well from late 2008 through 2015.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 43% Rayhill
  • 29% Sexton
  • 28% Guidici
Fermentation
5 day cold soak in open top fermenters, hand punched down 1 to 3 times per day, free run sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately
Barrel Aging
10 months in 100% French oak
  • 30% new
  • 70% one, two and three year old barrels
Bottling
July 12 and 13, 2007
Production
  • 750 ml: 1993 cases
  • 1.5 L: 23 cases

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