2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

After four years in a row of later-than-normal harvests, we were due to have an early year in 2009. That didn't happen at all, and in fact, it turned out to be one of the latest harvests on record. As a benefit of the extended hangtime, our grapes had ample opportunity to achieve ideal ripeness, with a slow, even maturation of the flavors.

As it was in 2006, 2007 and 2008, the Rayhill Vineyard makes up the largest part of the Sonoma Coast blend in 2009. This site is just south of the Bodega Highway, southwest of our winery. It was planted in 2000, and aside from large crops in 2006 and 2008, it usually harvests at right around 2 tons per acre. Due east of Rayhill is Jim Pratt's Sexton Road Vineyard. Jim farms clones 2A and Pommard for us on his picturesque hillside.

One of the most spectacular vineyards Freeman sources from is the Guidici Vineyard, near the town of Occidental. The steep hills, shallow soil and marginal (i.e. cool) climate combined to set and ripen less than 1 ton per acre of excellent Pinot Noir in 2009. We always hope for more fruit from Guidici, but we're thankful for the quality we see there.

The final two vineyards that make up the 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir are the Morris Vineyard and the Spring Hill Vineyard. Morris lies to the east of the town of Petaluma, on the southeastern edge of the Sonoma Coast appellation. It produces a large-framed and dark Pinot Noir. And just west of Petaluma is the Spring Hill Vineyard, which is home to very delicate and fragrant Pinot Noir. It was a welcome addition in 2009 and a first time vineyard for Freeman.

As is typical of our Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, the 2009 vintage is quite reserved in its youth—though already hinting at its inherent complexity and exceptional aging potential. After a good swirl, or a quick decant, the shy nose of gravelly earth, mushrooms, perfume and mint starts to emerge. On the palate, there's a mouthful of deep fruit that lasts long into the finish and is rounded out by subtle hints of French oak. We anticipate the '09 Sonoma Coast Pinot to start to open up by early 2012 and last right through the decade to 2020.


  • 33% Rayhill
  • 31% Sexton
  • 19% Guidici
  • 11% Morris
  • 6% Spring Hill
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
11 Months in French Oak
  • 39% new
  • 52% one year-old
  • 9% two year-old
August 2010
  • 750 ml: 1050 cases
  • 1.5 L: 18 cases



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