2010 Akiko’s Cuvée Pinot Noir

Every year since our inaugural 2002 vintage, Freeman has released an Akiko's Cuvée. Akiko Freeman, along with winemaker Ed Kurtzman and associate winemaker Eric Buffington, taste each barrel of Pinot in the winery from the vintage and choose their favorites. Then, each person's top barrels are put together in a blend (or cuvée), and we taste each of the blends blind, so that no one knows whose favorite barrels are in which blend. Since her blend almost always wins this blind tasting, we call the final wine Akiko's Cuvée.

Our 2010 Akiko's Cuvée incorporates a wide selection of the elite vineyards from which we source fruit. For the first time since we've been harvesting Jim and Mary O'Connor's great vineyard, it contributed the highest percentage to Akiko's Cuvée. Coming in with the second highest amount was a newcomer for Freeman, Campbell Vineyard from the northwest corner of the Sonoma Coast appellation. The blend also includes Brian and Sally Connell's vineyard near Petaluma, which we have been working with since 2006, and fruit from Ted Klopp's Thorn Ridge Vineyard, which always makes it into Akiko's Cuvée (it's one of Akiko's favorite sites). Another first timer for Freeman, Gunsalus Vineyard on Graton Road, was next in terms of blend percentage. Rounding out the 2010 Akiko's were Rayhill, Sexton, Bacigalupi and Harmony Lane vineyards.

The 2010 Akiko's Cuvée is a very interesting wine. The nose starts out with black pepper, lead pencil, tomato skin and sagebrush notes that are almost reminiscent of a Syrah or Cabernet. Then, with enough air, the aromas shift to the sweeter side, with soft berry fruits and baking spices emerging from the glass. The palate is lush, with perfectly balanced acidity, and a very complex mixture of ripe fruits that are kept in check by a hint of toast and earth. As with each vintage of Akiko's Cuvée, we recommend putting the 2010 in the cellar for at least a year, and enjoy it through 2017 and beyond.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 23% O'Connor
  • 18% Campbell
  • 14% Connell
  • 14% Thorn Ridge
  • 9% Gunsalus
  • 9% Rayhill
  • 5% Sexton
  • 4% Bacigalupi
  • 4% Harmony
Fermentation
Five-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, hand punched down one to three times per day, free run sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately
Barrel Aging
11 Months in French Oak
  • 27% new
  • 27% one year-old
  • 46% two year-old
Bottling
July 2011
Production
  • 750 ml: 325 cases
  • 1.5 L: 22 cases

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