2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
The Russian River Valley appellation in Sonoma County is home to some of the greatest Pinot Noir vineyards in America, and we take full advantage of this fact at Freeman by sourcing from some of the very best. 2010 was a bit of a challenge all over the region in terms of providing enough sunshine and warmth to fully ripen the grapes, but a late-August/early- September heat wave gave the vines just what they needed at the right time.
One of our favorite vineyards to work with is Keefer Ranch, located in the heart of the cool Green Valley region, north of Freeman. Keefer makes up the highest percentage of our 2010 Russian River Pinot. Another excellent Green Valley property, the Gunsalus Vineyard, comprises 21% of this year's blend. This is Freeman's first vintage working with Glen and Pamela Gunsalus, and we hope to harvest many more crops with them. Ted Klopp's Thorn Ridge Vineyard, which we've worked with since 2004, is the third largest contributor to the 2010 Russian River blend. This is followed by Helen Bacigalupi's renowned vineyard, with small amounts of O'Connor Vineyard rounding out the wine.
The 2010 Freeman Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is definitely a Pinot built to age. We often find that the RRV is more approachable in its youth than our Sonoma Coast Pinot, but not in 2010, where the RRV is more restrained, and will need some time in the cellar. The nose starts out with ripe berry fruit and forest floor aromas, but these are subtle and require some air to come out of the glass. The tight, firm palate takes it time to show off its toasty sassafras flavors, but a very long, satisfying finish confirms that the 2010 will age well through at least 2018.
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
11 Months in French Oak