2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

2010 will go down in the annals of California viticulture history as one of the coolest growing seasons on record. If it weren't for the great heat wave of late August through the first week in September, we might not have ripened our Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir in 2010. Luckily, we brought in all of our Pinot before the rains set in, and the flavors we saw in the fruit were excellent.

Ted Klopp is a grower Freeman has worked with since 2004. His Thorn Ridge property, south of the Bodega Highway, contributed the largest share to the 2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot. Just west of Thorn Ridge is Jim Pratt's Sexton Road Vineyard. Jim farms clones 2A and Pommard for us on his picturesque hillside, and in 2010 the Pratt was the second highest percentage of the blend.

A new vineyard for Freeman in 2010 was the Campbell Vineyard, found in the northwest reaches of the Sonoma Coast appellation. We were thrilled with our first fruit from Campbell, and we will continue to source Pinot from there. William Rayhill's Sebastopol Hills vineyard was 12% of this year's Sonoma Coast Pinot. The other sites which made up the 2010 Sonoma Coast were Harmony Lane, Connell and Guidici Vineyards.

In most years the Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a wine that needs quite a bit of cellaring compared with our Russian River Valley Pinot. 2010 is the opposite, with the Sonoma Coast being the more forward of the two wines. The nose is a combination of brown sugar, bacon and baking spices. On the palate, the texture is very approachable, and shows plenty of lush inviting fruit. The acidity sneaks in at the end of a long, satisfying finish. This should be the first 2010 Freeman to come out of the cellar, and it should drink well from 2012 through 2017.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 23% Thorn Ridge
  • 19% Sexton
  • 17% Campbell
  • 12% Rayhill
  • 10% Harmony Lane
  • 10% Connell
  • 9% Guidici
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
  • 38% new
  • 40% one year-old
  • 22% two year-old
Bottling
August 2011
Production
  • 750 ml: 1388 cases
  • 1.5 L: 22 cases

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