2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

2011 presented some unique challenges to all of Freeman’s growers. There were early spring frosts and then late spring rains during bloom. There was the freezing cold summer, a repeat of 2010, with weeks in a row of all fog and no sun. But unlike 2010, there was no significant September warming trend, and instead, we saw September rainfall. It’s a miracle the Pinot Noir ripened, and it’s also a testament to the skill and hard work of these excellent Russian River Valley Pinot Noir farmers.

The Keefer Ranch and Thorn Ridge Vineyard make up almost half of this year’s Russian River Pinot Noir. Both are vineyards we have been proudly working with since 2004. Pamela and Glen Gunsalus’ vineyard in the heart of the Green Valley provided the blend with 19% of the wine. Then Jim Pratt’s Sexton Road Vineyard, the Starkey Vineyard on Pleasant Hill Road and the O’Connor Vineyard rounded out the ‘11 Russian River.

We’re incredibly excited to announce that the 2011 Freeman Russian River Pinot also contains 3 barrels of our own Freeman Estate, the first crop from the vineyard. Of course the yield was minuscule in 2011, but the quality we found in the fruit and the resulting wine predicts wonderful things for the future of Freeman Estate.

The 2011 Freeman Russian River Valley Pinot Noir displays an alluring deep ruby color, with a ripe nose of blackberry, toast and an interesting medicinal hint. It is vibrant on the palate, with a racy entry that erupts into flavors of wild berry, olive and smoked meats. The large-framed palate, and long, fruity finish predict that the 2011 Freeman Russian River Valley Pinot Noir will need some time to develop in the bottle. Try it anytime, but anticipate it will be drinking at its best between 2015 and 2022.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 25% Keefer Ranch
  • 20% Thorn Ridge
  • 18% Gunsalus
  • 14% Sexton
  • 13% Starkey
  • 5% Freeman
  • 5% O’Connor
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
  • 32% new
  • 30% one-year-old
  • 33% two year-old
  • 5% three-year-old
Bottling
August 2012
Production
  • 750 ml: 1320 cases
  • 1.5 L: 23 cases

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