2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

The return to normal vintage of 2012 came at the perfect time in the Russian River Valley. We had just had finished five vintages in a row of small crops, and 2011 was by far the smallest. The world was ready for more Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and the perfect weather in 2012 made this possible. From the spring right through the late harvest, everything went right with the vintage.

Our own Gloria Estate Vineyard was by far the largest part of the 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot. It was technically the second crop off of our vines, but the first “real” crop, since 2011 was barely ⅛ of a ton per acre. We harvested just over two tons per acre in 2012, and all of it was very high quality.

Ted Klopp’s Thorn Ridge Vineyard in the Sebastopol Hills was next in the blend. We’ve been getting Ted’s Swan selection since 2004, and this block was influential in our planting Swan at Gloria. And just behind Thorn in the blend was Marcy Keefer's Ranch, in the Green Valley. 2004 was also the year we started working with Keefer. Pam and Glen's Gunsalus Vineyard, also in the Green Valley, rounded out this year's Russian River Pinot.

The 2012 Freeman Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has a deep ruby color, and the nose is a combination of ripe black cherries, rhubarb and toasty oak. The large-framed palate is dominated by rich, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in the most traditional sense. The mouthfeel and flavors are similar to how Pinot was made in the early '90s in the Russian River. There's a long finish where acidity and tannin come into play, but the dark fruits last a long time as well. Although this 2012 Russian River is drinking well already, expect it to be even better by 2015 through 2023.



  • 43% Gloria Estate
  • 21% Thorn Ridge
  • 20% Keefer Ranch
  • 15% Gunsalus
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
  • 29% new
  • 13% one-year-old
  • 28% two year-old
  • 21% three-year-old
  • 9% four-year-old
July 2013
  • 750 ml: 1345 cases
  • 1.5 L: 40 cases



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