2013 Akiko’s Cuvée Pinot Noir
Every year since our inaugural 2002 vintage, Freeman has released an Akiko’s Cuvée. Winemaker Akiko Freeman and Winemaking Consultant Ed Kurtzman taste each barrel of Pinot in the winery from the vintage in question and choose their favorites. Then, each person’s top barrels are put together in a blend (or cuvée), and we subsequently taste each of the samples blind, so that no one knows whose favorite barrels are in which blend. We call this Akiko’s Cuvée, since her blend almost always wins this blind tasting. Starting with the 2013 vintage, assistant winemaker Gavin Sharrocks has joined in tasting and helping to determine the best barrels.
For the second year in a row, Akiko’s favorite vineyard for her 2013 Cuvée is the Campbell Ranch, situated in the far northwestern reaches of the Sonoma Coast appellation. This is followed by William Rayhill’s vineyard, one of the most frequent contributors to her Cuvée since 2004. Our own Gloria Estate was next in terms of percentage of the blend. Akiko liked barrels of Gloria Pommard, Swan and 115.
The next three sites all make up 10% of the 2013 Akiko’s. Sexton is Jim Pratt’s excellent vineyard in the Sebastopol Hills, not far from Ted Klopp’s Thorn Ridge Vineyard. Akiko also chose a few barrels of Keefer Ranch for this year’s cuvée. Lastly, the young and potentially amazing Yu-ki Estate, Freeman’s second estate vineyard, has clones 2A and 23 in the mix.
The 2013 Akiko’s Cuvée has a medium ruby color, and displays forward aromas of figs, forest floor, blackberries, and a hint of toast. Fresh Bing cherry and wild plum flavors on the palate are framed by brilliant acidity and elegant French oak. The textures are rich; the fruit is very pretty. We anticipate the 2013 Akiko’s Cuvée Pinot Noir will be at its best between 2016 and 2026.
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