2013 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir
Freeman’s only other vineyard-designated Pinot Noir besides Gloria Estate comes from Marcy Keefer’s ranch, located in the Russian River Valley on Green Valley School Road. The Russian River Valley is a broad appellation in Sonoma County with quite a few areas of different microclimates. It is warm enough in the northern part for grapes like Zinfandel and Cabernet, but in the southern and western parts, the Russian River Valley is much cooler, and is perfectly suited for Pinot Noir. Keefer Ranch sits in the center of the Green Valley, which has always been considered one of California’s ideal spots for Pinot Noir. Marcy and her small crew handfarm the Keefer Ranch year round with no outside help at all.
The Dijon Clone 777 always comes in a week or two earlier than the Swiss Clone 23 at Keefer, even though the vines are adjacent to each other; it’s just the way the two clones ripen. We were finished harvesting Keefer’s Pinot Noir by mid-September, the earliest we’ve been done since our first year getting Marcy’s grapes, in 2004. As in the year before, 2013 brought a larger than normal crop, but quantity did nothing to diminish Keefer Ranch’s great concentration of fruit.
The 2013 Freeman Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir has a deep ruby color, and possibly the subtlest nose Freeman has ever produced from Keefer. Given enough air and time, wet earth, rhubarb and cola aromas begin to emerge. The palate is rich, a result of the perfectly ripe 2013 vintage. Abundant, spicy fruit predominates, and beneath that Keefer’s typical bright acidity peeks through. The 2013 Freeman Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir will age well, from 2016 through 2025 at least.
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