2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

2013 was the second vintage in a row of above normal crop size in the Sonoma Coast appellation; the first time we have seen that happen since Freeman opened up for business in 2002. This was year two of the drought, although we did get slightly more rain in 2013 than in 2012. The perfect weather in the late winter, spring and summer lead to both a beautiful fruit set on the vines and the overall earliest harvest we’ve experienced since 2004. 2005 through 2012 were all considered later harvests for the most part, with the bulk of the Sonoma Coast fruit brought in during October.

William Rayhill’s vineyard on Falstaff Road in the Sebastopol Hills region makes up the largest part of this year’s Sonoma Coast bottling. We’ve been getting Pinot from Rayhill since 2004. We also harvested Clones 2A, 23, 114, 667 and 828 from our Yu-ki Estate Vineyard, near Occidental on Bittner Road, for a quarter of the blend. You’ll soon see an estate bottling from Yu-ki, most likely with the 2014 vintage.

The other two vineyards in the 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir are the Campbell Ranch, from the northwestern corner of the appellation—literally, on the coast—and the El Coro Vineyard, part of the Keller Estate. Keller is in the southeastern corner of the appellation, south of the Petaluma Gap. We source the Dijon 777 clone from Campbell, and from El Coro we use a heritage clone, imported from Burgundy.

The 2013 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir shows a medium garnet color and has a true Sonoma Coast nose of fresh Mirabelle plums, wild herbs, and toasted oak. The zesty acidity of the refreshing palate compliments the ripe 2013 fruit without the abundance of hard tannin we sometimes find in less ripe years. Wood strawberries and rhubarb are the predominant flavors on the palate. Expect the 2013 Freeman Sonoma Coast to come into its own late in 2015 and to last through 2024.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 33% Rayhill
  • 24% Yu-ki Estate
  • 22% Campbell
  • 21% El Coro
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
  • 34% one-year-old
  • 28% two-year-old
  • 6% three-year-old
Bottling
August 2014
Production
  • 750 ml: 750 ml = 1088 cases cases
  • 1.5 L: 1.5 L = 16 cases cases

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