2014 Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir
The 2014 is Freeman’s first ever Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir. Ken and Akiko bought the land for Yu-ki in 2007 and planted their favorite heritage and Dijon Pinot Noir clones here. The vineyard is located above the town of Occidental, only five miles from the Pacific Ocean, at 1,000 feet. The vineyard is named after Akiko’s nephew, Yu-ki. Yu-ki can also be translated from Japanese to mean “courage” or “big tree,” which is most appropriate, as this site is surrounded by old-growth redwoods, 22 acres of which the Freemans have donated to the Bodega Land Trust.
The 2014 Yu-ki Estate Pinot Noir is comprised of the first five blocks to be planted in the vineyard. These are three Dijon clones—114, 667 and 828 —as well as two Swiss Pinot Clones, Mariafeld,—also called clone 23— and Wadenswil, or clone 2A. In the coming years we will see another block of 828 come online as well as two heritage clones, Mt. Eden and Calera.
2014 was not without challenges, as we entered the third year of California’s historic drought. The vines got off to a very early start in the warm, dry weather of January and February. They slowed down a bit with some precious March rain and cool April weather, only to speed up again May through August, as the season turned sunny and warm. We expect Yu-ki to be harvested in October in a “normal” year, but in 2014 we brought in all Yu-ki fruit during the month of September.
Medium garnet in color, the 2014 Yu-ki Pinot Noir has a classic Sonoma Coast nose of forest floor, mushrooms and Pinot spice. The palate is soft and rich with cinnamon, root beer and tart cherry flavors. Beautiful oak comes into play on the finish.
With just a few hours of air, the 2014 Yu-ki is already drinking well. It should be at its best from late 2016 to at least 2021.
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
14 months in French oak