2016 Gloria Estate Pinot Noir

Gloria Estate is the hillside vineyard adjacent to our winery. We named our estate vineyard for the hurricane that brought Ken and Akiko Freeman together in 1985. Ken was on a sailboat headed south, into the Atlantic, when Hurricane Gloria forced Ken and crew to beat their way landward and spend the night in port. That evening they went to a party, where the best-dressed woman there was a stylish beauty named Akiko. The rest, as they say, is history. The other important Gloria reference is to the woman of the same name who sold Ken and Akiko several acres next to our property. Part of our vineyard lies on Gloria’s old apple orchard.

In 2008 we planted our eight-acre Gloria estate vineyard to the heritage clones Swan, Calera, Martini, Pommard and Dijon 115. Today, Akiko Freeman works closely with our vineyard team to make all the decisions at Gloria—a site not easy to farm, with its very steep hillsides and different exposures, from the top of the hill to the bottom.

Gloria had given us our lowest yield in 2015, but 2016 was a complete turnaround. There was an adequate amount of winter rain, followed by gorgeous weather right through the spring, and a healthy crop set on Gloria’s vines. The previous four vintages had been on the early side, and 2016 followed suit with harvest starting in the last days of August.

Since our first Gloria Estate release in 2012, most years have been on the riper side of the Freeman line up. Now, the 2016 vintage shows restraint, and demonstrates how perfectly balanced wine can come from our own vineyard. The color is dark and completely clear to the rim. There’s a combination of spring cherries and bramble fragrances in the nose that intensifies in the glass. The palate is bursting with fruit, but held in check within a framework of fine acidity and fruit tannin. The firm tannin in the finish promises a long life for the 2016 Gloria, with full maturity not anticipated until 2019–2026.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% Gloria Estate, Russian River Valley
Clones
  • 38% Calera
  • 27% Swan
  • 20% Pommard
  • 8% Dijon 115
  • 7% Martini
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:
  • 35% new
  • 15% one-year-old
  • 20% two-year-old
  • 25% three-year-old
  • 5% four-year-old
Bottling
July 7, 2017
Production
  • 750 ml: 410 cases
  • 1.5 L: 22 cases

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