2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

After an incredibly small 2015 vintage and four straight years of drought, 2016 was a come-back year for our Sonoma Coast vineyards. Rainfall was just below average, yield sizes were normal, and a combination of fog and cool temperatures provided ideal conditions for coastal Pinot Noir.

This was also the first year that our Yu-ki Estate vineyard produced more than two tons of grapes per acre—an important milestone as this young site matures. Set above the town of Occidental, surrounded by old-growth redwood trees, Yu-ki is our signature Sonoma Coast vineyard, and contributes 50% of the wine for this blend.

Since 2010, Freeman has sourced Dijon clone 777 from the Campbell Ranch vineyard near Annapolis, in the far northwestern reaches of Sonoma Coast. Ulises Valdez and his family farm the vineyard, and this fruit is always a highlight in the Sonoma Coast blend.

Keller Estate is on the opposite end of Sonoma County from Campbell, in the Petaluma Gap sub-appellation of the Sonoma Coast, just north of Carneros. We always enjoy the unique qualities of the fruit from Keller, with its spicy tobacco notes; it’s not like any other vineyard we work with.

The 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, like the 2015, will be among the longest- lived wines of the vintage. We like to pick our Pinot on the earlier side, which results in aromas that lean toward the spicy, savory side. The palate hints at a long development, with high acidity and quite a bit of tannin for a Pinot Noir. An hour or two in a decanter will benefit the wine in its youth, or better yet, wait until 2019 to open it. The wine should continue to show well through 2028.

Specs

Vineyards
  • 50% Yu-ki Estate
  • 26% Keller Estate
  • 24% Campbell Ranch
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:
  • 28% new
  • 10% one-year-old
  • 18% two-year-old
  • 44% neutral
Bottling
August 2, 2017
Production
  • 750 ml: 1,001 cases cases
  • 1.5 L: 20 cases cases

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