2014 Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

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Tasting Notes

The weather in 2014 was so perfect, even our usually fog-shrouded vineyard in Freestone saw plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. Our cooler coastal sites love warm summers and temperate fall weather, and reward us with generous, rich, elegant fruit. Our harvest at Freestone was early as everything else was, coming in at the middle of the pinot pack on September 13. The red fruit notes carry the lead this year, with cranberry and red raspberry mingling with cardamom, nutmeg and bramble spice notes. There’s an enveloping quality to the aromas that promises the richness ahead. The first sip fulfills that with plush raspberry pie flavors, carried on firm medium-grained tannins. The berries are accented with thyme notes and dark, exotic sandalwood incense—the famous “Freestone spice”— before ending in an assertive and lingering finish that carries another promise, of a long and beautiful life ahead. This is a great match for smoked duck or herb-roasted pheasant.

Winemaker's Notes

The two blocks are harvested and fermented separately, but when the quality of each is exceptional as in 2014, they are blended soon after draining for long development in the barrel. To showcase the focus and concentration of this offering, no press wine is used in the blend. The individual lots are hand sorted and destemmed into small open top fermenters and the must is the cold-soaked for 5 days in order to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. Because of its extremely small berries and thick skins, Freestone sees fewer and gentler punchdowns than many less demanding vineyards. The wine was racked and blended in the spring of 2015 to get the balance just right, and to hone the barrel choices. The unctuous, concentrated Freestone fruit beautifully handles the sweet wood of Fouquet barrels and the mushroom of Seguin Moreau Icone barrels. It was bottled in early January 2016 after 15 months in oak.

Awards & Accolades


90 Wine & Spirits

92 PinotFile

91 Connoisseurs Guide

Historic Timeline of Ratings

2014 Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir

Technical Data

Alcohol: 13.9%
TA: 6.4 gm/Lit.
pH: 3.60
Winemaking: Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down
Barrel Aging: Aged 15 months in French oak (55% new barrels)

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