2013 Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
Dutton Ranch’s Freestone Hill Vineyard was the pioneering outpost of the now coveted Salmon Creek viticultural neighborhood. Located in the extreme southwest corner of the Russian River Valley appellation, on the coastal side of the Petaluma wind gap, this area is at the climatic margin for ripening grapes. The fog reaches this neighborhood early and leaves late, but in great years we are rewarded with fruit of extraordinary concentration, balance and personality. Our vineyard, planted in 1996 and 1997, is located on a southeast-facing hillside above the little town of Freestone and only a few miles from Bodega Bay. The difficult flowering conditions give us tiny grape berries, low yield and thick skins for highly concentrated wines. The long cool season and limited crop provides for developed tannins and flavor, along with bright natural acidity and moderate alcohol. The upper 1996 planting includes clones 115, 2A and 114: co-fermented, the result is always dense, aromatic and spicy. The extremely steep 1997 lower planting is all clone 667, which provides concentrated, crystalline blackberry/black cherry fruit.
The 2013 season brought another warm summer to our typically foggy and chilly coastal vineyard. We harvested just over 2 tons per acre on September 25, even a bit sooner than the 2012 season. This vintage is especially blackberry and brambly this year in both the nose and mouth. The nose leads with dark, rich berry notes, accented by dried sagebrush and sandalwood. The aromas give a sense of the plush texture to come. In the mouth, the sweet black raspberry fruit is interweaved with underbrush, cardamom and nutmeg. There’s an energy and lift to the long finish of exotic Asian spices, like walking along the coastal redwoods with the ocean mist in the air. The elegant beauty of the wine makes it great with classic grilled salmon, while the depth lets it stand up to herb-rubbed game birds. Be sure to add some to your cellar for exploring a decade from now. 478 cases produced.
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