2014 Freeman Pinot Noir, Gloria Estate, Russian River Valley, California

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"Gloria is the name of the hurricane that first brought Ken and Akiko Freeman together in 1985" so it was only fitting they called their first estate vineyard adjacent to the winery after the reason for their happy meeting. This 2014 Gloria Pinot Noir was aged for 11 months in 38% new, 24% one year-old, 19% two year-old and 19% three year-old French oak barrels. Winemaker, Akiko, was delighted to see the development of this special site as she explains, "the 2014 Gloria is very similar in weight and ripeness to the 2012, but you can tell the vineyard is maturing by the more complex flavors in the latest vintage. The color is very dark for a Pinot Noir, and, the nose is a combination of plum, lavender and toast. The large-framed palate is beautifully balanced, with ripe berries, smooth tannin, and a lingering acidity."

From that auspicious meeting in 1985, Ken and Akiko discovered they had a united dream to create the graceful and refined Pinot Noir and Chardonnay they always enjoyed from Burgundy – and couldn’t always find in California. They toured over 300 vineyard sites up and down the state and then narrowed their focus to the cooler hillside areas of the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast where the fog and coastal breezes challenged the vines and the fruit ripened more slowly, resulting in the more elegant cool climate style they preferred. Finally, in 2001, their search ended and they founded Freeman Vineyard & Winery in one of the coolest parts of Russian River Valley. The highly talented winemaker, Ed Kurtzman worked with Akiko in the early days, and now Akiko rules the roost as the head winemaker, living the couple’s dream of crafting world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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