Our Wines

2014 Pinot noir Freedom Hill Vineyard

Freedom Hill Vineyard produces Pinot noirs with structure, depth, and richness as well as a strong sense of minerality. The site is relatively warm from daytime heat that rises up the large, flat valley below. This develops rich skin tannins. Because of its proximity to the Oregon Coast range - it is on the edge of the Coast Range of mountains- the vineyard is quite cool at night. This maintains good acidity in the wine. This combination of tannin and acidity produces Pinot noir with great structure. Capturing that intensity and revealing the nuances of the terroir without excess tannins is the key to making great Freedom Hill.

The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in stainless steel with no SO2, allowing the fermentation to proceed naturally. After gentle pressing and settling, the wine aged in French oak barrels, 27% of which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity.

Crop Level: 3.4 tons/acre
Harvest Date: 9/19 & 9/23/14
Bottled: February 2016

Vineyard Details

Freedom Hill Vineyard is located in the foothills of the Coast Range, 10 miles SW of Salem, Oregon. During the day warm air rises from the valley floor ripening the skins. At night, cool ocean breezes act to retain acidity. Planted on old sedimentary soils, the vines have a SW exposure at an elevation of 520' to 580'. Our Pinot noir comes from two blocks, one planted in 2004 with Pommard and Wädenswil and one planted in 2008 with 777. The vines from our original Pinot noir blocks at Freedom Hill died from phylloxera after the 2003 vintage. Mark asked Dan Dusschee, the vineyard's owner and manager, to replant a four acre block on the north edge of the vineyard for St. Innocent. Our first vineyard designated Pinot from those vines was produced in 2008.

Vintage Description

The 2014 season began with sunny and warm spring weather. Bloom occurred in the second week of June, about 10-14 days earlier than normal. Good weather during bloom set a normal to large crop requiring thinning at about half of our vineyard sites where we removed 20-50% of the clusters. The summer continued to be warm with more 90º+ days than normal. Extra vigilance in the vineyard was required in July due to humidity that increased the mildew pressure. We began the harvest with Oeil de Perdrix on September 12th, closely followed by Chardonnay on the 17th and the first Pinot noir on the 19th. The last Pinot noir from Temperance Hill Vineyard arrived on October 8th and the final Pinot blanc from Freedom Hill Vineyard arrived on 10th. This was our largest harvest ever: 240 tons of fruit resulting in 13,200 cases of wine. With clean, ripe, and very flavorful fruit we were able to create bright and pleasurable wines.

Tasting Notes

Deep ruby colored. Pungent dark cherry and cassis aromas with roasted spice, sweet earth and clove notes. Initially the spice and rich dark cherry penetrate your palate with an impressive depth of flavor. The richness of ripe tannin and acidity reveals the power behind this PInot noir from this famous site. The suppleness of the fruit and earth notes extend into a very balanced and lengthy finish. Best served with rich dishes, it is a great match for steak, lamb, rich pasta dishes. Enjoy over the next dozen years.

Mark Vlossak, President