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2016 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 5 Litre

2016 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 5 Litre
2016 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 5 Litre

Location: Eola-Amity Hills is a sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley AVA located just west-northwest of Salem, Oregon's state capitol. 

Wine history: The agricultural history of this area near Salem dates back to the mid-1850s, though it wasn't until the 1970s that winemakers started to discover the area as having ideal growing conditions for high-quality wine grapes. It was around this time that a few modern pioneers, including Don Byard of Hidden Springs, planted a patchwork of vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills. Soon after, other pioneers followed suite and today this area produces world-class, handcrafted cool-climate varietals. The appellation became official in 2006.

Climate: The Eola-Amity Hills region enjoys a temperate climate of warm summers and mild winters, and 40 inches of annual rain, most of which falls outside of the growing season. Average maximum temperatures are 62 degrees Fahrenheit in April and 83 degrees Fahrenheit in July, which contributes to the ideal conditions for the cool-climate grape varieties that dominate the Eola-Amity Hills. The climate in this region is greatly influenced by its position due east of the Van Duzer Corridor, which provides a break in the coast range that allows cool Pacific Ocean air to flow through. This drops temperatures in the region dramatically, especially during late summer afternoons, helping to keep grape acids firm.

Soil: The soils in the Eola-Amity Hills predominantly contain volcanic basalt from ancient lava flows as well as marine sedimentary rocks and alluvial deposits at the lower elevations of the ridge. This combination results in a relatively shallow, rocky set of well-drained soils, which typically produce small grapes with great concentration.

Topography: The Eola Hills, and its northern extension, the Amity Hills, are part of a North Willamette Valley hill chain that developed out of intense volcanic activity and the collision of the Pacific and North American plates. The main ridge of the Eola Hills runs north-south and has numerous lateral ridges on both sides that run east-west. The majority of the region's vineyard sites exist at elevations between 250 to 700 feet.

Site Characteristics:Freedom Hill Vineyard lies toward the eastern edge of the Coast Range Foothills. While associated geographically with the Eola Hills the site lies south and west of the border of the Eola-Amity Hill Appellation outside the town of Monmouth. The vineyard is planted on a marine sedimentary type of soil known as Bellpine. The vineyard is also located just south of the Van Duzer wind corridor which allows for more consistent average temperatures due to a lack of afternoon and evening offshore breezes rolling through. The vineyard was established in 1982 by the people who still own and manage it to this day, Dan and Helen Dusschee. While they may not have realized it at the time they were ultimately settling onto a site destined to be seen as one of the top Pinot Noir vineyards in the state of Oregon. Their rigorous and professional approach to the management of the vineyard has brought about that greatness and even though the vineyard suffered through a scourge of phyloxera replantings and expansion of the site have shown that there is a clear and indomitable of terroir here. We had the great fortune of being in the right place at the right time with the right need for fruit in 2012 and we have had the great fortune to produce what we consider to be some of the greatest and most focused Pinot Noirs we have ever made.

Wine Making and Notes:This is our fourth vintage with Freedom

AVA: Willamette Valley           LOCATION: Burnell Rd.  

ELEVATION: 500’                    SOIL TYPE: Bellpine

YEAR PLANTED: 2000           CLONAL MATERIAL: Dijon Clone 115, Pommard, Coury Clone & Wadensvil

VINEYARD SIZE: 85-acre vineyard, ~11-acre PGC block

VINIFICATION: Various: fermentations ranging from 0-100% in both 1.75- and 2.5-top open-top fermenters

PICKING DATE: 9/19/16            TONS/ACRE: Approx. 3.25

OWNERS: Dan and Helen Dusschee      

This bottling is comprised of 94% Dijon 115 across all three blocks. About 7% of those barrels were completely de-stemmed. Another 25% came from 100% whole cluster ferments with balance from barrels containing wine that had 20%-50% whole cluster fermentations. The Coury and Pommard round out the blend. This wine was in barrel for a little less than a year in 9% new oak and a combination of once-five times used barrels. This has the deep pigmentation, floral aromatics, intense mid-palate sweetness and structured finishing tannins that provide the wine with enough fortitude to hold the fruit sweetness well in check. This balances at a very high level. It is funny to us that this is our “regular” bottling of Freedom Hill simply due to the existence of our small clonal bottlings. By any measure this is a terrific, site-specific Pinot Noir from one of Oregon’s classic and historical vineyards. This has incredibly well-farmed material in it and it is a gorgeous wine with great intensity and balance. This is far from “regular” but nonetheless here at PGC that is what it is. Bang for the buck/Quality-to-price ratio/however you want to term it, this wine is off the charts. This has so much to it that it will drink well almost immediately but has an upside that is clearly well more than a decade away.

Vintage2016
VarietalPinot Noir
AppellationWillamette Valley
VineyardFreedom Hill
Alcohol13.90%
Volume5 liter
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$262.00 / per bottle
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