2018 Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
93 Points ~ Wine Enthusiast *Editors' Choice
92 Points ~ Wine Spectator
AVA: Willamette Valley, Burnell Rd., Dallas, OR
SOIL TYPE: Bellpine
YEAR PLANTED: Various ages in blocks 1998-2004
CLONAL MATERIAL: 62% Dijon 115, 32% Wadensvil, 2% each Pommard and Coury Clone.
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: 09/23-10/01/2018
TONS/ACRE: Approx. 3.35
OWNERS: Dan and Helen Dusschee
PRODUCTION: 1,160 cases bottled
Winemaking and Notes:This is our 7th vintage with Freedom Hill Vineyard. Currently we purchase just under 16 acres of fruit from this magnificent vineyard. The acreage is spread across 8 different blocks containing 4 different clones. This bottling, ultimately, is the expression of the vineyard at a broader level as it includes at least some wine from every single block, clone, and winemaking technique. The Pommard Clone Block was 33% whole cluster. Only 1 fermenter of the 2 different Dijon 115 blocks was destemmed and the rest ranged from 25%-100% whole cluster. The Wadensvil was done either 43% whole cluster or 100% whole cluster. The entirety of the Coury Clone Block was fermented with 50% whole clusters in the fermentation. All of our fermentations are pigeaged from the first day on until the end of fermentation. Some fermenters are pigeaged twice per day. While there was a large range due to the amount of different Freedom Hill fermentations, these grapes generally saw an extended cold soak of 4-6 days, pigeaged 1x/day and then allowed to finish fermentation before pressing and then settling before going to barrel.
This bottling has traditionally been heavy with Dijon 115 as that has been the majority of the acreage we have received from the site. In 2018 we doubled our acreage of the older vine Wadensvil which now makes up over 1/3rd of this bottling infusing it with more red fruit tones and fine structure than in the past. An upgrade all around! This wine was in barrel for a little less than a year in around 15% new oak and a combination of once-five times used barrels. It has the deep red pigmentation, floral aromatics, intense mid-palate sweetness with structured and very fine finishing tannins. 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 that gives the wine its great intensity and balance. This is far from “regular” but nonetheless here at PGC that is what it is although we have taken to calling it “Freedom Hill Classic!”. 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 the upside is that it will drink beautifully a decade from now.
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.