Pale, golden straw-colored. The nose has pungent aromas of wet stones, pear, peach skin, dried ginger and allspice. Almost creamy in texture, the flavors quickly coat your mouth with a rich juiciness of pear, white peach, and a rich river-stone like minerality. The pear and ginger notes blend into a persistent viscosity balanced by round acidity, slowly fading into the lingering finish. The texture maintains its freshness throughout with a lovely brightness. Lovely now, I am excited to see how this Chardonnay develops over the next 6 years.
Freedom Hill is located in the foothills of the coast range 10 miles southwest of Salem, Oregon. The Chardonnay blocks have a southeast exposure at an elevation of 425’ and benefit from heat rising off the valley floor. Hills to the east protect the vines from strong coastal winds. The vines were planted in 1999 and 2006 with Dijon clones 76 and 548 on well-drained silty clay loam.
The grapes were whole cluster pressed. After settling, the juice was barrel fermented with indigenous yeasts. The wine completed malolactic fermentation naturally and was aged sur lees for 11 months entirely in used French oak barrels.
The summer of 2015 started off with intense heat that faded off into a very warm and sunny season. Harvest began early with us first picking fruit on September 2 in cooler conditions. Yields were about 15% higher than normal and fruit was as perfect as I have seen. We continued to harvest throughout September and finished by the end of the month. The balance of flavor, tannin, acid, and sugar were as perfect as I have seen in 29 years. I am excited to see how the wines develop.
Food Pairing Notes
Pairings: rich fish dishes, white meats, risottos, and cheese