Devona Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2021
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Each vintage of this Pinot Noir becomes my new favorite from Freedom Hill Vineyard. I attribute this to experience working with the fruit. Being from Oregon, we were naturally exposed to Pinot Noir early in our discovery of wine. It is a varietal that can be tricky to grow and also to make and not everybody loves it. But those of us who do are very passionate about it. And maybe that is because it makes you work just a little bit harder for the payoff. Because its characters are more delicate, it requires special handling throughout its life to preserve those qualities.
The cooler growing season in 2019 was a welcome change from the intense heat of the 2018 vintage. In addition, the crop size was much lower per plant, which was beneficial for flavor development and complete ripeness from a vintage with fewer heat units. Cool, wet weather in late September condensed the harvest into a few short weeks for most of the Willamette Valley, but we like this, as long as the fruit is fully ripe and ready to come in, because we can then shift our focus to our Washington vineyards. The cooler weather allowed for superb natural acidity and flavor maturity in a finished wine that is below 14% alcohol.
This wine is full-fruited, but in a very sophisticated way. It is complex and layered, a bit like a potpourri. Fresh fruit characters of blood orange, black raspberry, and deep red cherries combine with floral notes of violets and lilacs. An unusual hint of freshly peeled tangerine tinted with chocolate rounds out the diversity. It then finishes long and round and will age really well.
The timing of this lively wine’s release brings to mind songs about freedom and fun. We purchased a few fermentation tanks that arrived with names attached to them. The name of one of the tanks was George, so I think it is only appropriate to start with Freedom! ’90 by George Michael. Rockin’ in the Free World by Neil Young and A Great Day for Freedom by Pink Floyd are also great tracks to enjoy with this wine. And one last recommendation is an old favorite from Bread, Mother Freedom.