Frei Brothers Reserve wines

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Always Outstanding & Better Than Ever

 

Perfect For Thanksgiving

Thanks to image001

Jim Collins, Chief Viticulturist

By Nancy Walman

The 2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (53,800 9L Cases; $24) is maturing nicely, and 2006 was a year when a wet winter and spring gave us surprising depth along with elegance in the final wines. Should be balanced right on point now, with clear structure and plenty of fruit.

The 2007’s  are the  Russian River Valley Chardonnay (84,600 9L Cases; $20), the Russian River Valley Syrah (10,300 9L Cases; $24), and the Dry Creek Valley Merlot (41,400 9L Cases; $20). The 2007 vintage was a real bull’s eye for us: a relatively dry winter, long spells of warm, sunny weather. Beautiful varietal typicity in all of them, and that Frei Brothers sense of place. A great year to be a grape.

You get a feel for the maritime influence in the Russian River wines, especially in the cool-climate Syrah, and over in the Dry Creek, you get nothing but sun in the Merlot.  The Syrah is like a well-upholstered chair, plush, but with a strong frame. The Merlot has everything you want in a red wine: voluptuous fruit, friendly tannins, long finish.

The Russian River Chardonnay is a Burgundy transplant that is right at home here and come from vines in what used to be an apple orchard. It is a Russian River classic with a fine entry, a mouth filling middle and nice oak balance on the exit.

From 2008,the Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc (6,000 9L Cases; $20), a charming, clearly defined wine from a weather-challenged vintage. 2008 was a tough year: drought, late frost, and heat spikes before it all settled down for a nice, stable ripening period. A smaller crop gave  tremendous intensity in the wine. 

 

2008 Russian RiverValley Sauvignon Blanc

The Terroir- The Russian River Valley

The signature cooling maritime influences of the Russian River Valley serve to balance its warm days with cool, refreshing evenings and fog-cloaked mornings. This unique microclimate allows the slow and even maturation of our fruit, developing distinct flavors in our wines which reflect this great Sonoma terroir.

Winemaking that Captures Our Terroir

Once they arrive at the winery, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes are whole cluster pressed to eliminate bitterness and to maximize fresh fruit characters. The juice was allowed to settle before being sent to the fermenter in order to encourage a more elegant mouthfeel. Our winemakers desire a low-oak influence Sauvignon Blanc, so less only a portion of these grapes were barrel fermented and allowed to rest on their lees for 2 months to impart very subtle oak flavors. The entire gentle winemaking process results in a Sauvignon Blanc that is true to its varietal character and brings out the best of the terroir that the Russian River Valley has to offer.

Tasting Note

Our 2008 Russian River Sauvignon Blanc has aromas and flavors of citrus, melon, and fresh-cut grass on a frame of crisp acidity complements by sweet aromatics from the oak, with layers of complexity from partial malolactic fermentation.

Technical Note

Appellation: Russian River Valley

Varietal Content: 97.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 2.5 % Semillon

Alcohol Level: 13.0%

Titratable Acidity: 0.68g/100ml

Residual Sugar: 0.36g/100ml

pH: 3.28

Because Terroir Matters

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2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Our Terroir- The Russian River Valley

The signature cooling maritime influences of the Russian River Valley serve to balance its warm days with cool, refreshing evenings and fog-cloaked mornings. This unique microclimate allows the slow and even maturation of our fruit, developing distinct flavors in our wines which reflect this great Sonoma terroir. The summer of 2007 was dry, with no rain to threaten rot or mildew. In addition, the classic Russian River Valley morning fog made a frequent appearance but burned off in the early afternoon. This gave the grapes the best of both worlds: warm sunshine to develop ripe flavors, and cool temperatures to maintain acidity in the fruit.

Winemaking that Captures Our Terroir

At Frei Brothers Winery, we craft wines in a gentle, traditional style enhanced by the use of modern techniques to produce a wine that is both varietally accurate and reflective of the terroir of the Russian River Valley. Our Chardonnay grapes are whole cluster pressed to eliminate bitterness and maximize fresh fruit characters. The wine completed malolactic fermentation, which resulted in a lush texture and deep, layered flavors that express the terroir of the Russian River Valley.

Tasting Note

2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay is soft and complex. It reflects its cool climate source with flavors of orange zest and green apple, which are complemented by buttery and toasty notes.

Technical Note

Appellation: Russian River Valley

Varietal Content: Chardonnay

Alcohol Level: 13.8%

Titratable Acidity: 0.45 g/100ml

pH: 3.52

Residual Sugar: 0.42 g/100ml

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2006 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Terroir- The Alexander Valley

Unique among Sonoma County’s AVA’s, the Alexander Valley is less influenced by the cooling maritime breezes as are the Russian River Valley and the Dry Creek Valley. What typifies this appellation is its endless sun-drenched days, which contribute to the Alexander Valley’s signature concentrated style. The 2006 growing season began with an unusually wet winter that lasted through bloom, followed by mild weather up to mid-July. Temperate weather followed, and the ripening period of August through September was ideal. The 2006 vintage in the Alexander Valley produced and abundance of the characteristic elegance normally associated with our Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by surprising power and weight.

Winemaking that Captures Our Terroir

The grapes for our Cabernet Sauvignon are gently destemmed but not crushed, sending a significant number of whole berries to be fermented. Upright and horizontal rotary fermenters were used. Temperatures were kept at approximately 85º during fermentation to yield a richer, rounder mouthfeel and body. After primary fermentation, the wine completed malolactic fermentation to soften the acid structure and to add complexity.

Tasting Note

This classic 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon has intense aromas of cassis, dark berries and toasty oak. The firm, velvety tannins are complemented by flavors of blackberry, raspberry, cedar, and tobacco with hints of vanilla and dark chocolate that linger in a long, elegant finish.

Technical Note

Appellation: Alexander Valley

Varietal Content: 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot

Alcohol Level: 13.9% .

Titratable Acidity: 0.6g/100ml

Residual Sugar: 0.20g/100ml

pH: 3.78

 

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2007 Russian River Valley Syrah

Terroir- The Russian River Valley

The signature cooling maritime influences of the Russian River Valley serve to balance its warm days with cool refreshing evenings and fog cloaked mornings. This unique microclimate allows for the slow and even maturation of our fruit, developing distinct flavors in our wines which reflect this great Sonoma terroir.

The summer of 2007 was dry, with no rain to threaten rot or mildew. In addition, the classic Russian River Valley morning fog made a frequent appearance but burned off in the early afternoon. This gave the grapes the best of both worlds: warm sunshine to develop ripe flavors and cool temperatures to maintain acidity in the fruit. The 2007 weather closely mirrored the historical averages of temperatures for the region. These averages were notable because there were no major heat spells or cold snaps, just steady, cool-climate temperatures that create a perfect environment for growing world-class Syrah grapes.

Winemaking that Captures Our Terroir

Our Russian River Valley fruit gives us wonderful, cool climate Syrah flavors. We extract those ripe berry flavors without undue processing. We craft our Frei Brothers Reserve wines in a gentle, traditional style enhanced by the use of modern techniques, to produce a wine that is both varietally accurate and reflects the terroir of the Russian River Valley. We find that whole berry fermentation of our Syrah grapes produces concentrated, fresh, and forward dark fruit flavors in the finished wine.

Tasting Note

Our 2007 Syrah is big and rich with earthy aromas and flavors of dark blue and black berries, with a hint of rich, brown baking spices. Balanced with subtle notes of smoke and toast, this full bodied Syrah has intense flavors with soft tannins and a long concentrated finish.

Technical Note

Appellation: Russian River Valley

Varietal Content: 84% Syrah, 10% Zinfandel, 4% Petite Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc

Residual Sugar: 0.13g/100ml

pH: 3.89

Alcohol Level: 14.2%

 

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2007 Dry Creek Valley Merlot

Terroir- The Dry Creek Valley

Located in the heart of Northern Sonoma, the Dry Creek Valley is characterized by warm days, cool nights and a long and balanced growing season. In the evening, cool marine influences enter from the southern portion of the valley where the Dry Creek flows into the Russian River. This terroir produces wines that are refined and Bordeaux-like in their structure, body and complexity. The summer of 2007 was dry, with no rain to threaten rot or mildew. Warm sunshine developed ripe flavors, and cool evening temperatures allowed for slow and even maturation while maintaining proper levels of acidity.

Winemaking that Captures Our Terroir

Our Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot is produced in a gentle, traditional style enhanced by the use of modern techniques to produce a wine that represents the Dry Creek Valley terroir. The grapes for the Frei Brothers Reserve Merlot are de-stemmed, but not crushed to retain a significant portion of whole berries for fermentation. This technique produces more concentrated dark fruit flavors. After fermentation, 100% of the wine completed malolactic fermentation to soften the acids and add complexity.

Tasting Note

Our 2007 Dry Creek Merlot captures the rich, ripe flavors of the Dry Creek Valley. It is a medium-bodied wine that exhibits intense flavors of blackberry and cherry from the vineyard with hints of complementary barrel spices. This wine was made to be enjoyed young, but a bit of bottle aging will make it even more rewarding.

Technical Note

Appellation: Dry Creek Valley

Varietal Content: 90% Merlot, 6% Petite Sirah, 4% Zinfandel

Alcohol: 14.3% .

Titratable Acidity: 0.55g/100ml

pH: 3.69

Residual Sugar: 0.16g/100ml

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