Freja Cellars is dedicated to the pursuit of producing only artisan Pinot Noir wines of the highest quality made from our own estate vineyards. Our wines are made in the classic Burgundian style.
The wines are all about the terroir of this Chehalem mountain hillside consisting of the Laurelwood soil type. The vineyard is a relatively high south-southwesterly slope at 800ft at the highest elevation. .The wines tend to have bright acidity, are complex, fragrant and have tremendous finesse. They are medium bodied and are typically garnet/brick colored. All Freja wines are built to be aged but in particular the Reserve wines are still excellent drinking wines at ten years of age if properly stored. These wines are crafted to be enjoyed with food. Pair with oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, blue-fish etc. Also serve with game birds, roasted chicken, grilled lamb, curried vegetables, grilled eggplant, etc.
It has been stated many times before but especially true with Pinot Noir, ninety percent of the wine characteristics are produced out in the vineyard, not in the winery. With this philosophy in mind, the fruit receives minimal handling in the winery and gravity is used to move the wine in most of the processing. The crop is hand picked when the flavors have fully developed and hand sorted, removing any unripe or rotted clusters.
This labor-intensive process assures that only the highest quality fruit goes into wine production. The German crusher used at the winery gently de-stems the clusters resulting in 60-80% whole berries that are gravity fed to the single lot fermentors or Ganemede tanks. Fermenting whole berries brings out the purity of fruit and emphasizes the varietal character of Pinot Noir.
Depending on the vintage, two different yeast strains are used to give different characteristics in the finished wine. The fermentation always starts off with native yeast thought to be Assmanhausen which can slowly begin fermenting at even at 55 F. The yeast employed are chosen for the ability to produce good color, mouth feel, spiciness and fruit flavors.
Filtration and fining are generally avoided. The wines are aged for 12-18 months in 60 gallon French/Oregon/Hungarian oak barriques. A variety of barrel makers, forest (Oregon, Hungary, Allier, Bourgogne, Vosges and Troncais) and barrel ages are used to add complexity to the finished wine. Care is taken not to over-oak our Willamette Valley Estate bottling by limiting the amount of new oak used (20%) and the time the wine spends in the barrel. Post maceration skin contact time is limited to prevent overextraction of the fruit keeping the tannis on the soft side. Our Winemaker’s Reserve bottling generally is a meatier wine and does receive between (50-75%) new French oak and is aged in the barrel for at least 18 months and sometimes longer followed by a few years in the bottle before being released..
Freja wines exhibit distinctly Oregon characteristics but best resemble the Cote de Beaune Burgundies, Volnay serving as our benchmark. Freja Pinots tend to be elegant wines with good color, medium body and a silky-smooth,long finish. Great Pinot Noir wines historically come from very small producers.