Freja, Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir
Freja, Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

Freja, Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

Willamette Valley, United States 2017 (750mL)
Regular price$25.00
Your cart is empty.
  • Low stock - 2 items left
  • Inventory on the way

Freja, Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

When it comes to savory, high-toned Pinot Noir with bottle age, the Willamette Valley is chock-full of artisan-crafted options. But for $25? Give me paper and pencil, lock me in a room for the day, and I’ll only emerge with a single name: Freja. And yet, I wouldn’t have even known to write it down this time last year! That’s when an Oregon wine veteran, loaded with four decades of experience, introduced me to Freja and uncorked a five-vintage vertical of their lithe and mesmerizing Pinot Noirs.

When the tasting concluded, he then revealed a piece of information that had our jaws hanging dangerously close to the tabletop: Every wine was comfortably below $30. Given that Freja’s estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains was planted 35 years ago—practically ancient history in the Willamette Valley—it’s amazing these gems have remained so well hidden. Today’s 2017 was one of the wines in that vertical tasting, and, after trying it again weeks ago, I’m thrilled to say it still beams with gorgeously bright aromas and terroir-infused elegance. It seems Freja has done the impossible for $25. Only available here!!

After earning his Master’s in Chemical Engineering and thoroughly exploring Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, Willy Gianopulos, fueled by his passion for Pinot Noir and his family’s long winemaking history in Greece’s Peloponnese, secured his own piece of land in faraway Oregon. He chose the Chehalem Mountains and began planting vines here in 1988, a full 18 years before it received its coveted AVA status. After letting the vines mature for a decade, Willy opened up shop in 1998 and began quietly crafting elegant, long-lived, Burgundian Pinots. “Quietly” is the operating word here. We had no idea these gorgeous gems existed until last year!

Willy’s vines sit on a steep slope and are rooted in Chehalem’s special “Laurelwood series” soil—a deep, well-drained clayey loam that sits above fragmented basalt. Today’s cuvée matured in a combination of oak barrels (10% new) from Hungary, Oregon, and Burgundy. After one year, it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 

If you tasted the 2015 on offer last year, today’s 2017 promises to be a different, albeit joyful, experience. It is a high-toned Pinot Noir, full of delicate Oregon ripeness but with impressive palate-popping acidity that keeps everything balanced and bright. Expect heaps of ripe Bing cherry, wild strawberry, black raspberry, spicy plum, and softer notes of turned earth, forest floor, clove, red tea, and iron. This is medium-bodied and delightfully smooth, with a full and vivid character to the fruit that belies its age. Enjoy now and over the next few years. Cheers!

Freja, Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

United States


Columbia Valley

Like many Washington wines, the “Columbia Valley” indication only tells part of the story: Columbia Valley covers a huge swath of Central
Washington, within which are a wide array of smaller AVAs (appellations).


Willamette Valley

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has become an elite winegrowing zone in record time. Pioneering vintner David Lett, of The Eyrie Vineyard, planted the first Pinot Noir in the region in 1965, soon to be followed by a cadre of forward-thinking growers who (correctly) saw their wines as America’s answer to French
Burgundies. Today, the Willamette
Valley is indeed compared favorably to Burgundy, Pinot Noir’s spiritual home. And while Pinot Noir accounts for 64% of Oregon’s vineyard plantings, there are cool-climate whites that must not be missed.


Santa Barbara

Among the unique features of Santa Barbara County appellations like Ballard Canyon (a sub-zone of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA), is that it has a cool, Pacific-influenced climate juxtaposed with the intense luminosity of a southerly
latitude (the 34th parallel). Ballard Canyon has a more north-south orientation compared to most Santa Barbara AVAs, with soils of sandy
clay/loam and limestone.


Paso Robles

Situated at an elevation of 1,600 feet, it is rooted in soils of sandy loam and falls within the Highlands District of the Paso Robles AVA.

New York

North Fork

Wine growers and producers on Long Island’s North Fork have traditionally compared their terroir to that of Bordeaux and have focused on French varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Others We Love