Ryo-fu is Japanese for "cool breeze." The cool, foggy breeze that comes off the Pacific Ocean allows the Russian River Valley to grow high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The area's sandy soil is crucial as well; but without the right temperatures, the fruit could ripen too soon or not at all. Thanks to Freeman's local "ryo-fu", the growing seasons are perfectly timed for their vineyards. The 2015 vintage will go down as the earliest Chardonnay harvest on record at Freeman, and with a little help from that cool breeze, all of the fruit came in perfectly ripe.
A blend of Chardonnay from vineyards such as Keefer, Heintz, and Mill Station, the wine shows medium straw color, with a throwback nose of matchstick, honey, ripe Gravenstein apples, and melon. The palate is tightly wound, combining strong acidity and a dense core of fruit. It will take a few years in bottle to reach its peak, but with enough aeration in the glass, everything comes together to reveal a vibrant, well-balanced Chardonnay. The drinking window should be 2018–2023.