Freeman Vineyards- The Italian Job

Brian Freeman empties dried Corvina grapes

By Fergal Gleeson

Freeman Vineyards is located in the up and coming Hilltops region of New South Wales. The winery was established in 1999 by viticulturist Dr Brian Freeman, previously the professor of Wine Science at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.

Brian first fell in love with Italian wine on a tasting at the University and he now produces a wide range of wines from Italian varieties many of which are unique in Australia.


Freeman Prosecco 2017

Sales of Prosecco in Australia have risen by 45% in the last 2 years. Freeman Vineyards are now in their fourth Prosecco vintage and are expanding their Prosecco vineyards to meet demand. They’ve recently planted the highest block to this Veneto varietal.

The latest release shows that they are in the groove. A floral nose leads to an easy drinking, refreshing style with crisp acid and soft fruit flavours of citrus and sherbet.

RRP $23                3.5 stars


Freeman Nebbiolo Altura Vineyard 2014

This Nebbiolo has authentic brick red colouring. Neb acolytes will love the sour cherry, dark tobacco and firm tannins. Yes it’s classically Italian. It’s finely poised between the fruit and the tannin as you work your way through the glass. Neither is in the ascendant.

This is a medium weight, no short cuts, Australian example of Piedmont’s most famous varietal found in Barolo and Barbaresco. The love, the labour and the technique are to be seen in the glass.

RRP $40                4 stars


Freeman Corona Red 2015

Valpolicella wines (meaning the valley of cellars) hail from the Verona region in Italy and are commonly seen on restaurant and bistro menus around Europe. Valpolicella is second only to Chianti in Italian wine production. Not that this is evident in Australia where this wine style is still largely unknown.

Freeman is the only grower of the Valpolicella varieties Corvina and Rondinella. Bright and breezy, Corona Red will be enjoyed by wine adventurers looking to break out from the usual suspects. The nose is leafy. The flavour mixes fruit and savoury with a refreshing acid line that is dangerously moreish.

Great value, there’s a lot more going on here than the price tag might suggest.

RRP $20                3.5 stars


Freeman Secco Rondinella Corvina 2012

Brian Freeman makes three red wines in the Valpolicella style. Secco is in the middle of the range and is the most savoury of the trio. Fine but prominent tannins provide texture which is the key to this wine. Tar, tobacco and some cherry are its chief flavours.

This wine is made in the Amarone style, which involves partly drying the grapes to enhance power and flavour. The wine then sees two years in barrel and two years in bottle prior to release. A more serious style than the Corona Red and made for the long haul. It will roll on for 10-15 years pretty comfortably.

RRP $40                4 stars

I can’t wrap up the Freeman review without mentioning the flagship of the Valpolicella inspired trinity which I’ve reviewed previously – Freeman Robusta RRP $70. It’s pure hedonism and one of the best wines I’ve tasted all year.

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