Wayfarer Pinot Noir "Wayfarer Vineyard" 2019 (Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, California) - [TWI 97] [WA 95] [WE 95] [JD 94] [WS 94] [VM 93] [JS 93]
Wayfarer Pinot Noir "Wayfarer Vineyard" 2019 (Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, California) - [TWI 97] [WA 95] [WE 95] [JD 94] [WS 94] [VM 93] [JS 93]

Wayfarer Pinot Noir "Wayfarer Vineyard" 2019
(Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, California) - [TWI 97] [WA 95] [WE 95] [JD 94] [WS 94] [VM 93] [JS 93]

Regular price $104.99 Sale price $89.97 Save $15.02

TWI97 WA95 WE95 JD94 WS94 VM93 JS93
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About this Winery:
Wayfarer is located in Sonoma Coast's relatively newly formed Fort Ross-Seaview AVA (established in 2011). The 30-acre vineyard site was originally brought to the attention of Jayson Pahlmeyer by eagle-eyed Helen Turley (former consulting winemaker for Pahlmeyer), whose Marcassin vineyard is just down the road. The vineyard was designed and planted by David Abreu in 2002, exclusively to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There are twelve Pinot Noir clones and four Chardonnay clones planted, among which there are only five Dijon clones, the rest being local heritage clones. 

Beginning in 2005, fruit from Wayfarer Vineyard went into Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With the 2012 vintage, the fruit was deemed appropriate for a separate Wayfarer Vineyard label. Thus in the fall of 2014, the first estate Wayfarer Vineyard wines from the 2012 vintage were released. The wines have garnered extremely high scores from the wine press following that inaugural release. The property is now adeptly managed by Cleo Pahlmeyer, Jayson's daughter, while Bordeaux and Burgundy-trained Bibiana Gonzalez Rave served as both initial winemaker and vineyard manager.

Tasting Notes
Violet, lavender and boysenberry aromas emerge from the glass, along with cherry, plum, dried herbs and fennel seed.  A silky entry, lush body and creamy notes on the finish are juxtaposed by lively acidity, bringing a beautiful tension to the wine.  This is a wonderfully complete Pinot Noir, a combination of focus and finesse, and it has a subtle power that will carry this vintage for many years.

Winemaking Notes

We hand-picked each block and delivered firm, cool clusters to the winery before sunrise. We then hand-sorted the fruit and reserved 4% for whole-cluster fermentation.  The remainder of the fruit was destemmed before transferring to tank, where five to seven days of cold maceration preceded more than two weeks of 100% native yeast fermentation. The free run wine was transferred to 53% new French oak for 15 months of aging.

Vintage Notes

2019 began with several months of heavy rainfall.  Total rainfall for the year was 78 inches, second only to record-setting rainfall in 2017.  However, that is where similarities end between the 2017 and 2019 vintages.  Pinot Noir shoots emerged on April 1st, ten days later than normal. With a warm April, shoot growth advanced quickly, and energy was plentiful in the soil after heavy rainfall in May.

Flowering began in east-facing blocks on June 2nd, quickly followed by the remainder of the Pinot Noir over the next seven days. Flowering was also ten days later than normal, but aligned wonderfully with a change in the weather, as rain clouds gave way to beautiful sunshine in June.  The summer of 2019 was full of sunshine, yet temperatures were moderate to cool.  The average high temperature through July and August was 81oF, perfect for gradually ripening the Pinot Noir.

In 2019 we were able to be patient with the vines, allowing them to naturally adjust to the energy in the soil. In drier and warmer vintages, we are more proactive with mowing cover crop, leaf and lateral removal, and irrigating the driest blocks.  However, in 2019 we waited until the vines reached their optimal point, then moved in with our canopy work to transition the vines from vegetative growth to fruit maturation.  By the time veraison began on August 5th, the vines were tracking only five days later than normal. 42 days later, we picked our first Pinot Noir on September 16th, and concluded harvest on October 5th.

Blocks 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26A, 30 Clones Bacigalupi Old Wente, Dijon 115, 667 and 777, Hirsch, Hyde Old Wente, Mount Eden, Pommard 4 and 5, Swan, Wayfarer

Cases Produced: 1,750

Ratings & Reviews

97 Points - The Wine Independent:
"The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is a blend of all the blocks with 11 different clones, and the result of a barrel selection. Medium ruby-purple in color, it gallops out with notes of pomegranate, redcurrant jelly, and Bing cherries, plus wafts of violets, star anise, and menthol with a hint of Sichuan pepper. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is firm and taut, with a solid backbone of grainy tannins and lovely acidity backing up the muscular fruit, finishing long and with wonderful purity."

95 Points - Wine Advocate:

"The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard comes from all 11 clones grown on the Wayfarer property. Medium ruby-purple in color, it has broody aromas of blood orange, iron, rhubarb and cranberry sauce with notes of dusty earth and dried herbs. The palate manages incredible intensity, lift and expansive flavor layers with a very long, juicy finish that continually calls you in for another sip!" (Jun 2021)

95 Points - Wine Enthusiast:
"Outstanding in muscular, dark fruit tones, this wine offers a substantial length and breadth of complexity. Weighty, it expands on the palate to reveal firm tannins and powerful lushness. The grapes were grown at a 1,100-foot elevation in cool, coastal conditions." - VB (11/1/2022)

94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is one of the more approachable Pinots in the lineup, yet smart money will still give bottles a handful of years in the cellar. Spiced cherries, mulberries, spicy oak, violets, and orange blossom all define the aromatics, and it's medium-bodied, with a round, expansive texture, more velvety tannins, and a great finish." (7/21)

94 Points - Wine Spectator:
"Svelte and richly spiced, with plush, concentrated flavors of dark fruit and berries swathed with ripe acidity. Loamy hints to the Asian spice accents, with lots of chocolaty nuances on the finish. Drink now through 2025." - KM (8/21)

93 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is a dark, sumptuous wine. Ripe dark, cherry, plum, spice, leather, incense and a kiss of French oak flesh out in a supple lush Pinot. Even in the early going, the 2019 is quite open and easy to drink. Silky tannins wrap around the plush, inviting finish. This is an especially succulent style. The 2019 has a bit more stem inclusion than in the past." -Antonio Galloni (1/21)

93 Points - James Suckling:
"There are some lovely, dense herbal and dried-floral notes, cut through by a round and powerful aroma of lemon peel. Medium-to full-bodied with clear, bright acidity. White pepper and butter on the palate. Very tasty. Drink now or hold." (Nov 2021)