Press & Reviews

Spring 2023 Release Letter

By Cleo Pahlmeyer, April 2023
2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir The Estate
2021 Wayfarer Chardonnay The Estate

Dear Friend,

As spring brings new beginnings, I have been reflecting on Wayfarer’s new beginning that was set in motion three years ago. Wayfarer first came to be when my dad, Jayson Pahlmeyer, discovered the site and planted Wayfarer Vineyard in 2002. A decade later, I introduced the first Wayfarer estate wines. But in 2020, after selling Pahlmeyer, the winery my dad started in 1986 and that I led for its final years under my family’s ownership, Wayfarer became my sole focus. With a clear vision to be a California Grand Cru, and a closely knit team, including Winemaker Todd Kohn (we just celebrated ten years working together), this renewed focus is apparent in our new releases. 

2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir “The Estate” is pure and focused with brightness and stunning structure.  On the nose, raspberry, tart cherry and cassis merge with notes of violets, orange spice and a burst of fresh basil.  Fine, chalky tannins and hints of crushed cacao underlie the brilliant red fruits and florals.  The density, complexity and persistent minerality of this wine lead into a finish that lasts and lasts.   

2021 Wayfarer Chardonnay “The Estate” showcases a brilliant play of structure, intensity and elegance.  Aromas of almond, jasmine, ground ginger and lemon meringue pie flow from the glass. On the palate, citrus, lemongrass and toasted brioche take center stage, accompanied by tropical notes and hints of stone fruit.  The boisterous acidity, voluminous texture and stunning minerality of this wine lead into a flinty, persistent finish. 

2021 was a dry, warm, even vintage, giving us wines with great intensity and harmony.  Though we experienced record-low rainfall and a warm summer, temperatures never spiked.  This consistency, along with bountiful sunlight, allowed for even ripening across the vineyard.  It was a smooth growing season and an ideal harvest, with all fruit picked at just the right moment and coming into the winery in a steady stream.  The wines are remarkably dense and complex, with lots of structure, energy and delicate aromatics. The 2021s will age gracefully for many years. 

Thank you for supporting our wines!

Warm regards,

Cleo Pahlmeyer