2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
Golden Mean

Tasting Notes

Golden Mean is a mathematical term for the beautiful middle between two opposites, and this wine is so named because it is a blend of two distinctive clonal selections, Swan and Pommard.  The Swan clone shines first with opening notes of delicate rose petals, strawberries, cranberries and a hint of violets, followed by more robust Pommard aromas of brambly blackberries fresh off the vine, with hints of iron and blood orange.  The palate showcases an ethereal entry from the Swan and ends with the sublime texture of Pommard, but it’s impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.  This wine isn’t just a beautiful middle – it’s more than the sum of its parts. 

Winemaking Notes

Each block was picked by hand at night, and firm, cool clusters were delivered to the winery before sunrise.  We hand-sorted and destemmed the fruit before transferring it into stainless steel tanks for five to ten days of cold maceration.  Fermentation was guided by native yeast, and hand punch downs were tailored to how each tank tasted each day.  The free run wine aged in French oak barrels, 43% new, for 15 months.

Vintage Notes

2021 was a dry, warm, even vintage, giving us wines with great intensity and harmony.  Though we experienced record-low rainfall of 20 inches, a long way from our 65-inch average, it was plenty to fill our pond and irrigate our vines throughout the season.  Budbreak occurred on the early side due to an unusually dry, warm winter, and this early trend continued throughout the season.  Spring and summer remained dry and warm, though 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.


5, 20


Pommard 4, Swan


96 Points

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, June 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir Golden Mean is glossy and expressive this vintage. It comes from Pommard and Swan selection vines planted on east- and west-facing slopes, respectively. It begins with ringing tones of truffle, moss, allspice, cranberry and red cherry aromatics. The light-bodied palate is velvety and refreshing with a surprisingly concentrated core of perfumed fruit, and it has an expansive finish streaked with nuances of spice and earth.

96 Points

Audrey Frick, Jeb Dunnuck, July 2023

Produced from the Pommard and Swan clones, the 2021 Pinot Noir Golden Mean is a jeweled ruby with a purple tinge and reveals aromas that are fresh and lifted with spice, including pure black raspberry, violets, and pine. Medium-bodied and taking on more concentration in its ripe tannins and notes of dark berries and turned earth, it has fresh lift and a long finish. This beautiful wine will take some time to reveal its full spectrum. Drink 2025-2040.

95 Points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Independent, July 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir Golden Mean comes from the Pommard & Swan clones. Medium ruby-purple in color, it gallops out with powerful notes of black cherries, fresh blackberries, and raspberry coulis, leading to suggestions of violets, garrigue, and tree bark. The full-bodied palate is concentrated and impactful with rich red and black berry layers and velvety tannins, finishing long and fragrant.

95 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir Golden Mean is deep, fleshy and super-expressive. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, spice, menthol and licorice infuse the 2021 with tons of depth. Bright and saline, with no hard edges, the 2021 is terrific. The Golden Mean has plenty of the energy that runs through all these wines, but it is also nicely succulent.

Wine Data

Todd Kohn
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview
Double guyot
Vine Yield:
2.8 lbs/vine
September 3-7, 2021
December 13, 2022
September 2023
100% Pinot Noir
6.0 g/L
Cases Produced:

Download Fact Sheet (332 KB)