2012 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
Mother Rock

Tasting Notes

A cuvée of clones 37 and Dijon 777, Mother Rock is named for Wayfarer’s sandstone substrate, which urges our vines to burrow deeply, their fruit echoing the unlocked terrain below. Flinty minerality ascends from the glass, a tribute to the wine’s earthy origins. Intense, bright fruit aromatics evoke raspberry, red cherry, strawberry, blueberry and red currant underscored by mineral notes and a delicate woody character achieved with aging in fine French oak. A mouth-coating cascade of cassis and black cherry carries through the long finish, bolstered by balancing acidity and velvety tannins.

Updated tasting notes :

September 2022: Sun-ripe plums, fleshy bing cherry and forest floor come together in the glass. Details of soy sauce, mushroom and orange oil emerge over time. The 2012 is still dense and rich, with focused acidity and a wonderfully lingering finish. 

Winemaking Notes

We hand-picked and hand-sorted the fruit, reserving 24% for whole-cluster fermentation prior to de-stemming. The remaining berries were de-stemmed and hand-sorted again before transfer to tank. Five to seven days of cold maceration preceded more than two weeks of 100% native yeast fermentation. The fruit was then gently pressed, its free-run juice transferred to 56% new French oak barrels for 15 months of aging.

Vintage Notes

The 2012 growing year began with average rainfall and steady, moderate temperatures. A mild spring led to a warm, dry summer, providing ideal conditions for vine growth. Our vineyard crew worked diligently to control vigor and manage the leaf canopy to ensure well-formed, consistent clusters by early summer. Veraison occurred in early August. Mid-to late-summer temperatures never spiked, allowing the fruit to ripen slowly and steadily – the hallmark of a great vintage. Clone 37 in Block 3 and Dijon 777 in Block 11 were harvested on September 28 and co-fermented, as they achieved ideal aromatic maturity and physiological development in parallel, and both reflect the minerality and depth of our sandy vineyard soil.

Blocks Map

3, 11


37, Dijon 777


95 Points

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, February 2015

Brooding in dark cherry and earthy spice, this fully figured wine offers well-integrated oak. With a savory and powerful profile, it has a forceful grip on the palate accented by black tea, truffle and juicy vibrancy. From a mix of clones (37 and Dijon 777), some fermented whole-cluster, this is a structured wine from a meticulously farmed coastal site.

94 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, July 2017

The 2012 Pinot Noir Mother Rock is a classic example of this ripe, pedal-to-the-metal vintage. Lots of spice, black cherries, scorched earth and licorice characteristics flow to a beautifully ripe, sexy red that has a broad, expansive texture, impressive depth of fruit, sweet tannin and a great finish. Like most 2012s, it’s not for those craving lightweight aromas and flavors, but it’s impeccably balanced and one seriously good mouthful of Pinot Noir fruit!

93 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2015

Dark red cherries, plums, cloves, violets and new leather blossom in the 2012 Pinot Noir Mother Rock. Rich, supple and inviting throughout, the 2012 captures the exuberance of the year in spades, pretty much covering the more mineral-driven elements that are typical of this site. Lavender, violets and dark red/purplish fruits add nuance on the finish.

Wine Data

Bibiana González Rave
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
Less than 3 pounds
September 28, 2012
December 20, 2013
Spring 2015
100% Pinot Noir
5.9 g/l
Cases Produced:
400 cases

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