2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
Mother Rock

Tasting Notes

Mother Rock opens with mineral aromas and pure scents of raspberry, wild cherry and boysenberry, as well savory notes.  In 2021 we included whole clusters in the fermentation tank, and this shines with fantastic texture and density on the palate, along with silky, persistent tannins.  It is a great joy to see this wine come together so seamlessly, a wonderful representation of the beautiful 2021 vintage at Wayfarer.

Winemaking Notes

Each block was picked by hand at night, and firm, cool clusters were delivered to the winery before sunrise.  We hand-sorted the fruit and reserved 13% for whole-cluster fermentation.  The remainder of the fruit was destemmed before we transferred 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, 38% 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.


3, 11


Dijon 777, Mount Eden


98 Points

Audrey Frick, Jeb Dunnuck, July 2023

From the Mt. Eden and Dijon 777 clones, the 2021 Pinot Noir Mother Rock is lifted with mineral aromas of flinty gravel, toasted pine, wild cherry, and fresh flowers. Medium to full-bodied, it has more tension on the palate, which is balanced with power that drives forward its notes of black raspberry, fresh herbs, and a touch of iron richness. It’s long on the palate and will need a few years in bottle. Drink 2025-2040.

97 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir Mother Rock is fabulous. Rich and explosive, with stunning inner sweetness and perfume, the 2021 is exceptionally beautiful. Dark red/purplish berry fruit, rose petal, lavender, spice, blood orange and crushed rocks abound. A touch of whole cluster savoriness adds attractive aromatic presence. This deep, intensely mineral Pinot is compelling.

97 Points

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, June 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir Mother Rock is complex and expressive. It comes from east-facing Mt. Eden and 777 selection vines and was vinified using 15% whole clusters. Proprietor Cleo Pahlmeyer and winemaker Todd Kohn note that most of the wines in the Wayfarer portfolio are based on destemmed fruit, "but in this vintage, a touch more worked here." It takes some coaxing to release its aromas of strawberry and raspberry jam, shiitake, forest floor and wafts of cocoa. The palate is supple and mouthwatering with generous berry and spice layers, and the flavorful, juicy finish drives you to take another taste.

96 Points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Independent, July 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir Mother Rock comes from Mt Eden and 777 clone fermented together, with about 15% whole clusters. Medium ruby-purple in color, it bursts from the glass with bold notes of wild blueberries, mulberries, and black cherries giving way to touches of lilacs, spearmint, and underbrush. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with perfumed black fruits, supported by plush tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long with a well-sustained texture and earthy nuances.

Wine Data

Todd Kohn
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview
Double guyot
Vine Yield:
2.9 lbs/vine
September 11, 2021
December 13, 2022
September 2023
100% Pinot Noir
5.6 g/L
Cases Produced:

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