The Traveler Pinot Noir is a soulful expression of a single “suitcase clone,” which pays homage to the legendary journey of the original vine cutting from Burgundy’s most revered vineyard. Our 2014 vintage has brilliant, intense ruby color. Aromas of raspberry and cherry intermingle with intriguing floral notes of rose petals and violets, accented by hints of toasted oak. The aromas lead into a bright palate of strawberry and raspberry, balanced by pitch-perfect acidity. This is a soft, plush wine—generous and easy to drink. It will continue to reveal its complexity after five to seven years in bottle and will age beautifully for another ten years beyond.
In the pre-dawn hours, the fruit was hand-picked and hand-sorted. We de-stemmed and hand-sorted again, before transferring the berries to tank where 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 was transferred to 56% new French oak barrels for 15 months of aging.
The 2014 season started as one of the earliest on record, well before the threats of late winter frosts had passed. Fortunately, the tender buds and shoots escaped without damage and we relaxed into an exceptionally nice spring and cool summer. The gentle pace of the growing season gave us time for meticulous canopy management; we farm each of our 30 blocks individually to tailor the shoot positioning and leafing vine by vine, and clone by clone. Such fine-tuned farming is critical to success on the extreme Sonoma Coast, particularly for our vineyard with its great diversity of clones planted at varying elevations and exposures – east facing, west facing, north side, and south side. By the end of the growing season we have typically visited each vine a dozen times.
Our 2014 wines exhibit a pronounced minerality, due in part to our Goldridge soil and sandstone mother rock, as well as cold spells throughout the year. These wines are very open and generous right out of the bottle, with soft tannins, great acidity, and a slightly higher pH than previous vintages.
Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, September 2016
Structured, with years to go to take on added complexity and personality, this wine is also a study in immediate gratification, as it's presently so juicy and easy to enjoy. It comes from an east-facing block, planted to a suitcase clone. Exotic, rich red and black berry and cinnamon form an alliance of balance and mouthwatering seduction. The oak and tannin are fully in sync, while a salty, meaty finish provides additional decadence.
Doug Wilder, Purely Domestic Wine Report, May, 2016
The nose is seriously deep and focused with bright black cherry, pomegranate and sun-warmed plum. The palate is brilliantly focused red berry on entry with an underlying firm texture to the expansive blackberry sorbet core. Beautifully integrated. Drink 2016 - 2024.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 31, 2017
Medium to deep ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir The Traveler (made from the “suitcase clone”) opens with mulberries, red currants and cracked pepper on the nose with hints of garrigue, damp soil, truffles and rhubarb. The medium to full-bodied palate is very finely constructed, with pixelated tannins and great freshness supporting the delicate red fruit and earthy flavors, finishing with great persistence and elegance.
- Bibiana González Rave
- Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
- Double Guyot
- Vine Yield:
- Less than 3lbs per vine
- September 4, 2014
- December 16, 2015
- Fall 2017
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Cases Produced:
- 200 cases