2015 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
The Traveler

Tasting Notes

The Traveler Pinot Noir is the celebration of a single “suitcase clone,” and pays homage to the legendary journey of an original vine cutting from Burgundy’s most revered vineyard. Our 2015 vintage has deep ruby color. Aromas of black cherry, perfectly ripened strawberry and violets are accented by savory herbal touches. The aromas carry over onto a deep palate, where dark, focused fruit is balanced by bright acidity and supported by soft, fine tannins. This wine is graceful 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.

Winemaking Notes

We hand-picked and hand-sorted the fruit, reserving 22% for whole-cluster fermentation prior to de-stemming. 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 40% new French oak barrels for 15 months of aging.

Vintage Notes

We farm each of the 30 blocks of our Wayfarer Vineyard 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, with its 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.

This meticulous attention pays off in vintages like 2015, when we experienced our third consecutive year of draught conditions. Unseasonably warm weather in February and March gave us budbreak eight days earlier than average, and we were lucky not to have experienced any frost. Sunny days in April led into a cool, cloudy May, which extended bloom period and reduced the number of berries in each cluster. Summer turned warm, for optimum ripening, and when a heat wave hit in mid-August all our vines came through in fine form.

Blocks Map

9 & 18




98 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, August 13, 2018

“The only special cuvee made in 2015, the 2015 Pinot Noir The Traveler comes from a suitcase clone (from a great, great producer in Burgundy) that was completely destemmed and spent 11 months in barrel. Awesome on the nose, with notes of violets, caramelized raspberries, blueberries, underbrush and spice, it has an ethereal texture, incredible purity and a killer finish. In short, I love this wine. Drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. There’s just 100 cases produced.

97 Points

Doug Wilder, Purely Domestic Wine Report, December 2018

A wine that will clearly spoil you for anything else. It offers a textured, creamy impression of dark plum, supple red fruit, vanilla and spice. The palate is gorgeous with lively acidity integrated with ripe fruit. A velvety core of cherry, peach, red currant and cranberry. Drink 2019 to 2030.

96 Points

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, September 2018

From an estate-grown plot that has produced consistently spectacular wines, this vintage is no exception, the wine densely packed in blackberry and black cherry. Concentrated in big flavors, it has a touch of rose petal and orange peel that gives it freshness and underlying complexity in its youth. Over time it should only be more beautiful. Enjoy 2025–2030.

95+ Points

Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2017

Deep ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir The Traveler (made from the “suitcase clone”) is a little reticent at this youthful stage, revealing pure crushed Bing cherries, raspberry tart and cranberry notes over notes of violets
and dark chocolate, plus a waft of underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a nice balance between red fruit and savory/earthy flavors, with firm, grainy tannins and a lively backbone, finishing with a mineral suggestion.

Wine Data

Bibiana González Rave
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
Less than 3 pounds
August 27 - September 1, 2015
August 29, 2016
Fall 2018
100% Pinot Noir
Cases Produced:
100 cases

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