Often one to play coy, The Traveler will continue to reveal itself over time as a wine of complete power and finesse. The 2017 has notes of forest floor, violets, ripe cranberry and black truffle. On the palate it is rich, yet also light in its elegance. A juicy wine upon entry, the laser-focused structure allows the flavors and aromas to evolve on the palate. Notes of raspberry and dried cranberry lead into fine dark chocolate with an underlying note of minerality. A complete Pinot Noir in every expression, this wine will continue to evolve in the bottle, as well as in the glass.
We hand-picked each block and delivered firm, cool clusters to the winery before sunrise. We then hand-sorted and de-stemmed the fruit before transferring to tank, where five to seven days of cold maceration preceded more than two weeks of 100% native yeast fermentation. The free run wine was transferred to 67% new French oak for 15 months of aging.
2017 saw the largest accumulated rainfall in recent history at Wayfarer, 86 inches in total. Much of that rainfall occurred in January and February, while the vines were dormant. Wayfarer enjoyed moderate temperatures and clear skies through April and into May. This allowed for steady vine growth and consistent bloom, beginning at the end of May. June encountered one of the warmer stretches on record for the month. After a very wet winter, this proved to be a nice balance for the vines, helping to dry the wet soils and tame what could have been substantial vigor. The warmth continued through the summer, bringing nice texture to the fruit. Harvest began on September 6th with block 6. As harvest continued through September, temperatures became cooler, allowing the vines to ripen gradually. Not wanting to rush the vines, we patiently waited and wrapped up harvest in early October.
Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, December 2019
"The 2017 Pinot Noir The Traveler comes from a single suitcase clone of unknown origin grown on the property. Fruit was entirely destemmed. It's pale to medium ruby-purple in color and takes its time to give aromatics of granite dust, fresh violet, blueberry, wild blackberries, dusty earth, tobacco leaf and Earl Grey tea, plus a vein of amaro and spice and hints of juicy red pomegranate. It's light to medium-bodied and absolutely lovely! Loads of floral perfume, ripe fruits, spices and earthy accents dance in the mouth, finely framed and so, so fresh, calling you in for another sip on the very long, layered finish. This is fantastic!"
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com, April 2020
"The 2017 Pinot Noir The Traveler is a blend of two suitcase clones on the property, with likely origins in Burgundy. Sweet red cherry, mint, blood orange and spice are all beautifully lifted throughout. Medium in body and supremely gracious, the 2017 has so much to offer. But it also needs time to be at its best."
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, June 2019
"From a suitcase clone, the 2017 Pinot Noir The Traveler was all destemmed and brought up in 60% new oak. It offers more candied cherries, candied violets, earth, smoked earth, and forest floor as well as a distinct salty minerality. Deep, rich, and medium to full-bodied, it fleshes out nicely in the glass, with a terrific mid-palate and a great finish."
- Vinted by Bibiana González Rave, blended by Todd Kohn
- Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
- Double guyot
- Vine Yield:
- Less than 3 pounds
- September 18-20, 2017
- December 10, 2018
- September 2020
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Cases Produced: