2021 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
The Traveler

Tasting Notes

Over ten vintages, The Traveler has shown it is a wine with extraordinary personality.  A chameleon in the glass, we do our best to taste wines blind, but its ability to transform gives it away.  From roses to pomegranate, white truffles to dry flowers, blood orange to fresh herbs, this wine is constantly revealing itself, and it will age beautifully in your cellar for at least a decade.

Winemaking Notes

Each block was picked by hand at night, and firm, cool clusters were delivered to the winery before sunrise.  We hand-sorted and destemmed the fruit before transferring 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, 67% 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.


9, 18




98 Points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Independent, July 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir The Traveler comes from a suitcase clone. Medium ruby-purple in color, it is a little closed to begin, soon unfurling to offer notes of raspberry leaves, lavender, tilled soil, and black truffles, leading to a core of redcurrant jelly and black raspberries plus a waft of fallen leaves. The medium to full-bodied palate is graceful and super-intense, chock full of floral and mineral nuances supported by silken tannins, and finishing very long with a firework display of savory and earth accents.

98 Points

Audrey Frick, Jeb Dunnuck, July 2023

Coming from one east-facing and one west-facing block of deeper soils and made from suitcase clones, the 2021 Pinot Noir The Traveler is a little more wound up initially in terms of its aromatics, with red berries, dusty earth, and blood orange. The most lifted and driving of the wines from Wayfarer, it has a fresh spine of acidity, beautiful pure fruit of grenadine, notes of toasted spice, and a super-long finish. This is mouthwatering with saline and freshness that will be outstanding over the next 15 or more years. My favorite of the Wayfarer reds, it’s a brilliant wine.

97 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2023

The 2021 Pinot Noir Traveler is another magnificent wine in this range. Bright and effusive, with stunning inner sweetness and plenty of acids, the 2021 bristles with energy right out of the gate. Sweet red cherry, kirsch, mint, blood orange and crushed rocks all soar out of the glass. The Traveler stands out for its vertical energy, depth and persistence. I would not dream of touching a bottle anytime soon, as the 2021 is quite forbidding at this stage.

97 Points

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, June 2023

The nose of the 2021 Pinot Noir The Traveler is bursting with inviting scents of red cherry jam, cinnamon stick, tobacco, iodine and mushroom. Medium-bodied, it offers wave after wave of sweet berry fruit and spicy accents as it flows through the mouth. It has a velvety texture, fireworks of fresh acidity and a long, flavorful finish. This powerful, generous Pinot is super decadent now, and it will gain savory complexity in bottle over the next decade or more.

Wine Data

Todd Kohn
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview
Double guyot
Vine Yield:
3.2 lbs/vine
September 14, 2021
December 14, 2022
September 2023
100% Pinot Noir
6.7 g/L
Cases Produced:

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