2012 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
The Estate

Tasting Notes

This blend of the vineyard’s 12 prize clones yields a wine of complexity and completeness, the culmination of a far-reaching journey. This wine possesses a beautiful ruby color with aspects of garnet. Vibrant aromas of red cherry, strawberry and raspberry mingle with layers of crushed violet and rose petal, fresh mint and forest floor. New French oak adds even greater complexity with hints of vanilla bean and toasted bread. The entry of the wine is supple and generous and balances with its firm structure. A harmonious blend of the site’s diverse clones, a panoply of red fruits unfurls on the palate with an emergence of cranberry, pomegranate and raspberry, framed by silky tannins and lifted by bright acidity and mineral undertones. This is a restrained, concentrated wine that opens magically with each sip. The complexity of floral notes and wild red berries lingers on the palate with a lasting finish. 

Winemaking Notes

We hand-picked and hand-sorted the fruit, reserving 8% for whole-cluster fermentation prior to de-stemming. The remaining berries were de-stemmed and hand-sorted again before transfer to tank. 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 78% new French oak barrels for 15 months of aging. 

Vintage Notes

The 2012 growing year began with average rainfall and steady, moderate temperatures. A mild spring led to a warm, dry summer, providing ideal conditions for vine growth. Our vineyard crew worked diligently to control vigor and manage the leaf canopy to ensure well-formed, consistent clusters by early summer. Veraison occurred in early August. Mid-to late-summer temperatures never spiked, allowing the fruit to ripen slowly and steadily – the hallmark of a great vintage. Vines yielded generous fruit that required repeated thinning to obtain the desired concentration and vine balance. Each block was harvested independently in several passes to ensure every row and cluster reached optimum maturity. The fruit achieved both ideal aromatic maturity and optimal physiological development. 

Blocks Map

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26a, 26b, 30


37, Bacigalupi Old Wente, Dijon 115, Dijon 667, Dijon 777, Dijon 828, Hirsch, Hyde Old Wente, Pommard 4, Pommard 5, Swan, Wayfarer


94 Points

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 31, 2017

Medium to deep ruby-purple in color, the 2012 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard has an understated earthy/meaty nose over a core of dried mulberries and kirsch plus a waft of potpourri. Medium to full-bodied, there is a generous amount of savory and red berry preserves flesh filling the palate, with soft, velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with a bit of spiciness coming through.

95 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, February 2014

Dark cherries, red stone fruits, menthol, flint and sweet spices all race out of the glass as the 2012 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard shows off its personality. Exotic and vibrant on the palate, the 2012 dazzles from the very first taste. The combination of sumptuous fruit and Sonoma Coast minerality is simply compelling. What a beautiful wine this is. The 2012 is power and class personified.

95 Points

Anthony Dias Blue, SOMM Journal, December 2014

Lush cherry nose; deep and rich with ripe cherry and plum; savory and elegant with intensity and finesse; gorgeous and voluptuous with lovely sweet oak and remarkable subtlety.

94 Points

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, December 2014

The 2012 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard possesses a dense ruby/plum/purple color as well as beautiful aromas of sweet blueberries, blackcurrants, and black cherries intermixed with a foresty component. With a stunning, full-­bodied texture, terrific purity and length, sweet, velvety tannin and a plush finish, this hedonistic as well as intellectually satisfying, complex Pinot Noir can be consumed over the next 8‐12 years.

Wine Data

Bibiana González Rave
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
Less than 3 pounds
September 29 – October 6, 2012
December 20, 2013
Fall 2014
100% Pinot Noir
6 g/l
Cases Produced:
780 cases

Download Fact Sheet (1.1 MB)