2015 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
Wayfarer Vineyard

Tasting Notes

This rich, harmonious Pinot Noir, a cuvee of 12 clones, comes from our estate vineyard on the rugged Sonoma Coast. The wine reveals beautiful garnet and deep violet hues in the glass, and opens with delicate floral notes of violets and rose petals. The aromas evolve into bright red fruit expression of raspberry, strawberry and cherry, accented with complex hints of vanilla, forest floor and freshly peeled bark. The red fruit intensity carries over onto an ample, juicy palate, with balanced acids, firm tannins, and an intriguing slate minerality on the lingering finish. This elegant, focused wine will continue to develop complexity in the bottle over the next 10 years.

Winemaking Notes

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 fruit was then gently pressed, and its free-run juice was transferred to 49% new French oak at medium toast levels from cooperages including François Frères, Rousseau, Remond and Latour for 13 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

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26A, 26B, 30

Clones

37, Pommard 5, 383, Bacigalupi Old Wente, 667, Wayfarer, Hyde, 777, 115, Swan, Pommard 4, Hirsch

Critics

99 Points

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, July 2018

Even in its youth this wine packs a punch and delivers unbelievable beauty, opening in aromas of perfume and game. Seductive, supple and spicy, it is undoubtedly full figured and hauntingly complex, with layers of dark cherry, charcuterie, sea breeze and forest floor. The tannins are firm yet polished, intense yet behaved. The salty, briny, beguiling minerality is what lingers longest on the finish.

96 Points

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

Sadly, because Pinot Noir yields were down by around 60% in 2015, no Golden Mean, Mother Rock or Paige’s Ridge were made this year. The good news is that all that superlative fruit went into this “straight” Pinot Noir label. Medium to deep ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard delivers pronounced crushed black cherry, black raspberry and red currant notes with touches of forest floor, tea bark, rose hip tea, cracked pepper and cedar. Medium-bodied, the palate is superbly poised and intensely flavored, with a firm backbone of very fine, ripe tannins and great freshness supporting the generous red and black berry notes, finishing with lingering earth and savory nuances. Wow! 875 cases were made.

95 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, July 2017

This is the estate cuvee made with the idea to include all the different clones and blocks of the vineyard. The 2015 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard offers terrific black cherry and framboise notes intermixed with hints of violet, peach and marmalade. Perfumed, incredibly complex, layered and silky, it's a gorgeous Pinot Noir that has nicely integrated acidity, tons of class, and a great finish. Due to yields, there was only one single vineyard cuvee made in 2015, and this vineyard blend is certainly not far behind in terms of quality. There’s 875 cases made.

95 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, March, 2017

The 2015 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is superb. Sadly, quality has come at the expense of most of the other single-block wines. But that is the cost of this vintage. Rich, ample and creamy, the 2015 exudes concentration and power. Ripe red cherry, plum, spice, mint and licorice give the wine its exuberant, racy personality. The 2015 is going to need a few years to shed some baby fat, but all the elements are there. This is a superb wine.

Wine Data

Winemaker:
Bibiana González Rave
Origin:
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Pruning:
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
Less than 2lbs per vine
Harvested:
August 19 - September 10, 2015
Bottled:
December 1, 2016
Release:
Fall 2017
Composition:
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol:
14.5%
pH:
3.57
Cases Produced:
900

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