2016 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
The Estate

Tasting Notes

This deep, harmonious Pinot Noir, a cuvée of 11 clones, comes from our estate vineyard on the rugged Sonoma Coast. In the glass, the wine is a dark red hue edged with purple. Aromas of black cherry, strawberry and fresh cranberry mingle with hints of violet, lemongrass and cedar. The red and black fruit intensity carries over onto a juicy, plush palate with bright acidity and supple, well integrated tannins. This is an elegant wine of great depth—it will continue to develop complexity in the bottle over the next 10 years.

Updated tasting notes on August 2021:

The 2016 Estate Pinot Noir is a classic vintage, just beginning to reveal its true potential.  Aromas of blackberry, star anise, strawberry and a touch of rhubarb are rich and lively in the glass, and evolve into notes of forest floor and leather. It is dark and dense on the palate with flavors of raspberry preserves, blood orange and roasted walnuts. Driven by minerality and structure, this wine still has a long life ahead, while supple tannins allow for immediate enjoyment.  

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 free-run wine was transferred to 44% new French oak from cooperages including François Frères, Rousseau, and Remond for 15 months of aging.

Vintage Notes

The 2016 vintage showcases elegance and purity of fruit, as the growing season shifted to a more normal timeframe after the previous three vintages had an early start. The growing season started off with above-normal temperatures that eased into more moderate June weather. The last days of August and first of September marked a minor heat spell, that brought the vines out of their slow, methodical ripening. When the temperatures increased, extra care was taken by the vineyard team and our multiple passes through the vineyard paid off—we harvested each block of our Wayfarer Vineyard at peak ripeness, for wines with vibrant fruit and balanced acidity.

Blocks Map

3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26A, 30


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


97 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com, August 2018

Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard was completely destemmed and spent 15 months in 45% new French oak. It offers a bright framboise, cranberry, exotic flower, and spice-driven bouquet that carries to a medium-bodied, silky Pinot Noir that has everything in all the right places. Showing more floral, spice, and forest floor with time in the glass, incredible tannin quality, and a great finish, it’s certainly on par with the single parcel/clone driven releases.

97 Points

Rusty Gaffney, Prince of Pinot, March 2019

Grapes are picked and delivered to the winery before sunrise, then hand-sorted and de-stemmed before transferring to tank. 5 to 7-day cold soak followed by more than two weeks of native fermentation. Free-run juice was aged in French oak barrels, 44% for 15 months. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Everything you can ask for in a Pinot Noir, with lovely aromas of cherry, raspberry, dark rose petal and sous-bois. A cornucopia of up-front pleasure in a mid weight style, featuring earth-kissed flavors of black cherry and black raspberry and a hint of racy spice, framed by comforting tannins. Velvety in the mouth with an appealing cut of acidity on the extremely long, peacock tail finish. A celestial wine with the balance to achieve immortality.

95 Points

Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast, November 2018

This estate-grown beauty is succulent and supple, with a tense body of bright wild strawberry, crushed rock, dried lavender and Asian spice. Robustly rich and deeply layered in flavor and texture, it finishes in a gorgeous dabble of white pepper.

94 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, May 2019

The 2016 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is fabulous. Powerful and beautifully layered in the glass, it offers terrific depth of fruit allied to structure. The 2016 is incredibly tight and unyielding, which is probably a good thing for its cellaring prospects. I would not think of touching a bottle anytime soon. Today, the 2016 is primary, dense and quite concentrated. Hints of red plum fruit, floral and spice notes emerge over time, but with great reluctance.

Wine Data

Bibiana González Rave
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
Double Guyot
Vine Yield:
Less than 3 pounds per vine
September 6 - 22, 2016
December 11, 2017
Fall 2018
100% Pinot Noir
Cases Produced:

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