Explosive aromatics of violets, lavender, raspberry and blackberry abound as the 2018 Wayfarer Vineyard Pinot Noir opens in the glass. An elegant dance of juicy acidity and rich tannin play on the fresh palate, with notes of forest floor and dark chocolate on the finish. This is a vintage that will oblige early consumption, but given time in the cellar, patience will be handsomely rewarded.
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 58% new French oak for 15 months of aging.
2018 was marked by a long and temperate growing season that allowed for a calm harvest. The Pinot Noir vines began to emerge on March 31st in block 5. Overall rainfall was 35% below our average, however a large portion of this rain came in April. With this spring rain filling the soil profile, the vines were able to thrive in the early growing season and continued to revel in moderate weather through May. Bloom occurred during the first days of June, and an idyllic summer allowed for a long ripening period. During harvest, we took advantage of perfect conditions and remained patient, picking precisely when the fruit was ready. Pinot Noir harvest began in bock 20 on September 14th and concluded with block 30 on October 13th.
Blocks3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26A, 30
Dijon 115, 667 and 777, Pommard 4 and 5, Swan, Hirsch, Hyde, Mount Eden, Bacigalupi Old Wente, Wayfarer
Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, September 2020
The 2018 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard has a medium ruby color and slowly opening perfume of garrigue, dried orange peel, prosciutto and rose petals with mineral-laced cranberry and red and black berry fruits. The medium-bodied palate, grainy and incredibly fresh, slowly gains in flavor amplitude and nuance in the mouth, ending in a fanfare of spicy detail.
Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, May 2020
Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2018 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard was just about completely destemmed and spent 15 months in 58% new French oak. This deeper ruby/purple-hued effort offers an awesome bouquet of black raspberries, scorched earth, toasted spices, and flowery incense. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, and a stunning effort. It also happens to be made in terrific quantities, with just over 1,600 cases produced. Bravo!
Antonio Galloni, Vinous, April 2020
The 2018 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is bright, precise and wonderfully nuanced. Sweet red/purplish fruit, lavender, spice and mint give the 2018 striking inner sweetness and perfume. Pliant, silky and inviting, the 2018 has so much to offer. Even in the early going, the 2018 is a delicate, absolutely exquisite beauty.
Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator, May 2020
Redolent of raspberry tart, with hints of lemon zest, this is a lively, fruity version that offers plenty of zesty acidity. The plush finish exudes an opulent creaminess, along with ample spice. Drink now through 2025.
- Todd Kohn
- Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast
- Double guyot
- Vine Yield:
- 2.8 pounds per vine
- September 2018
- December 19, 2019
- Fall 2020
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Cases Produced: