2019 Wayfarer Pinot Noir
Estate

Tasting Notes

Violet, lavender and boysenberry aromas emerge from the glass, along with cherry, plum, dried herbs and fennel seed.  A silky entry, lush body and creamy notes on the finish are juxtaposed by lively acidity, bringing a beautiful tension to the wine.  This is a wonderfully complete Pinot Noir, a combination of focus and finesse, and it has a subtle power that will carry this vintage for many years.

Winemaking Notes

We hand-picked each block and delivered firm, cool clusters to the winery before sunrise. We then hand-sorted the fruit and reserved 4% for whole-cluster fermentation.  The remainder of the fruit was destemmed 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 53% new French oak for 15 months of aging.

Vintage Notes

2019 began with several months of heavy rainfall.  Total rainfall for the year was 78 inches, second only to record-setting rainfall in 2017.  However, that is where similarities end between the 2017 and 2019 vintages.  Pinot Noir shoots emerged on April 1st, ten days later than normal. With a warm April, shoot growth advanced quickly, and energy was plentiful in the soil after heavy rainfall in May.

Flowering began in east-facing blocks on June 2nd, quickly followed by the remainder of the Pinot Noir over the next seven days. Flowering was also ten days later than normal, but aligned wonderfully with a change in the weather, as rain clouds gave way to beautiful sunshine in June.  The summer of 2019 was full of sunshine, yet temperatures were moderate to cool.  The average high temperature through July and August was 81oF, perfect for gradually ripening the Pinot Noir.

In 2019 we were able to be patient with the vines, allowing them to naturally adjust to the energy in the soil. In drier and warmer vintages, we are more proactive with mowing cover crop, leaf and lateral removal, and irrigating the driest blocks.  However, in 2019 we waited until the vines reached their optimal point, then moved in with our canopy work to transition the vines from vegetative growth to fruit maturation.  By the time veraison began on August 5th, the vines were tracking only five days later than normal. 42 days later, we picked our first Pinot Noir on September 16th, and concluded harvest on October 5th.

Blocks

3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26A, 30

Clones

Bacigalupi Old Wente, Dijon 115, 667 and 777, Hirsch, Hyde Old Wente, Mount Eden, Pommard 4 and 5, Swan, Wayfarer

Critics

95 Points

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate, June 2021

The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard comes from all 11 clones grown on the Wayfarer property. Medium ruby-purple in color, it has broody aromas of blood orange, iron, rhubarb and cranberry sauce with notes of dusty earth and dried herbs. The palate manages incredible intensity, lift and expansive flavor layers with a very long, juicy finish that continually calls you in for another sip!

94 Points

Kim Markus, Wine Spectator, August 2021

Svelte and richly spiced, with plush, concentrated flavors of dark fruit and berries swathed with ripe acidity. Loamy hints to the Asian spice accents, with lots of chocolaty nuances on the finish. Drink now through 2025.

94 Points

Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, July 2021

The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is one of the more approachable Pinots in the lineup, yet smart money will still give bottles a handful of years in the cellar. Spiced cherries, mulberries, spicy oak, violets, and orange blossom all define the aromatics, and it's medium-bodied, with a round, expansive texture, more velvety tannins, and a great finish.

93 Points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2021

The 2019 Pinot Noir Wayfarer Vineyard is a dark, sumptuous wine. Ripe dark, cherry, plum, spice, leather, incense and a kiss of French oak flesh out in a supple lush Pinot. Even in the early going, the 2019 is quite open and easy to drink. Silky tannins wrap around the plush, inviting finish. This is an especially succulent style. The 2019 has a bit more stem inclusion than in the past.

Wine Data

Winemaker:
Todd Kohn
Origin:
Wayfarer Vineyard, Fort Ross-Seaview AVA
Pruning:
Double guyot
Vine Yield:
2.6 pounds per vine
Harvested:
September 16 - October 5, 2019
Bottled:
December 18, 2020
Release:
Fall 2021
Composition:
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol:
14.5%
pH:
3.57
TA:
5.8 g/L
Cases Produced:
1,750

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