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Wayfarer Wayfarer Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WE99
  • RP96
  • JD95
  • V95
  • WS94
0% ABV
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  • WE95
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • WE94
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

This rich, harmonious Pinot Noir, a cuvee of 12 clones, comes from their 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.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 99
Wine Enthusiast
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.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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!
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
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.
V 95
Vinous
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.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A riveting style, rich and complex, with enticing aromas that mix zesty wild berry and blueberry flavors with a pleasant edge of earth and savory herbs. Impressively rich, yet graceful. The supple tannins keep reverberating. Drink now through 2024.
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Wayfarer

Wayfarer

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Wayfarer, California
Wayfarer was founded as a secluded farmstead more than 40 years ago, before its locale was defined as the now coveted Fort Ross Seaview AVA. In 1989, Jayson Pahlmeyer's winemaker, Helen Turley, discovered the site for sale down the road from her Marcassin vineyard. She introduced Pahlmeyer, declaring it destined to become "the La Tache of California."

In tandem with his daughter Cleo and renowned winemaker Bibiana Gonzales Rave, Pahlmeyer drives to make intricate wines of transcendence, answering to powerful, ever-unpredictable climate that rewards only the most observant and meticulous. It is an endeavor of true passion, an experiment that pushes the exactitude of winegrowing and winemaking to the farthest limits.

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Fort Ross-Seaview

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On the far western edge of the larger Sonoma Coast appellation, the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA hugs right up against the Pacific coast. Vineyards, planted at rugged elevations between 920 to 1,800 feet, occupy only two percent of the total land in the AVA. Fort Ross-Seaview growers believe that the region boasts an ideal mix of sunshine, cool air and beneficial stress for producing high quality Chardonnay and Pinot noir.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

STC726686_2015 Item# 388381